- Peter Petersen
(b Berlin, Sept 6, 1890; d Tokyo, April 29, 1973). German composer and conductor, cousin of Wilibald Gurlitt. His maternal grandfather was the Swiss sculptor Max Heinrich Imhof and his paternal grandfather the landscape painter Louis Gurlitt. He had his first music lessons at the age of six. From 1907 he studied composition with Humperdinck and conducting with Muck in Berlin. He held the post of Kapellmeister at the Bremen Stadttheater (1914–27) and was promoted to Generalmusikdirektor in 1924. The successful première of his opera Wozzeck took place at the Stadttheater in 1926. In 1927 Gurlitt moved back to Berlin. As a freelance conductor he appeared at the Kroll Oper and Max Reinhardt’s theatre, and was involved in radio broadcasts. He joined the National Socialist Party in 1933, but was expelled in 1937 due to his possible Jewish heritage. He emigrated to Japan in 1939 where he gained recognition as a conductor in Tokyo. He founded the Gurlitt Opera Company in ...