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Comedian Harmonists

Founded 1927 Berlin by singer Harry Frommermann, born 1906 Berlin, died 1975 Bremen, debut 1928 in one of Erik Charells shows in Berlin. In 1935 the admission of the three so called 'non-aryan' members to the Reichsmusikkammer was refused - Harry Frommermann, Josef (Roman) Cycowski, born 1901 Tussyn, died 1998 Palm Springs, and Erich Collin, born 1899 Berlin, died 1961 Los Angeles, with the help of Kammersaenger Arthur Fleischer found asylum in Vienna. New members of the group were exiled pianist Ernst Engel, born 1901 Berlin, died 1958 Paris, later Fritz Kramer, born 1904 Vienna, died 1988 New York, first tenor Hans Rexeis, born 1901 Lannach near Graz, died 1980 Birkfeld near Graz, and bass Rudolf Mayreder , born 1902 Mariazell, died 1978 St. Pölten, who studied 1934-35 at the Vienna Music Academy. On 23.1.1936 the Universal-Film 'Katharina - die Letzte' (director: Hermann Kosterlitz, producer: Joe Pasternak) had its first performance in Vienna, starring the Comedian Harmonists in their new formation. Extensive, successful tour abroad, 1937 during six months in Australia, 1938 narrow escape to Switzerland, again with the help of Arthur Fleischer. Concert tour to South Africa and South America, 1940 exile in the USA. Rudolf Mayreder remigrated to Austria 1959 and opened a photo shop. Hans Rexeis who after controversies between the singers had lived in Cuba during the war, remigrated to Italy, where he founded a school for singers. Later on he went to Switzerland, 1979 returned to Austria. Also Fritz Kramer spent the war years in Cuba as a piano accompanist (a.o. Yehudi Menuhin), concert pianist and music teacher. 1946-88 teaching position Manhattan School of Music, 1982-88 Mannes School of Music, New York. Erich Collin and Josef Cycowski stayed in the USA, only Harry Frommermann returned definitely to Germany in 1963. Update January 12, 2014 Primavera Driessen Gruber


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Comedian Harmonists




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