Klaus Schneider (musician)

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Klaus Schneider (born March 18, 1936 in Unterloquitz ) is a German composer , jazz musician , music editor and music teacher .


Klaus Schneider studied music education from 1954 to 1957 at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena . His state examination thesis was entitled Improvisation and Jazz. Until 1961 he was a music teacher and at the same time leader of choirs and instrumental groups at the Polytechnic Oberschule Stadtroda . From 1961 to 1973 he worked at Radio DDR in Gera , Weimar and East Berlin in the editorial offices for youth, dance and folk music. In 1973 he became editor-in-chief of music at Berliner Rundfunk and left here in 1991 in the course of the liquidation of the GDR radio . In addition to his various full-time obligations, Klaus Schneider always worked part-time as a composer and musician. His compositions have been published on 30 long-playing records and are often influenced by jazz - similar to Hanns Eisler's works . One of his most famous songs is The Simple Peace. Since 1955 he has played as a clarinetist in Klaus Steckel's “New Orleans Jazz Band Jena”. In 1958 he founded the "Rodaer Waschbrettkapelle" in Stadtroda, from which the "Jena Oldtimers" emerged in 1959/60, which in 1971 opened the first " International Dixieland Festival Dresden ". After 1991, Klaus Schneider devoted himself more to music education. Together with Ulrike Donath, Jörn Fechner and a daycare center in Berlin-Marzahn, 20 songs for children were created under the title Come a goldfish flew, which appeared on a CD for educators and in 2006 prompted the Landesmusikakademie Berlin to hire him as a lecturer. Since 1996, Klaus Schneider has been collecting “Germans' favorite songs”. So far 150 have been named, among others by Norbert Blüm , Egon Bahr , Lothar Bisky , Helmut Kohl , Hermann Kant , Egon Krenz , Richard von Weizsäcker , Katarina Witt , Sahra Wagenknecht , Peter von Zahn and Gerhard Zwerenz .


Klaus Schneider made a significant contribution to making jazz "acceptable" in the GDR . As an active musician and producer as well as in numerous conversations and negotiations with authorities, he succeeded in ensuring that this genre of music, which is particularly popular among the younger population, found a permanent place in the mass media and in public concerts. This is how series of events such as the International Dixieland Festival in Dresden or the Berlin Jazz Stage became possible. With the "Jenaer Oldtimers" he set high artistic standards, which prompted the Dresden organizers to hire this band again for the opening concert at the first event after the fall of the Wall . As a composer, Klaus Schneider has worked with prominent authors such as Gisela Steineckert , Rainer Kirsch , Jens Gerlach , Louis Fürnberg , Heinz Kahlau and Peter Hacks . In this way, songs and chansons were created that meet high musical and literary standards. He also always has a personal influence on the selection of his interpreters. In addition to the radio children's choirs in Berlin and Leipzig and the radio youth choir Wernigerode , Gisela May , Erwin Geschonneck , Kurt Nolze , Bisser Kirow , Helga Hahnemann , Uschi Brüning , Gerry Wolff and the October Club sang his songs. Klaus Schneider accompanies many of his interpreters himself, mostly on the guitar. He often sings along himself, for example when recording with Christel Schulze . Many of his songs are part of the regular repertoire of actors and chanson singers, such as the evening song based on a text by Rainer Kirsch and The Simple Peace based on words by Gisela Steineckert. The song Berlin, your Berlin, which he wrote together with Karl-Heinz Neumann, became a hit and was produced in 32 versions. Many of his compositions found their way into school songbooks and curricula.


  • Almost 500 radio and Amiga productions as clarinetist, guitarist, mandolin player and arranger
  • two LPs with the Jena Oldtimers in 1971 and 1972
  • two LPs Küchenlieder 1979 and 1981
  • two LPs with student songs (1984 Gaudeamus igitur and 1986 Vivat Academia )
  • As a guitar accompanist in events with Christel Schulze , Erwin Geschonneck , Eva-Maria Hagen and Perry Friedman
  • TV appearances, including years in the series Auf Schusters Rappen with the groups BARBA ROSSA and HACKSTOCK
  • 100 jazz concerts between 1955 and 1990

Compositions (selection)


  • Klaus Schneider still plays his father's clarinet from the miners' band in the Thuringian Slate Mountains. It's a clarinet in Eb.
  • On January 7, 1967, a New Year's ball was held in the Berlin State Council building. In addition to Helga Hahnemann, Frank Schöbel & Chris Doerk and Sergio Günther, Christel Schulze and Klaus Schneider also performed. The latter shone with a skilful whistle solo. When the then State Council Chairman Walter Ulbricht and his wife Lotte wished all the performers a Happy New Year after midnight at the end of the event , he made a single comment on the entire artistic program. It was addressed to Klaus Schneider and read: “You can whistle excellently, yes!”. Since then, Klaus Schneider has long been the “state piper” among insiders.