Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) was a German composer, music theorist, teacher, violist and conductor.
Hindemith was born in Hanau, Germany. As a child, he was taught the violin. He continued with violin at Frankfurt's Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium, as well as conducting and composition. He became deputy leader of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra in 1914 and was promoted to concertmaster in 1916.
Hindemith was conscripted into the Imperial German Army in September 1917 where he was assigned to play bass drum in the regiment band. He also formed a string quartet. In May 1918, he was deployed to the front in Flanders, where he served as a sentry (his diary has him "surviving grenade attacks only by good luck").
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. He supported the music of avant-garde composers, including Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg. In 1927 he was appointed Professor at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik in Berlin.
His relationship with the Nazis was always strained and he emigrated to Switzerland in 1938, partly because his wife was of part-Jewish ancestry.
Arriving in the U.S. in 1940, he taught primarily at Yale University. Among his notable students were Lukas Foss, Norman Dello Joio, Harold Shapero, Ruth Schönthal, Samuel Adler, Fenno Heath, Tony-winning composer Mitch Leigh, and Oscar-winning film director George Roy Hill.
Hindemith became a U.S. citizen in 1946, but returned to Europe in 1953, living in Zürich and teaching at the university there until he retired from teaching in 1957.
Kammermusik No. 7, Op. 46, No. 2, was composed in 1927 as a concerto for organ and chamber orchestra.
It is dedicated to "Frankfurt Radio" a station where a new organ had just been installed. It was premiered on radio with Ludwig Rottenberg, conductor and Reinhold Merten, organist.