Dr. Friedrich ( " Fritz ") KRAMER
Fritz Kramer was born on November 12, 1904 in Vienna, the son of Jewish parents. He studied music at the Vienna Conservatory with Richard Robert (Piano), Otto Stieglitz (Cello), Otto Berg (composition) and Rudolf Nilius (conducting).
Fritz Kramer was a pianist and coach at the Volksoper Wien, in the early 1930s he belonged to the orchestra At the Scala Theater in Vienna under Hanns Robert Korngold. Here, together with Paul Weiss, he was also involved in the composition of the musical play "Sie, Johann ...!" By Ernst Behrendt and Fritz Grünbaum. Fritz Kramer married his first wife Herma Gertrude ( "Gerti") Kramer (* 1901).
In the summer of 1937, his body was offered as a pianist of the Comedy Harmonists, as a substitute for Ernst Engel, who retired because of personal problems in Paris. His first concert with the group was Fritz Kramer on July 22, 1937, in Perth's "His Majesty's Theater". Shortly thereafter, he infected with youngsters in Australia. In 1938 the Kramer family lived in Invalidenstr. 17. After the flight of the comedy harmonists from Vienna they lived in London, Harley Road 5. His wife Gerti accompanied him on tours through Australia, South and North America.
Like several other members of the comedy harmonists, Fritz Kramer continued to focus on music after the dissolution of the group in the spring of 1941. He lived first in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire and then went to Cuba together with Hans Rexeis to start his naturalization into the USA. Until 1946 he was there as a concert pianist and music teacher as well as head of the music department of the Buena Vista College in Havana and wrote the music for radio plays of a radio station. In Havana, Fritz Kramer met the Cuban Aurelio de la Vega, lecturer at the music institute "Ada Inglesias", whom he had already met at the Vienna Conservatory. De la Vega later became a well-known composer and after studying the foreign policy culture of the Cuban Consulate in Los Angeles. After returning to the USA, Fritz Kramer accompanied renowned soloists at the piano in the following years. At the turn of the year 1946/47, he performed with the colorful opera singer Camilla Williams from the New York Opera House with songs by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Bizet and played solo extracts from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite". The tenor Ferruccio Tagliavini was also accompanied by the violinist Jascha Veissi by Fritz Kramer. At the end of the year 1947 Kramer went on tour with the baritone Igor Gorin from Austria, whom he probably already knew from his time in Vienna. During her several months of concert tours, which she also conducted in eight cities of Canada, Fritz Kramer accompanied operas from Brahms, Handel, Debussy and Moussorgski, as well as songs by composers like Benjamin Britten and Heitor Villa-Lobos, and presented their own solo interpretations by Brahms and Chopin as well as the Strauss-Waltz "G'schichten aus der Wiener Wald". 1947/48 he joined together with a harpist on as a companion for the recitatives of artist Michael Strange.
On December 11, 1950 Fritz Kramer was naturalized in the United States. In the following years he was a piano teacher in New York, among others at New York University. He lived on West End Avenue 255 and was in personal contact with Harry Frohman and Rudolf Mayreder. In 1952 Fritz Kramer became acquainted with his later second wife, Eleonore (4/23/1926), who lived in New York and was in search of a vocal teacher. The Polish-born kindergarden had fled in 1945 before the approaching Russian troops and later emigrated to America. On February 23, 1952 Fritz Kramer appeared in the New York Town Hall with a Kurt Weill memorandum with the pianist Walter Joseph, who was a pianist of the original comedian harmonists in 1931. They were accompanied by 11 singers from Weill's "Dreigroschenoper". In April 1952, Fritz Kramer took over the piano accompaniment of the Argentine soprano Regina Taddia to opernaries from "The Magic Flute", "The Marriage of Figaro", "La Boheme" and songs by South American composers. In the same year he performed songs by Schubert and Saint Saens with the violinist Olive Kailasam. In 1953 he accompanied the Hungarian-born actress Ilona Massey to songs by Franz Lehar.
In the mid-1950s, Fritz Kramer was considered a pianist for Erich Collin's planned new American group. Also a group of Frohmans with the cooperation of Rudolf Mayreder was temporarily in discussion. But all these plans came to nothing, because Kramer was contracted.
1956 initiated Fritz Kramer together with Franzi Ascher 15 weekly opera concerts of the New School of Music in New York. At the end of the 1950s he accompanied Chorkonzerte in New York at the piano. In addition, Fritz Kramer worked as a piano accompanist for famous artists such as the French Zino Francescatti, the Polish-Jewish soloist Henryk Szeryng, and Yehudi Menuhin for Sol Hurok, the artist's agency of Sol Hurok, who had already organized the concert tour of the Comedy Harmonists in the USA. In 1961 Fritz Kramer married his second wife Eleanor. In the same year he accompanied the tenor Marco Sorisio and his brother Roberto (baritone) at a concert in New York on the piano. Between 1961 and 1965, Fritz Kramer conducted numerous one-week theoretical courses (pre-philharmonic lectures) for the New York Philharmonic Society at the Lincoln Center. From 1965 until his death, he worked as a doctor of musicology at the Manhattan School of Music and taught music history as well as music history and literature.He studied, among others, Richard A. Gradone, later professor of music at New York University. In 1966 Fritz Kramer accompanied the altist Lione Jodis to the piano. He also taught private students such as the later composer, computer musician and professor of music Neil Burton Rolnick as well as the conductor William Shoucair, founder and director of the Dorchester Symphony Orchestra and the Jamaica Plain Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Fritz Kramer participated in music festivals in Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich and Edinburgh, and for several years presented the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth and Seattle. He also gave lectures on music and from 1982 to 1988 additionally at a music college in New York. He also worked as a soloist and spent evenings with compositions from Franz Schubert to Cole Porter. In the summer months, he returned repeatedly to Sugar Hill back, but also regularly visited his native Austria, where he also met with Rudolf Mayreder.
Fritz Kramer died on February 15, 1988 in New York.
It was not until after his death in May 1989, children's opera "One Day in the Woods" premiered by the children's book writer Jean Craighead George, music by Fritz Kramer motifs by Strauss and Wagner.
Eleanor Kramer died in the summer of 2012. Her ashes were buried together with Fritz Kramer in Sugar Hill. She left the North Country Chamber Players a considerable donation to the organization of school concerts and to support young musicians.