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Peter Kreuder

With this apt rendering of the triple evocation of his beloved music, Peter Kreuder succeeded in creating one of his many evergreens - and the number three also marked some of the stages on his way to becoming KING OF THE EVERGREENS:

  • at 3 years old, his first piano lessons,
  • at 6 years old, his first public concert in Guerzenich, Cologne,
  • at 12 years old, the Piano Academy in Hamburg,
  • and, at 13, he was already a repetiteur at the Hamburg City Theatre.

In 1918, young Kreuder contracted an "illness" called "JAZZ", from which, right to the end of his life, he never recovered. Even the "Third Reich", with all its "Jazz Bans", could not cure Peter Kreuder. In March 1932, a review appeared in the "People's Observer" about a "Jazz hullabaloo" featuring Peter (Moritz) Kreuder: "... he'd be better off going straight to Africa to join the Hottentots ... but that it's possible in Germany and here in Munich to flock in droves to a Jazz concert in the auditorium is a cultural low-point, which must now have surely reached the very lowest depths. The police will soon take action against such disgraceful business."

Peter Kreuder
Peter Kreuder

The young Peter played in short trousers behind a curtain in the shady "Scala" bar, that was closed by the police, and was co-founder of the "Jungfrau" cabaret - which was soon forced to close its doors again in conservative Hamburg. Today it would be a case for the social services, but at the time it was the start of a world wide career.

In 1923, as a pianist in the "Gruss" pavilion and a director of silent movies in Munich, he became a successful artist. At 33, he "jazzed up" "The Merry Widow" as general musical director at Munich's Gaertnerplatz Theatre, a dangerous tight rope walk in 1938, when Jazz and Swing were forbidden.

Peter Kreuder & Zarah Leander
Peter Kreuder & Zarah Leander

He loved tightrope walking and, in 1937, made recordings in Paris for "the enemies abroad" together with Marlene Dietrich - whom he had known since the filming of the "Blue Angel", in which he was responsible for the musical arrangements - using music Jewish colleagues such as Friedrich Hollander, Hugo Hirsch and others.

When his tightrope act ending with his flight to Sweden at the age of 36, Peter Kreuder was one of Germany's most popular and well known composers and had a community of European fans who made the pilgrimage to his concerts (such as, for instance, to his concert in London's Albert Hall).

Udo Jürgens & Peter Kreuder
Udo Jürgens & Peter Kreuder

He fell off the tightrope into the "Swedish safety net" and straight back onto his feet, for his opera "Lips" had its premiere in Stockholm's Royal Opera House as early as 1941.

The tightrope artist Peter Kreuder stepped delicately from Prague to Austria and into Switzerland, where he met and fell in love with Evita Peron. Evita took him back to Argentina, where he remained until her death. He subsequently went to Brazil, where he immediately became the nation's darling again.

But even a globetrotter like Peter Kreuder got homesick, and he was drawn back to Germany. He began writing music for films again, but devoted himself mainly to his first great passion, the theatre. He started off the "comeback" of Zarah Leander with is musical "Madame Schandaleuse" and "Lady from Paris".

Peter & Ingrid Kreuder
Peter & Ingrid Kreuder

Peter Kreuder was again giving his concerts around the world, and when he died in Salzburg on 28th June 1981, he left behind a great artistic legacy; the music to 188 sound films ("Kora Terry", "Wasser fur Canitoga", "Mazurka" etc.), 11 musicals, 1 opera, 5 operette and 6 symphonic works. Peter Kreuder gave 4.318 concerts in 39 countries and left behind 2.314 records and CDs, and even today some youngsters can still recall the unforgotten, inimitable "Peter Kreuder Touch".