Hugo Distler


Born in Nuremberg on the 24th of June


Student at the Landeskonservatorium in Leipzig: piano with Carl Adolf Martienssen, harmony with Hermann Grabner, organ with cantor Günther Ramin of the Thomaskirche


Interruption of studies
organist and cantor at St. Jakobi in Lübeck
Worked with Axel Kühl and choir director Bruno Grusnick


Première of the Choralpassion op. 7 in Berlin 


Première of the Harpsichord Concerto op. 14 in Hamburg with Hugo Distler as soloist


University lecturer at the Württembergische Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart in music theory, musical form and choral conducting
Director of the Hochschule choir and Hochschule chapel choir


Première of the Mörike-Chorliederbuch at the “Festival of German Choral Music” in Graz


Summoned as Professor of choral conducting, harmony, composition and organ at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin


Appointment as Director of the Berlin Hochschule choir


Appointment as Director of the Berlin National and Cathedral Choir


Died in Berlin on the 1st of November


“The importance of the Baroque and pre-Baroque sound model for the present and future development of organ building, for performance practice with respect to older music and for the regeneration of church music has gained such widespread recognition that the time now seems ripe for a critical sorting out and appraisal of our traditional, newly discovered and newly recognized possession. In my opinion the old organ will carry out its mission only if it proves itself sufficiently capable of leading contemporary production to new successes and influencing it decisively. Attempts have already been made to create a new organ music directly influenced by the old. I am not speaking here of an apocryphal fragile new Christendom, but rather of a process whose justification derives from an elective affinity extending over generations and centuries.”

     Hugo Distler (1933)

“What drew me as a choral composer to Mörike is, first of all, his unrivaled elemental rhythmic vigour and liberality not only within the nineteenth century but indeed even now, furthermore, and largely reminiscent of ancient German folk song, his bringing into perspective the poetic substance through artistic molding, which integrates itself thoroughly with a profound subjectivity and enduring stamp of originality.”

    Hugo Distler (1938)

More information

Foto: Karl Heinrich Schweinsberg