Obituary: Leipzig Choir Director Andreas Pieske Dies, Aged 91

By Logan Martell

On March 23, 2020, Andreas Pieske passed away at the age of 91, as confirmed by the Leipzig Opera.

From 1960 to 1990, Pieske served as choir director for the Leipzig Opera, where he was credited for making it into one of the best choirs in German-speaking countries. He was also director of the Gewandhaus Choir from 1964 to 1980.

Born in Dresden in 1928, Pieske’s career began with the Dresden Kapellknaben, where he was a chapel boy. After studying at the Dresden University of Music, he worked with the Dresden Mozart Choir, the Semperoper Dresden, and the Schwerin Theater. As a director he was described as focused on realistic musical theater through “the interlocking of musical and scenic representations.”

Pieske also held positions as a professor at the Leipzig University of Music and Theater, as well as the Berlin University of Music. After his retirement, the Leipzig Opera appointed him as an honorary member, and he continued to support the choir through his final years.