Obituary: Conductor Hans Drewanz Passes at 91

By Nicolas Quiroga

Conductor Hans Drewanz passed away on June 22, 2021, in the city of Darmstadt. He was 91.

Born in Dresden, Germany on December 2, 1929, he grew up in the city of Berlin and was a student at the Musisches Gymnasium in Frankfurt until the end of the Second World War in 1945. He then studied at the Frankfurt University of Music and became Sir Georg Solti’s personal assistant at the Frankfurt am Maim Opera and Municipal Theaters from 1953 to 1959.

Immediately afterward, he was appointed the first Chapel Master at the Wuppertal Opera until 1963. That same year, he was appointed as the youngest general music director in Darmstadt, and thereafter he conducted opera and concerts for more than three decades.

In 1994 he was awarded the highest accolade of the city of Darmstadt: The Silver Plaque of Merit.

Drewanz was a regular conductor of operas on the major stages around the world. In Munich, he conducted works by Mozart and Strauss and brought young musicians to the stage through commissioned compositions.

From 1984 onward, he was a professor at the Saarland University of Music.