Born November 16, 1895 in Hanau, Germany
Died December 28, 1963 in Frankfurt, Germany
Paul Hindemith was already a good violinist at the age of eleven when he ran away from home to become a musician. His principal instrument was the violin but he was considered an accomplished virtuoso on the viola as well. While attending classes at the Conservatory, he made his early living playing violin. He was concertmaster of the Frankfurt Opera at the age of 20.
In 1933, Hindemith found himself and his music disliked by the Nazis who had taken over Germany. His music was banned by Hitler and in 1939, he fled to Switzerland and then to the U.S. where he lived happily for several years as head of the music department at Yale University.
In 1954, he moved back to Switzerland but continued to travel and perform in Europe and the United States. Hindemith wrote a sonata for every instrument in the orchestra.