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Hans Zender (b1936)

Hans Zender was a student at the Music High Schools of Frankfurt and Freiburg: his teachers included Fortner and Hessenberg for composition, Ueter for conducting, and Leopolder and Picht-Axenfeld for piano. Between 1959 and 1963 he was a conductor at the Freiburg City Theatre, before spending a year in Rome at the German Academy on a composition scholarship. He returned to Germany in 1964 to take up the post of first conductor at the Bonn Opera, where he stayed until 1968, when he returned to Rome for another spell at the German Academy. Having been appointed chief conductor at the Kiel Opera with effect from 1969, he was at this time the youngest musician in Germany to hold such a post. Zender stayed at Kiel for three years before taking up in 1971 what is possibly his most significant post, that of chief conductor of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he held for thirteen years until 1984. With this orchestra he programmed a large amount of contemporary music, much of which has been preserved through radio recordings. He also led the first performance of Zimmermann’s opera Die Soldaten at Hamburg in 1977.




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