Born in Siegburg, Germany, 1854
Died in Neustrelitz, Germany, 1921
Hansel and Gretel
For most famous composers, we have long lists of the pieces they wrote. For example, there are entire libraries of Bach's, music; Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, thirty-two piano sonatas, and many other works; and Mozart wrote symphonies, operas, violin and piano sonatas, and many other compositions. Humperdinck is very different. During his life in Germany, he had several different jobs: teaching, conducting, and writing music criticism. At one time he was even hired to tutor the son of the famous composer Richard Wagner. But he is famous only because he composed the beautiful opera, Hansel and Gretel, for which his sister wrote the libretto (the words to an opera). Another one of his operas, The King's Children, is also occasionally performed. Although he wrote other music, it is for Hansel and Gretel, his beautiful setting of the well-known children's story, that he will always be remembered.