Eduard Künneke

Eduard Künneke (also seen as Edward and spelled Künnecke) (27 January 1885 – 27 October 1953) was a German composer of operettasoperas and theatre music. He was born in Emmerich. His daughter was the actress and singer Evelyn Künneke.

Künneke studied musicology and literature in Berlin, and was also an advanced student of Max Bruch. He worked as a repetiteur and chorus master at a Berlin operetta theatre, the Neues Operettentheater am Schiffbauerdamm, but relinquished his post as chorus master after his operaRobins Ende (1909) was premiered in Mannheim and then received productions at 38 different German opera houses. Künneke later worked under Max Reinhardt and wrote incidental music for Reinhardt’s staging of Part Two of Goethe’s Faust.

Künneke’s graceful music is distinguished by its rhythm and striking harmonies. His best-known work is the 1921 operetta Der Vetter aus Dingsda; many of his songs are still familiar today.

In 1926, when his operetta Lady Hamilton was premiered in Breslau (now Wrocław), he formed what would become a long friendship with the conductor Franz Marszalek. Marszalek was a dedicated advocate of Künneke’s music, and during his tenure at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne (1949–65) made numerous recordings of his works (many currently unavailable) with the Cologne Radio Orchestra and the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra.