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A merchant's son, he was originally supposed to take his father's trade, but was able to devote himself to the study of music in the Königsberg Sondershausen music conservatory with his mother's help. He became a theater conductor for a brief time in Königsberg before going to Berlin in 1899. In Berlin, he turned towards popular / light music, and from 1908, wrote music for the popular musical theater. It was in 1910 with Willy Bredschneider that he composed his first great success, Posse Große Rosinen, produced on New Year's Eve 1911. Somewhat prolifically, he continued composing musical comedies, farces and operettas, notably, with among other pieces, im Mai (1913; darin: Es war in Schöneberg, im Monat Mai; Die Männer sind alle Verbrecher), Der Juxbaron (1916), Drei alte Schachteln (1917) and Die Frau ohne Kuß (1924).
Kollo also emerged as a composer of revues and sound films in 1915, was one of the founders of the performer's rights organization GEMA, and had his own music publishing company. Later he made successful concert tours as a conductor of his own works.