Franz Josef Breuer

Born: January 30th, 1914, Wuppertal-Elberfeld (Germany)
Died: July 3rd, 1996, Hamburg (Germany)
Nationality: German

Franz Josef Breuer left his mark on German music mainly as an arranger. He wrote new orchestrations to Mozart’s ‘Ave verum corpus’ and worked with classical singers as Fritz Wunderlich and Maria Stader. He also re-worked folk songs (‘Und in dem Schneegebirge’, ‘Als wir jüngst in Regensburg waren’, etc.) and an occasional Schlager (e.g. ‘La paloma’ for Freddy Quinn). He composed march-songs for wind band and music for children, amongst which an entire musical, ‘Tischlein, deck dich…’.

In 1960, surprisingly, the West German Eurovision heats were not won by Heidi Brühl with her ‘Wir wollen niemals auseinander gehen’, but by an unknown singer called Wyn Hoop, who performed a subtle bolero melody, ‘Bonne nuit, ma chérie!’ (lyrics: Kurt Schwabach, music: Franz Josef Breuer). In the pre-selection, held in Wiesbaden that year, all songs were conducted by the musical director of the show, Willy Berking. In the Eurovision Song Contest final in London, however, Franz Josef Breuer conducted his composition himself. ‘Bonne nuit, ma chérie!’ reached one of the best results for a West German entry in the early years of the contest, a fourth position.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Franz Josef Breuer will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1960: Bonne nuit ma chérie