Paul Hindemith (/ˈpaʊlˈhɪndəmɪt/, powl HIN-deh-mitt; 16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a German composer, music theorist, teacher, violist and conductor. He founded the Amar Quartet in 1921, touring extensively in Europe. As a composer, he became a major advocate of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) style of music in the 1920s, with compositions such as Kammermusik, including works with viola and viola d'amore as solo instruments in a neo-Bachian spirit. Other notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben (1923), Der Schwanendreher for viola and orchestra (1935), the opera Mathis der Maler (1938), the Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber (1943), and the oratorio When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd (1946), a requiem based on Walt Whitman's poem. Hindemith and his wife emigrated to Switzerland and the United States ahead of World War II, after worsening difficulties with the Nazi German regime. In his later years, he conducted and recorded much of his own music.
Most of Hindemith's compositions are anchored by a foundational tone, and use musical forms and counterpoint and cadences typical of the Baroque and Classical traditions. His harmonic language is more modern, freely using all 12 notes of the chromatic scale within his tonal framework, as detailed in his three-volume treatise, The Craft of Musical Composition.
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