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Death of an Aussie wanderer

The composer Felix Werder has died in Melbourne, aged 90. Born in Berlin, he fled the Nazis to England in 1933. At the outbreak of war, he was interned as an enemy alien and in 1940 deported with his father to Australia.

A prolific composer, Werder formed an Australia Felix ensemble that toured Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time of his death he was preparing the premiere of his 19th string quartet.

Here is an appreciation (auf Deutsch) by the Entartete Musik and emigration historian, Albrecht Duemling.

Although his death was announced by the Australian Music Centre on May 3, no Australian newspaper has reported it – despite Werder having been an active music critic for many years on The Age in Melbourne.

UPDATE: The Age has now (May 9) published a full obituary by a close associate, describing Werder as a progressive force in Australian music. Read it here.

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