Walter Jurmann’s Life in
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Walter Jurmann's Life in Brief
- Walter Jurmann is born on October 12 in Vienna.
- Begins to study medicine at the University of Vienna.
Takes a job as pianist at the Hotel Panhans, in a resort
Abandons medical studies for a career in music.
- Meets the lyricist Fritz Rotter.
- Moves to Berlin.
- “Was weißt denn du, wie ich verliebt bin,” sung
by Richard Tauber, becomes his first big hit.
- “Veronika, der Lenz ist da” is popularized by
the Comedian Harmonists, who adopt it as their signature
Begins to compose for film.
- Jurmann's music for the film Ihre
Majestät, die Liebe brings him his first film success.
Begins his long, successful collaboration with the composer
- The composing team provides music for eight films,
among them Melodie der Liebe,
starring Richard Tauber.
- Jurmann’s song “Mein Gorilla hat ’ne Villa im Zoo,” sung by
Hans Albers, is featured in the film Heut'
kommt’s drauf an; Jan Kiepura appears in the film Ein
Lied für dich and helps make Jurmann’s song “Ninon” the
most popular love song throughout Europe.
Jurmann and Kaper move to Paris; Jurmann composes some
works under the pseudonym Pierre Candel.
- Composes music for the revue Parade
de France at the Casino de Paris and for five
films, among them Les nuits
moscovites, starring Harry Bauer, Annabella,
and Tino Rossi
Marries Anni Wassermann, but the marriage ends soon after.
MGM offers a contract to the Jurmann-Kaper team that leads to their
immigrating to the United States.
- Writes the song “You’re All I Need” for the
film Escapade, which remains
Number 1 in the charts for nine weeks.
Writes music for Mutiny on the
Bounty, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable.
- Writes music for the film San
Francisco, starring Jeanette MacDonald, Clark
Gable, and Spencer Tracy; the song “San Francisco” becomes
an independent world hit.
- Writes songs for the Marx Brothers’ film A
Day at the Races.
- Named honorary citizen of San Francisco.
- Decides not to renew his contract with MGM but return instead to a career as solo freelance composer.
Becomes a U.S. citizen.
Volunteers for the army when the United States enters
Deanna Durbin sings the song “Thank you, America” at
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third inauguration.
- Discharged from the army for health reasons in May
but continues work for the USO entertaining troops
until the end of the war.
- Jurmann's song “Three Letters in the Mailbox” helps make Thousands Cheer one
of the most successful films of the year.
Composes music for the film Presenting
Lily Mars, starring Judy Garland, Van Heflin,
and Marta Eggert.
- Collaborates with Paul Francis Webster on the musical Windy
- Marries the fashion designer Yvonne Jellinek.
- In New York, Judy Garland includes the song “San Francisco” in her farewell
concert at Carnegie Hall.
- Composes text and music to the song “San Antonio,
the City of So Many Charms.”
- 19 January: In San Antonio, Jurmann's song named for the city receives a standing
ovation at its debut performance by the San Antonio Symphony
Named Honorary Ambassador by the San Antonio mayor, Walter
The song “Houston” is performed by the Houston
Grand Opera Chorus at the benefit dinner of the Heritage
Society, and Jurmann is made Honorary Mayor of Houston.
Composes text and music to “A Better World to Live
In," which is performed under the aegis of the Council
of International Relations in San Antonio on 21 September
by the Fourth U.S.A. Army Male Chorus.
- 17 June: Dies from a heart attack while on holiday
with his wife in Budapest.
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- In Washington, DC, Rosita Fernandez, representing the state of Texas,
performs the song “San Antonio” at Jimmy Carter’s
- In San Francisco, Jurmann's song “San Francisco” is named the official City Song.
- In San Antonio, Jurmann's “San Antonio ”is named the official City Song.
- In Austria, ORF, the Austrian television company, broadcasts a program on Jurmann titled Weltbürger
der Musik (Musical Cosmopolitan).
- 26 March: In Los Angeles, Jurmann's “A Better World to Live In” is featured
in the Easter Sunrise service at the Hollywood Bowl.
- 12 March: In Los Angeles, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), hosts a concert event titled A
Song for You: A Tribute to the Music of Walter Jurmann.
- 22 August: In Washington, DC, the U.S.A. Army Band plays a tribute to Walter Jurmann
on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
- 17 June: In Vienna, a Walter Jurmann Gala takes place in
the Vienna Konzerthaus.
22 August: In Vienna, Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra perform
Jurmann music at the official opening ceremony of the
5 December: In Washington, DC, Max Raabe, accompanied by Christoph Israel, sings an
all-Jurmann concert, From Vienna
to Hollywood: A Tribute to the Music of Walter Jurmann, at
the Austrian Embassy.
7 December: In Los Angeles, Max Raabe, accompanied by Christoph Israel, performs the
all-Jurmann concert Songs of
Love and Exile.
- Centennial concerts celebrate Jurmann’s 100th birthday in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and other cities in Europe and the United States.
In Vienna, an opening ceremony is held for the newly named Walter Jurmann Gasse in the city’s 23rd district.
- 16 November: In Los Angeles, Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra perform Jurmann songs in a concert at Royce Hall, UCLA.
- 20 July: In Berlin, a memorial plaque is placed at the house at Kurfürstendamm 154, in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, where Jurmann lived 1927–1933.
- 10 January: In Cologne, the all-Jurmann concert Hollywood
in Cologne is held in the city's Philharmonic Hall.
3 February: In Vienna, Andrea Rost, accompanied by Béla Fischer, sings an all-Jurmann concert, Wien–Hollywood: tour–retour, at the Musikverein.
12 October: In Vienna, a memorial plaque is placed at Jurmann’s birthplace, Große Stadtgutgasse 7, in Vienna-Leopoldstadt, the city’s 2nd district.
- 21 April: In Baden bei Wien, an all-Jurmann concert is given by the Badener Städtisches Orchestra, conducted by Franz Josef Breznik; soloists include Patricia Nessy, Caroline Vasicek, Boris Pfeifer, Max Voit, Carola Baumann, and Dessislava Valeva-Phillipova.
- 16 April: In Berlin, the Freunde und Förderer des Werks von Walter Jurmann (Friends and Supporters of Walter Jurmann), is established.
- 22 January: In Vienna, the musical Waiting for Romance, with music exclusively by Jurmann, premieres at the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität’s department of musical theater. The work, which receives four subsequent performances, was written by Florian Stanek, directed by Issabella Fritdum, and arranged and conducted by László Kövi.
13 February: In Dresden, “A Better World to Live In” is performed by the Kammerchor der Frauenkirche Dresden, with Matthias Grünert conducting. The performance is part of the annual commemoration of the destruction of Dresden on this date in 1945.
April: Ricordi publishes the collection Alle Welt singt seine Lieder, thirty-six of Jurmann’s most popular songs arranged for voice and piano (www.musicshopeurope.com).
11 June: In Vienna, the Freundeskreis der Musik Walter Jurmanns (Friends of the Music of Walter Jurmann) is established.
12 October: In Berlin, in the city’s town hall, the Rotes Rathaus, Max Raabe, accompanied by Christoph Israel, gives an all-Jurmann concert on the occasion of Jurmann’s 107th birthday.
- 9 February: In Berlin, the Austrian Embassy hosts an all-Jurmann concert as part of the Filmfestival Berlinale.
February: Wim Wenders’s new 3D documentary film about Pina Bausch, PINA tanzt, tanzt sonst sind wir verloren, which features Jurmann’s song “Du bist nicht die Erste,” premieres at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and subsequently receives the 2011 German Documentary Film Prize; the film is nominated for both the December 2011 European Film Academy Prix Arte and the 2012 Academy Awards.
1 June: In Vienna, in the Theater Nestroyhof, Max Raabe and the pianist Christoph Israel give an all-Jurmann concert.10 August: In Wooster, Ohio, the Ohio Light Opera Company (OLO) presents a concert performance of Jurmann’s Windy City as part of their 2011 Summer Festival. The performance, directed by OLO artistic director Steven Daigle and associate artistic director Julie Wright Costa, features Jacob Allen, piano, and the singers Natalie Ballenger, Sarah Best, Logan Walsh, and Joey Wilgenbusch.
October: Jurmann’s music to the songs “Ninon” and “Du bist nicht die Erste” are featured in the 2011 documentary film Max Raabe in Israel, which premieres at the 27th Haifa International Film Festival.
26 November and 1 December: In Berlin, an all-Jurmann concert is held first in the Terzianum and then in Bismarck’s villa, the Luftraum. The featured performers are Julia Martin-Gámez, soprano, Erwin Belakowitsch, baritone, and Senka Brankovic, piano.
5 December: In Berlin, the newly established Walter Jurmann Prize is awarded for the first time on the occasion of Germany’s biggest and best-known vocal competition, the Bundeswettbewerb Gesang, at the Friedrichstadt Palace (see www.bundeswettbewerbgesang.de/).
December: The Volksmusikarchiv (archive of folk music) in Freiburg, Germany, begins cataloging the music and recordings by Walter Jurmann in its collection (see www.dva.uni-freiburg.de/).
- 30 May and 1 June: In Vienna, the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität’s department of musical theater for the first time hosts the newly established, biennual Walter Jurmann-Gesangswettbewerb (Walter Jurmann Vocal Competition); the winner is the soprano Eva Prosek (see www.konservatorium-wien.ac.at/news/uebersicht/artikel/news/20120301/walter-jurmann-gesangswettbewerb-2012/).
7 June: In Los Angeles, UCLA sponsors an all-Jurmann concert at the residence of the Austrian Consul General, with students in the music department.
- 21 February: In Vienna, the ORF Radio Kulturhaus hosts an all-Jurmann concert with the lyric baritone Erwin Belakowitsch and the pianist Lior Kretzer (see http://radiokulturhaus.orf.at/artikel/326258).
1 May: In Los Angeles, the Walter-Jurmann Voice Competition is held for the first time at the UCLA department of music; winner of the 2013 competition is the baritone David Childs.
13 October: In Berlin, a new CD with songs and chansons by Walter Jurmann, Erwin Belakowitsch singt Jurmann (Orlando Records), is formally presented in the Grüner Salon of the Berlin Volkstheater (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRIV_71qJL8).
14 October: In Berlin, a second CD presentation for Erwin Belakowitsch singt Jurmann is held at the Austrian Embassy.
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