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Paul Lincke

Paul Lincke

Country of origin: Germany
Birthday: November 7, 1866
Date of death: September 3, 1946

About Paul Lincke

Paul Lincke was born in Berlin on 7 November 1866 as son of a servant to the municipal council. At an early age, he was enthusiastic about military music, therefore starting to train as a musician with the Wittenberge Stadtmusikkapelle of Rudolf Kleinow in 1880.
After his training, Lincke could not accomplish his original goal to become a military musician. From 1884 he eventually found jobs as a bassoonist with orchestras of variety theatres in Berlin such as the Ostend Theatre and soon was called in as occasional conductor and répétiteur. In his position as musical director at the Königsstädtisches Theater am Alexanderplatz, he created his first compositions: little songs, vaudeville songs and interludes. During that time, he also toured Germany as accompanying pianist with several humorous vocal ensembles. As musical director of the garden concerts of the Belle Alliance Theatre, Lincke attracted attention because of his skilfulness as conductor; as a consequence, the Apollo Theatre hired him as principal conductor and resident composer from 1893. He had to accompany variety performances with music with his orchestra and composed accompanying music for such performances apart from music for parodistic one-act plays. In 1897 he was taken on as musical director at the Théâtre Folies-Bergères in Paris for two years. After his return to Berlin, Lincke continued to work at the Apollo Theatre and, from 1909, also worked at the Berlin Metropol Theatre. During that time, he created a large number of very popular one-act operettas, with his friend Heinz Bolten-Baeckers (1872-1938) writing the librettos. When touring the whole of Germany, the European capitals and America with his ensemble, Lincke conducted his own works for which he had founded the Apollo publishing house.

In 1937 he received the silver medal of honour of his home town. On his 75th birthday he was made a freeman of Berlin.
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Lincke was a frequent victim of anti-German chauvinists. With the help of an American general, he was able to escape to Bavaria. He died in the Upper Harz Mountains in 1946.

Paul Lincke achieved resounding successes with his songs, hits, revues and operettas written for the people with a profound sureness of instinct. His three major works Frau Luna (1899, including ’Schlösser, die im Monde liegen’, ’Schenk mir doch ein kleines bißchen Liebe’, ’Das ist die Berliner Luft’), Im Reich des Indra (1899) and Lysistrata (1902, including ’Glühwürmchen’) rang in the birth of the Berlin operetta.