- Category : 1894-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (8,20,50,57,59)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Education 2
German composer and conductor, who composed operas, scenic plays, incidental music, ballets, symphonies and other works for orchestra, and pieces for solo instruments as well as vocal music. From the 1920s on, he was fascinated by film music. He composed music for early movies of Walt Disney, as well as background music for silent pictures and early German films. While in exile in Paris he wrote the oratorio Hagadah shel Pessach after a libretto by Max Brod. In the 1950s in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht he focused on the musical theatre.
In 1933 Dessau emigrated to France, and in 1939 moved further to the United States, where initially he lived in New York before moving to Hollywood in 1943. Dessau returned to Germany and settled in East Berlin in 1948.
Paul Dessau was married four times: Gudrun Kabisch (1924), Elisabeth Hauptmann (1948), Antje Ruge (1952), and choreographer and director Ruth Berghaus (1954). With Ruth Berghaus, he had a son, Maxim Dessau (b. 1954) who is a film director.
Dessau died on 28 June 1979 at the age of 84, in the then East German city of Königs Wusterhausen, on the outskirts of Berlin.