Kurt Weill / Ira Gershwin
2 March 1900, Dessau, Germany, d. 3 April 1950, New York City, New York, USA. A distinguished composer, often for the musical theatre, Weill studied piano and composition as a child, and at the age of 20 was conducting opera with local companies. By the mid-20s he had established a reputation as a leading composer in the modern idiom. He was eager to make opera a popular form, accessible to the widest audience, and was also politically aware, wanting his work to have social significance. In collaboration with Bertolt Brecht he composed Little Mahagonny (later expanded to become The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny) and then achieved success with The Threepenny Opera (1928). Although a massive hit in Germany, the show failed in the USA in 1933, but was well received when it was revived in 1954/5. It has since been continually re-staged all over the world. The shows best-known song, Mack The Knife, became a standard in the repertoires of...