Walter Kollo, one of founders of Berlin operetta is under the heading "Desuete Names"

Today is the 145th birth anniversary of Walter Kollo, one of the three composers that founded the Berlin operetta genre, along with Paul Linke and Jean Gilbert.

Walter Kollo was born in the city of Nidzica in East Prussia. He received musical education at the Königsberg Sondershausen music conservatory, refusing to associate his life with salesmanship and inherit his father’s business. He worked in Königsberg as a conductor in one of the local theaters for a short time, and in 1899, he left for Berlin, where he devoted himself to composing lighthearted music. Since 1908, Walter Kollo had been writing music for popular with the audience theaters in Berlin. His renowned works were -- the operetta “Wie einst im Mai” (Once, in May) 1913 and “Filmzauber” (The Magic of Cinema), 1912. Since 1915, he was involved in composing film music. Kollo was the author of several dozen operettas, musicals and composer of film music. The name of Walter Kollo was the most known in Germany as the light music composer for several decades. His creative work became a symbiosis of the Berlin street culture and the naivety and coziness of East Prussia.

New musical genre appeared in the 1920’s -- the Berlin operetta. Paul Lincke (1866-1946), Walter Kollo (1866-1946) and Max Winterfeld, who took the stage name Jean Gilbert (1879-1942) were the composers that developed it. Review article on the development of the Berlin Operetta genre is in the section "Articles and Reviews".

Musical selection of the Berlin Operetta genre works, recorded from the musical media Welte Mignon and Helios that are stored in the Museum Collection is posted in our Sound Library.