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Hans Heintze (Conductor, Organ)

Born: 1911 - Bremen, Germany
Died: March 5, 2003 - Germany

The great organist and church musician, Hans Heintze, was born into a minister house and grew up in Bremen. He studied in Leipzig with Günther Ramin.

First stations of Hans Heintze's work were Bad Oldesloe (1932-1933) and the Sophienkirche in Dresden (1934-1939), whereupon followed the appointment to the organist of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig as a successor of Günther Ramin. His term of office from 1940 to 1948 was interrupted by long periods of summoning to the army and the war shank. As a director of church music at St. Johannis in Lüneburg from 1949 to 1956, he had in the foreground big tasks in services and concerts. During this time he led a Bach Festival of the Neuen Bachgesellschaft (New Bach Company). Into his period in Lüneburg fell the appointments to Hochschule für Musik in Detmold and later Berlin as Professor for organ in connection with the office for church musician at the church "Zum Heilsbronnen".

In 1958, the municipality of the Bremen's Cathedral appointed Hans Heintze as a successor of Professor Richard Liesche to Domkantor and Cathedral organist. 17 years in this office were fulfilled by untiring work and highest artistic sense of responsibility. He actually set very high standards in the organ playing, which were then applied also to his pupils. From his school followed organists, who hold today important church musician positions. Emphasis of his outstanding organ interpretations in his homeland and abroad was the works of Bach and Reger. They were documented by recordings and radio programmes. His repertoire covered almost all styles and eras of the organ literature.

Hans Heintze's activities in the area of oratorio church music included the participation of the Domchor (Cathedral Choir) at the music service and the weekly "Motetten" series. Apart from all the big works of J.S. Bach, Mozart and Johannes Brahms, there were important performances with works of Igor Stravinsky (Psalm Symphony), Franc Martin (Golgotha), Penderecki (Lukas-Passion), Janáček (Glagolitic Mass), Luigi Dallapiccola (Männer im Feuerofen), Ernst Pepping, Johann Nepomuk David and others. In 1971 he arranged in Bremen and was responsible for the 46th German Neue Bachgesellschaft: Bachfest.

Hans Heintze and the Domchor had big successes also abroad (Paris, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Holland, etc.). Beside all his artistic work he found still strength for various offices: Member in the board of directors of the Neuen Bach-Gesellschaft (New Bach Company) Leipzig, director of regional church music of the Bremischen Evangelischen Kirche, lecturer in organ at the Bremen's Hochschule für Künste (temporarily also as director of the church music department).

In acknowledgement of his achievements, Hans Heintze received the "Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft" from the Bremen Senate, as well as the Ehrenring (Honour Ring) of the Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters. He always took part in the work of his colleagues, helpfully and advisory as a director of regional church music. After departing from the service in 1975, he was still variously active in the church music up to his death.


Source: Gesellschaft der Orgelfreunde Website (Author: Gebhard Kaiser), English translation by Aryeh Oron (November 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2004)

Hans Heintze: Short Biography | Bremer Bach-Orchester | Recordings of Vocal Works
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Günther Ramin


BWV 244 [1st]

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