Werner Wolf Glaser (1913)

Werner Wolf Glaser

was born on 14th. April 1913 in Cologne. At the age of thirteen his mother gave him his first piano lessons. His mother, Julia Wolff, was a concert pianist and student of Clara Schumann. He studied composition by Philipp Jarnach at the Rhine Music Academy in Cologne and later by Paul Hindemith in Berlin. In 1931 he was appointed assistant conductor in the opera-house in Chemnitz. A position which he soon lost, because of his Jewish ancestry. At the beginning of April 1933 he left his homeland and fled to France. From 1934 until the invasion of the German troops in 1943, he was very successful in Copenhagen. Finally he fled into Swedish exile. In 1945 he founded with others the Music Academy Västeras on Mälerensee, where he was the Principal until he retired. Glaser was well-known to the public as composer, music teacher and poet. For many years he was also the President of the Swedish Music Therapists. Glaser has been a music critic for the local Swedish newspaper for over fifty years.

The complete range of his musical works, including music for young musicians and compositions for teaching purposes, comprises nearly 1000 pieces of music. Glaser also composed a number of solo pieces. All forms of instruments were considered in his works and none left out. A large collection of works for chamber music, 14 pieces for string quartets, 13 symphonies, six operas, ballet music, musical scenes as well as songs and music for choirs, demonstrate his enormous creative diversity. For his contributions to Swedish music he was awarded the Swedish Medal for Distinguished Service of the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm in 1993. The medal was presented to him by the Swedish King.

The short pieces for eight hands are original works of the composer and they are being published for the first time. Glaser wrote them in 1962 for his piano lessons with student groups. If the octavo is left out for the student, most of the pieces are playable. If necessary the music can be played on one piano. Unfortunately much of the original musical vibrancy is lost in this case.

January 2001 Ottfried Richter (Principal of the Municipal School of Song and Music)