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Hans Erdmann

1882 - 1942

The film composer Hans Erdmann was born as Hans Thimotheos Erdmann Guckel in Breslau.

He first studied violin, composition and music theory, afterwards he worked as a concertmaster at the Schauspielhaus Breslau.
His artisitc career was interrupted by World War I where he served as a soldier. After the war followed engagements at the theaters in Riga and Jena where he was able to continue his musical passion again.

At the beginning of the 20s he came in touch with the film business and he wrote his first compositions for cinema performances. His most popular film composition came into being for the German silent movie classic "Nosferatu" (22) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau with Max Schreck in the leading role.

Despite this successes Hans Erdmann did not realise other film compositions, instead he turned towards different publications as an editor, among them the magazine "Filmtechnik", the "Reichsfilmblatt" as well as the magazine "Film - Ton - Kunst", where he dealt with the background music of silent movies.

With his engagement at the conservatory in Berlin in the field "Akademie für Filmmusik" from 1928 he became an important teacher of film music. He gave numerous young composers an understanding of this seminal media.

Only from 1930 Hans Erdmann wrote again own film compositions, first for short movies like "Urwaldsymphonie" (30) and "Mündiges Volk" (31), finally he wrote the film scores for the feature movies "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse" (33) directed by Fritz Lang with Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gustav Diessl, Rudolf Schündler and Theo Lingen and "August der Starke" (36) directed by Paul Wegener with Michael Bohnen, Lil Dagover, Marieluise Claudius and Franz Schaftheitlin.