German pianist, composer and arranger Kurt-Heinz Stolze (1926–70) was Kapellmeister for the Württemberg State Theatre. In his role he created many arrangements for John Cranko, including of Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s music for the ballet Onegin, for which Stolze is best known today.
Stolze was born in Hamburg and trained there in piano, organ, conducting and composition. On graduating he worked as a répétiteur in Hamburg and for the Royal Swedish Opera, and accompanied Fritz Wunderlich in recording. In the late 1950s he was appointed Kapellmeister of the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart. His arrangements for Cranko and Stuttgart Ballet included of Scarlatti for The Taming of the Shrew, of Bach for Kyrie eleison and of Vivaldi for L’estro armonico.
Stolze’s original music included for Cranko’s ballet Wir reisen nach Jerusalem.
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Our quick guide to John Cranko's soaring narrative ballet.