sign up button

Kurt Weill: A Detailed Chronology 1925-1928

This chronology lists Weill's works, records key events in his life, and tracks most of his moves and travels. Works are generally listed under the dates of their premiere followed by date of composition and collaborators in parentheses. If the work was not performed during Weill's lifetime, it is listed under its date of composition. Only the most significant unrealized projects are mentioned. Doubtful dates are noted with a question mark.

22 January 1925
Das Stundenbuch (1923-25, Rainer Maria Rilke). Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Manfred Lewandowsky, baritone, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Heinz Unger, conductor. Manuscript partly lost.

March 1925
Completes Der Protagonist, op. 14, his first mature opera.

May 1925
Moves with Lenya to an apartment owned by Georg Kaiser: Berlin-Charlottenburg, Luisenplatz 3, bei Hassfort. The poet-playwright Rudolph Leonhardt shares this address as do Iwan and Claire Goll. Weill and Lenya live here for more than three years.

11 May 1925
The Funkstunde Berlin broadcasts an "Evening of the November Group," which includes Brecht's recitation of his "Ballade vom Mazeppa" and "Die höflichen Chinesen." Weill reviews the broadcast in Der deutsche Rundfunk, May 24, 1925.

11 June 1925
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12 (April-May 1924). Théâtre de l'Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Marcel Darrieux, violin; Walter Straram, conductor. Although Joseph Szigeti was pleased that Weill dedicated the concerto to him, he apparently never performed it.

July-September 1925
Composes the cantata Der neue Orpheus, op. 15 [i.e., 16], set to Iwan Goll's text.

October 1925
Begins composing the one-act opera Royal Palace, op. 17, libretto by Goll, which he completes in January 1926.

29 October 1925
Attends German premiere of his violin concerto in Dessau.

27 December 1925
First performance of Weill's music in America (Zaubernacht at the Garrick Theater, New York).

28 January 1926
Marries Lotte Lenya, née Karoline Wilhelmine Charlotte Blamauer, in a civil ceremony in the Charlottenburg section of Berlin.

March 1926
Begins composing the comic opera Na und? to a text by Felix Joachimson.

27 March 1926
Der Protagonist (1924-25, Georg Kaiser). Dresden Staatsoper; Fritz Busch, conductor; Josef Gielen, director. The premiere of Der Protagonist marks Weill's first major success in the German theater. Other performances soon follow in Nuremberg and Erfurt.

18 June-July 1926
Travels to Zurich with Lenya for a performance of his Violin Concerto at the fourth festival of the Société Internationale de Musique Contemporaine, after which they vacation in Milan, Genoa, Verona, Alassio, and Cannes. Violinist Stefan Frenkel replaced an ailing Alma Moodie; Fritz Busch conducts.

1 September 1926
Herzog Theodor von Gothland (1926, incidental music for a radio performance of the play by Christian Dietrich Grabbe). Berliner Rundfunk; Bruno Seidler-Winkler, conductor. Lost.

March? 1927
Weill meets Bertolt Brecht and they begin collaboration on the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

2 March 1927
Der neue Orpheus (1925, Iwan Goll) and Royal Palace (1925-26, Iwan Goll). Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden; Delia Reinhardt, soprano; Rudolf Deman, violinist; Erich Kleiber, conductor.

March-August 1927
Composes the one-act opera Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, op. 21, to a libretto by Georg Kaiser.

mid-March 1927
Receives a commission from the Deutsches Kammermusikfest in Baden-Baden for a short opera. After searching for a suitable text, he decides to set some of Brecht's Mahagonny-Gesänge. He finishes the "Songspiel" in May.

April 1927
Na und? (March 1926-March 1927, Felix Joachimson). Two-act comic opera, unperformed. Universal Edition rejects the composition; only sketches survive.

4 May 1927
Travels to Nuremberg to attend rehearsals and a production of Der Protagonist.

17 July 1927
Mahagonny (Songspiel), (Bertolt Brecht). Deutsches Kammermusikfest, Baden-Baden; Ernst Mehlich, conductor; Bertolt Brecht, director (with Walther Brügmann). The other works on the program are Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse by Ernst Toch, Die Entführung der Europa by Darius Milhaud, and Hin und zurück by Paul Hindemith. This performance marks Lenya's first appearance in a work by Weill.

August 1927
Visits Lenya in Prerow on the Baltic Sea.

29 October 1927
Gustav III
(October 1927, incidental music for the play by Strindberg). Theater in der Königgrätzer Stra?e, Berlin; Walter Goehr, conductor; Victor Barnowsky, director.

23 November 1927
Vom Tod im Wald, op. 23 (September 1927, Bertolt Brecht). Berlin Philharmonic; Heinrich Hermanns, bass; Eugen Lang, conductor. This is the last of Weill's works to bear an opus number.

14 December 1927
Klops-Lied (September 1925, Jean de Bourgois [pseudonym]). Private performance.

2 January 1928
Weill is one of eight nominees to the Prussian Academy of Arts. He is not elected.

18 February 1928
Der Zar lässt sich photographieren (1927, Georg Kaiser). Leipzig Neues Theater; Gustav Brecher, conductor; Walther Brügmann, director. The one-act opera had thirty-nine performances in ten different productions during its first season. The next season brought seventy-five performances in twenty-six different productions.

10 March 1928
Leben Eduards des Zweiten von England (incidental music for the play by Bertolt Brecht and Lion Feuchtwanger). Fragment survives.

8 April 1928
Konjunktur (March 1928, incidental music for the play by Leo Lania with song texts by Felix Gasbarra). Partly missing. Lessing Theater, Berlin; Erwin Piscator, director.

25 April 1928
Katalaunische Schlacht (March 1928, incidental music for the play by Arnolt Bronnen). Manuscript missing. Staatliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin; Heinz Hilpert, director.

May 1928
Travels with Lenya to the south of France to work on Die Dreigroschenoper, stopping in Paris to discuss a production of Der Zar lässt sich photographieren with Mme. Bériza-Grévin. They stay at Hostellerie de la Plage, Cyr sur Mer. Brecht, Helene Weigel, Elizabeth Hauptmann rent a villa in Le Lavandou.

9 June 1928
Travels to Frankfurt to supervise rehearsals for a Zar-Protagonist double bill.

31 August 1928
Die Dreigroschenoper (May-September 1928, Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann). Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin; Theo Mackeben, conductor; Erich Engel, director. Die Dreigroschenoper becomes an instant hit, and theaters throughout Germany announce future productions. At Weill's insistence, Universal Edition produces popular editions of the songs.

October 1928
Moves to a new address: Berlin-Westend, Bayernalle 14.

14 October 1928
Berlin premiere of Der Protagonist and Der Zar lässt sich photographieren in a double bill at the Städtische Oper Berlin, directed by Walther Brügmann and conducted by Robert F. Denzler.

15 October 1928
Berlin im Licht (October 1928, text probably by either Brecht or Weill, officially credited to Weill). Military band version: Wittenbergplatz; Hermann Scherchen, conductor. Song version: October 16, 1928; Krolloper; Paul Graetz, voice.

November-December 1928
Composes Das Berliner Requiem to poems by Brecht.

20 November 1928
(November 1928, songs and incidental music for the play by Lion Feuchtwanger). Berlin Staatstheater; Jürgen Fehling, director.

15 December 1928
Weill's music for Quodlibet is used to accompany a showing of Lotte Reiniger's film Doktor Dolittle und seine Tiere at the Alhambra theater in Berlin. Paul Dessau arranged music by Weill and Hindemith for the event and composed his own composition for one part of the film; he also conducted the Alhambra Movie Orchestra.

1918-1924 | 1929-1933