Obirtuary: Dortmund Conductor Heinz Panzer Dies at 94

By Francisco Salazar

On Oct. 27, 2021, former conductor Heinz Panzer died in Dortmund at the age of 94.

The news was communicated by his family members.

Panzer was born on August 31, 1927 in Westick / Kaiserau and received music lessons early on in his childhood. He played the piano, accordion, and later horn and in 1942 he began studying music at the Dortmund Conservatory. During World War II, he became was a prisoner of war in France from 1944 to 1948 and after the war returned to Dortmund to continue his musical studies.

In 1950, after completing his studies, he became a conductor at the Oper Dortmund where he would perform until his retirement in 1992. Panzer was employed as Kapellmeister at the Dortmund Theater and was later made an honorary member of the theater.

For his commitment to the opera house and the for having conducted over thousands of performances he was awarded the “Silver rose.”

His commitment to the community of Dortmund saw him, his wife Lieselotte Römp-Panzer, and Dr. Gerd Kramer help build an adequate concert hall in Dortmund which was later opened in 2002.