Johannes Fehring

Born: November 14th, 1926, Vienna (Austria)
Died: January 4th, 2004, Vienna (Austria)
Nationality: Austrian

From 1945 onwards, Johannes Fehring (pseudonym of Johannes Fernbach) studied composition, conducting as well as music science. To finance his studies, he played the piano in the jazz orchestra of Walter Heidrich, which was very popular with American soldiers who frequented the Embassy Club where the ensemble often performed. It was not long before Fehring started composing; between 1949 and 1975, he wrote the scores of over sixty motion pictures, amongst others ‘Mariandl’, ‘Schwejks Flegeljahre’, and ‘Zirkuskinder’. In 1954, he opened a record store in Vienna, and, one year after that, he compiled an orchestra of his own, the Tanzorchester Johannes Fehring, specializing in jazz and popular music; Fehring wrote most of the arrangements himself. The orchestra became a household name in Austrian music industry and performed in concerts with some of the best-known artists from Austria and abroad: Peter Alexander, Udo Jürgens, Freddy Quinn, Catherina Valente, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gilbert Bécaud are just a few of the singers which were accompanied by Fehring’s ensemble. On numerous occasions, it was involved in emissions for the Austrian national broadcaster ORF, amongst which the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967.

Meanwhile, Fehring took up several other jobs. For a spell of three years (1963-1966), he was the leader of the Tanzorchester of WDR, a West German broadcaster based in Cologne. In 1965, he became musical director of the Theater an der Wien, to which he remained faithful for eighteen years. Working with his own orchestra, he accompanied many musicals performed in the theatre, such as ‘Cabaret’, ‘Anatevka’, ‘Hello Dolly’, and ‘Evita’. In ’82, he did a European tour with the Münchener Rundfunkorchester. Moreover, Fehring worked extensively as an arranger and producer in the recording studios with Marianne Mendt, Peter Alexander and many more. In 1983, Fehring decided to withdraw from the showbiz industry.

Johannes Fehring stood at the cradle of the career of one of the most successful recording artists of the German language area of all times. Udo Jürgens started performing with Fehring’s Tanzorchester. In 1964, Jürgens took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first of three consecutive times. Although his self-penned song ‘Warum nur warum?’ had been recorded with the Rudi Bauer Orchestra, Jürgens chose to be accompanied by Johannes Fehring as his conductor in the contest, held in Copenhagen. Commercially the song, which came a respectable sixth, became a first success for Jürgens. Two years later, Jürgens won the Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg (without Fehring as his conductor though – this time, Hans Hammerschmid was the chef d’orchestre) and, so, in 1967, the contest came to Vienna. In the Wiener Hofburg, Johannes Fehring’s orchestra accompanied all seventeen competing entries. For the Austrian entry, ‘Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt’ sung by Peter Horten, Fehring took up the baton himself.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Johannes Fehring will be published on this website



Songs conducted
1964: Warum nur, warum?
1967: Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt

Musical director
1967: Vienna