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Francisco Tanzer on his 100th birthday

Francisco Tanzer was born in Vienna on 12 September 1921. In 1938 he emigrated via Czechoslovakia to Paris and later on to Portugal, New York and California. He was a member of the US Army from 1942 to 1947, lastly as Press Control Officer of the American troops in Germany. From 1947 to 1954 he lived and studied (German studies among other things) in New York, after which he settled in Germany. His most important works include the novellas “Das Ehepaar” (The Married Couple) and “Agnus Dei” and the book “Stimmen” (Voices).  

Individual poems by Francisco Tanzer from the volume “Stimmen” inspired numerous internationally renowned composers to set them to music, including Edison Denisov (“Requiem”, “Blätter”, “Wishing well”), Sofia Gubaidulina (“Perception”, “Voices ... fall silent ...”, “Garden of Joys and Sadnesses”) and Alfred Schnittke (“Three Madrigals”).  

Tanzer died on 25 October 2003 in Düsseldorf, his adopted home. The Austrian Federal Chancellery awarded the poet the honorary title of professor.  Tanzer’s literary estate is to be found in the Austrian National Library.

100th birthday 
Francisco Tanzer 
(12.09.1921 – 25.10.2003) 
-  Lyricist of Edison Denissov’s “Requiem”, “Leaves” and “Wishing Well”, of Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Garden of Joys and Sadnesses” and “Perception” as well as  Alfred Schnittke’s “Three Madrigals”.

Photo: © Christof Krumpel  

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