Hugo Kaun

Hugo Wilhelm Ludwig Kaun (March 21, 1863 – April 2, 1932) was a German composer, conductor, and music teacher.

Kaun was born in Berlin, and completed his musical training in his native city. In 1886 (or 1887), he left Germany for the United States and settled in Milwaukee, which was home to a well-established German immigrant community . As the conductor of local choral societies such as the Milwaukee Liederkranz and the Milwaukee Men's Choir, Kaun quickly acquired an important influence over the city's musical life. He also taught at the conservatory, where his colleagues included Wilhelm Middelschulte. Kaun's eldest son, Bernhard Kaun, later became a composer of film scores in Hollywood.

At the turn of the century, Kaun returned to Germany and continued his teaching in Berlin. Although he received numerous lucrative offers of employment from abroad, these inducements could not persuade him to leave Berlin a second time. In 1912, he was appointed to the Prussian Academy of Arts. He chronicled his eventful life in his autobiography Aus meinem Leben (From My Life). He died in Berlin.

Kaun composed in a Romantic style for a wide range of genres, including operas, symphonies, tone poems, pieces for solo organ and piano, as well as works for other combinations of instruments. His opera Der Fremde was first performed at the Dresden Hofoper (now the Semperoper) on 23 February 1920, with a cast including Richard Tauber, Elisabeth Rethberg and Friedrich Plaschke, conducted by Fritz Reiner.

Notable students include composer Fannie Charles Dillon and pianist Myrtle Elvyn.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 21, 1863 (Berlin), Died April 2, 1932 (Berlin)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1912 - 1916

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-11630 10-in. 2/28/1912 Daheim Arthur Van Eweyk Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 44601 10-in. approximately October 1916 Daheim Carl Braun ; Hugo Kaun Male vocal solo, with band composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Kaun, Hugo," accessed August 11, 2022,

Kaun, Hugo. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from

"Kaun, Hugo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 11 August 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license


Send the Editors a message about this record.