(b Prague, 30 Nov. 1899; d Auschwitz [Oświęcim], 18 Oct. 1944). Czech composer. From a wealthy Jewish family, he studied composition with Zemlinsky and worked briefly as a répétiteur at the German Theatre in Prague. His Symphony for Small Orchestra (1926) and his first opera, Verlobung im Traum (‘The Betrothal in a Dream’, 1933), were notable successes. In 1941 he was sent to Terezín, where he continued to compose, among other works a fine Dance for string trio. His early works show the influence of both Schoenberg and Stravinsky, but his later music has a clear personal accent, notably the remarkable children's opera Brundibár (‘Bumble-Bee’, 1938), which also makes use of popular idioms. In 1944 he was transported to Auschwitz and killed.
From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.