Hans Heinsheimer

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Hans Heinsheimer (Sept. 25, 1900 in Karlsruhe – Oct 12, 1993 in New York City) was a music publisher, author, and journalist.

Life and Works[edit]

After obtaining a law degree and working as an unpaid intern, Heinsheimer was hired at age 23 by the grand rights (staged works) division of Viennese music publisher Universal Edition, eventually becoming head of the opera department. There he supported composers Alban Berg and Leoš Janáček and wrote many articles for the music periodical Anbruch ("Dawn") about issues in the music industry and the sociology of music. He was the force behind Universal's hugely popular successes in the 1920s: Jaromír Weinberger's opera Schwanda the Bagpiper and Ernst Krenek's Jonny spielt auf. He also dabbled as a stage director, including productions of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

He was on a business trip to New York City during the Austrian Anschluss in 1938 and did not return to Austria. He found employment with the major music publisher Boosey & Hawkes and was instrumental in Boosey's publication of the works of Béla Bartók, who emigrated in 1940. Heinsheimer supported the indigent composer whose leukemia contributed to increasingly poor health through a conspiracy to channel funds disguised as record royalties. At Boosey, he promoted the performance of Aaron Copland's El Salón México, and his efforts were important for establishing the popularity of the

According to Bernard Holland (The New York Times, October 14, 1993), Heinsheimer was dismissed from Boosey in 1947 because of the head of the firm, Ralph Hawkes disliked his first book, Menagerie in F Sharp. Heinsheimer went to work for the largest American music publisher at the time, Schirmer,[vague] becoming its vice-president in 1972. He managed the publications of composers including Leonard Bernstein, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Samuel Barber, and also brought out Albert Schweitzer's edition of Bach's organ works. He was described in his New York Times obituary as "One of the most influential classical-music publishers of the 20th century."[this quote needs a citation]


He wrote Best Regards to Aida (1968), a biography of music publishers. This and his other memoirs are important biographical sources of information about 20th-century composers. After his retirement in 1977, he contributed many articles to the supplement to first edition of the large German music encyclopedia, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Also, in his retirement, he made many special contributions to the arts section (Feuilleton) of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).


  • Menagerie in F-Sharp (New York, 1947)
  • Fanfare for Two Pigeons (New York, 1952)
  • Best Regards to Aida (New York, 1968)

External links[edit]