Robert StolzBorn: August 25th, 1880, Graz (Austro-Hungarian Empire)
Died: June 27th, 1975, West Berlin (West Germany)
When the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, Stolz fled to Paris. Two years later, he moved to the United States, where he continued to work as film composer, winning two Oscar nominations, meanwhile making nationwide tours with an orchestra playing his greatest successes. In ’46, he returned to his beloved Vienna, where he continued to work as a composer up to very high age (Stolz died when he was 94). Studio recordings of his best-loved compositions were sold world-wide and made him a multi-millionaire. He won countless prizes in many different countries, including an oeuvre award at the Grand Gala du Disque (Amsterdam, 1966).
In 1960, the Austrian broadcaster commissioned Robert Stolz to compose a song for the Eurovision Song Contest. He came up with ‘Du hast mich so fasziniert’, a romantic, quite old-fashioned-sounding ballad sung by Harry Winter; the lyrics were written by one of his regular librettists, Robert Gilbert. At the contest in London, Stolz conducted the orchestra for Winter, making him – 79 years of age at that time – the oldest person ever to have led a Eurovision orchestra. The Austrian entry came seventh in a field of thirteen competing countries.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Robert Stolz will be published on this website