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Jean Kurt Forest (Composer)

Born: April 2, 1909 - Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
Died: March 2, 1975 - East Berlin, East Germany


The German composer, Jean Kurt Forest, learned the violin already learned as a four year old boy, then underwent a thorough and versatile training at Spangenbergschen Konservatorium in Wiesbaden.

Jean Kurt Forest began his musical career in 1926 as a cinema orchestra concertmaster and worked over the next decade as a solo violist and conductor, including in Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester in Frankfurt am Main and the Philharmonischen Orchester der Staatsoper Hamburg. In 1936 he was expelled by the Nazis of all positions because of his anti-fascist stance and moved to Paris, but in 1938 moved back to Germany. During World War II he was drafted into a working unit of the Wehrmacht, but ran over to the Red Army in 1945. In 1948, Forest he came back to his homeland and took part in Berlin in various roles in the development of musical life in the GDR, first as a consultant for choral music at the Berlin Radio from 1949 to 1951 as chief conductor of the Berlin Radio and Germany broadcast and finally from 1952 in the same position on German Television. From the late 1950s he worked mostly as a composer.


Especially in his last years, Jean Kurt Forest, who came from the song Massenlied, faced greater compositional forms. He composed small and large scale orchestral works (including Spartacus tone poem), choruses and cantatas. Popular Herbe themes and clout illustrative characterize his style. His successful opera Der arme Konrad based on a play by Friedrich Wolf in 1960, was followed in the 1960s by the chamber opera Tai Yang erwacht, also by Wolf. Forest also operated as a film music composer, for example in the movies Martin Luther - Wittenberg 1517 or Wenn du zu mir hältst.


Werner Renner, Jean Kurt Forest and Willi Hera (June 7, 1960) [01]

Source: German Wikipedia Website (February 2013), English translation by Aryeh Oron (April 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2013)

Jean Kurt Forest: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Jean Kurt Forest (Wikipedia) [German]

Jean Kurt Forest (IMDB)


Short biography: Forest, Jean Kurt. In: Wer war wer in der DDR? 5. Ausgabe. Band 1. Ch. Links (Berlin 2010)

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