Hanns-Martin Schneidt

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Hanns-Martin Schneidt
Born (1930-12-06)6 December 1930
Kitzingen, Germany
Died 28 May 2018(2018-05-28) (aged 87)
near Munich, Germany
  • Orchestral and choral conductor
  • Organist and harpsichordist
  • Academic

Hanns-Martin Schneidt (6 December 1930 – 28 May 2018[1]) was a German conductor, harpsichordist, organist and academic. He held teaching positions in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Tokyo, was Generalmusikdirektor in Wuppertal, artistic director of the Münchener Bach-Chor and the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, and founded Bach ensembles in Berlin and Tokyo.


Plaque at the Janusz-Korczak-Haus in Berlin

Born in Kitzingen, Schneidt grew up in Leipzig in the family of a pastor.[2] He became a member of the Thomanerchor in 1940 under Thomaskantor Günther Ramin at age 10.[3] He studied at the Musikhochschule München from 1949 to 1952. While he studied, he began to work as the church musician at the Erlöserkirche in Munich.[4] In 1954, he received the Richard-Strauss-Preis of Munich.

In 1955, he was appointed director of the Kirchenmusikschule in Berlin, at age 25.[3] He founded in 1961 the Bach-Chor [de] and Bach-Collegium at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche[3] for regular performances of Bach cantatas,[5] and conducted the groups to 1963.[2] He was professor at the Musikhochschule Hamburg from 1971 to 1978. He was also, from 1963 to 1985 Generalmusikdirektor of the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal [de], including the opera.[2] In 1984, he became the successor of Karl Richter as artistic director of the Münchener Bach-Chor.[3] In 1985 he was appointed professor of orchestral conducting and church music at the Musikhochschule München. He left the Münchener Bach-Chor in 2001 at age 70, but kept conducting Bach groups that he had founded in Tokyo.[6] From 2001, he was professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and artistic director of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Yokohama, from 2007 to 2009.[2]

Schneidt worked with several German symphony orchestras, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), and with Chor und Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.[3]

He died near Munich on 28 May 2018.[3]


Schneidt was awarded the Eduard von der Heydt Prize of Wuppertal, in recognition of his shaping of the town's musical life over many years, without routine but transparency for the musical work of art at hand, in a broad repertory.[7] He received the Bavarian Order of Merit in 2001.[4]


  1. ^ WDR, retrieved 5 June 2018
  2. ^ a b c d "Dirigent und Hochschullehrer Hanns-Martin Schneidt verstorben / Kirchenmusiker und Bachkenner" (in German). SWR. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Dirigent Hanns Martin Schneidt gestorben / Ehemaliger Leiter des Münchener Bachchores" (in German). BR. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Dirigent Hanns-Martin Schneidt verstorben". magazin.klassik.com (in German). 6 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Der Bach-Chor an der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche" (in German). Bach-Chor an der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Begeisterung für Bach nach Japan übertragen". Die Welt (in German). 12 April 2001. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Hanns-Martin Schneidt / Generalmusikdirektor, Prof" (in German). Wuppertal. 1980. Retrieved 7 June 2018.

External links

  • Literature by and about Hanns-Martin Schneidt in the German National Library catalogue
  • Hanns-Martin Schneidt discography at Discogs
  • Hanns-Martin Schneidt (Conductor) Bach Cantatas Website
  • Klaus Stadler: Die Künstlerischen Leiter des Münchener Bach-Chors seit 1954 Münchener Bach-Chor 2007
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