Fischer, Günther


Günther Fischer was born on June 23, 1944, in Teplitz-Schönau, Germany (now Teplice, Czech Republic). After training as a music teacher at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium in Zwickau, East Germany, from 1960 to 1963, Fischer studied clarinet, saxophone, composition and arranging at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin from 1965 to 1969, where he also taught composition and arranging in the 1970s.


Fischer has been professionally active for five decades and is one of Germany’s most productive composers. His oeuvre ranges from modern jazz, to soul, to rock. In 1967, he founded his first jazz band and has toured internationally since then. His music became an East German export success, which earned him a permanent visa allowing him to travel and work in Austria, Switzerland, West Germany, Sweden and other countries west of the Iron Curtain, even before the Wall came down in 1989. Fischer has shared the stage with many East German jazz stars, including Manfred Krug, Veronika Fischer and Uschi Brüning, and has performed with international jazz stars like Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Charlie Mariano and Tom O’Hare. He has also collaborated with Oscar-nominated actor and singer Armin Mueller-Stahl since the late 1960s; they released their CD Es gibt Tage… (There Are Days…) in 2010 and have been touring with this program.


Fischer has written countless film scores and songs for feature films, documentaries and television. As a freelance composer, he wrote music for over eighty DEFA film productions from the early 1970s to 1990; these films span all genres, including Westerns, comedies, sci-fi and children’s films. He has worked with many internationally-known directors, including Konrad Wolf, Frank Beyer, Roland Gräf, Thomas Brasch, Bernhard Wicki, Andreas Dresen and Bernhard Sinkel.


Fischer composed “Come Between the Lights,” the unforgettable title song in the East German cult movie Solo Sunny (1979, dirs. Konrad Wolf, Wolfgang Kohlhaase), sung by Regine Doberschütz. In the late 1970s, Fischer was also invited to set lyrics to music for the West German feature film Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (dir. David Hemmings). This film—set in Berlin after the Great War—featured Marlene Dietrich’s last screen appearance and brought together an outstanding international cast, including David Bowie, Curd Jürgens, Kim Novak, Erika Pluhar, Sydne Rome and Maria Schell. After these two smash hits, he wrote the theme music for Ted Post’s crime film Nightkill, with stars Robert Mitchum and Jaclyn Smith in the leading roles.


Fischer’s compositions have been released on many CDs, including a three-CD set with his most important film, pop and jazz hits (2007). Fischer’s daughter, the singer Laura Fischer, joined Günther Fischer & Band in 2010. Together they recorded the CD Günther Fischer & Weimarer Staatskapelle – Live in Weimar (2015).


Günther Fischer has also written the musicals Jack the Ripper (1989) and Marilyn (1992), as well as music for ballet, opera and theater plays at the Deutsches Theater, Vienna Burgtheater and Schauspielhaus Zurich. He lives in both Germany and Ireland.


[See also:]

Festivals & Awards:

1986 Best Score, GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt, for Das Haus am Fluss
1980 Best Score, GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt, for Solo Sunny


2016 Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
2015 James Dean lernt kochen (James Dean Learns to Cook, short)
2012 Sushi in Suhl
2009 Whisky mit Wodka (Whisky with Vodka)
2004-2017 Familie Dr. Kleist (Circle of Life, TV series)
2003 Verliebte Diebe (Thieves in Love, TV)
2002 Tanners letzte Chance (Tanner's Last Chance, TV)
2000 The New Adventures of Pinocchio
1998-2007 Der letzte Zeuge (The Last Witness, TV series)
1998-1999 Die Straßen von Berlin (The Streets of Berlin, TV series)
1996-2003 Für alle Fälle Stefanie (In All Cases Stefanie, TV series)
1995 Tödliches Geld (Deadly Money, TV)
1994-1996 Hallo, Onkel Doc! (Hello, Uncle Doc!, TV series)
1993 Der Kinoerzähler (The Movie Teller)
1991 Ende der Unschuld (The End of  Innocence, TV) 
1991 Der Verdacht (The Suspicion)
1991 Farßmann oder zu Fuß in die Sackgasse (Farssmann, or On Foot Down a Dead End)
1991 Bronsteins Kinder (Bronstein’s Children)
1990 Der Tangospieler (The Tango Player)
1989 Der Streit um des Esels Schatten (The Fight about the Donkey's Shadow)
1989 Das Spinnennetz (The Spider’s Web)
1989 Grüne Hochzeit (Just Married)
1988 Einer trage des anderen Last (Bear Ye One Another's Burden)
1988 Judgement in Berlin
1988 Der Passagier - Welcome to Germany
1988 Der Bruch (The Break-In)
1987 Der Froschkönig (The Frog Prince)
1987 Sansibar oder Der letzte Grund (Sansibar or The Last Reason, TV)
1987 Die Entfernung zwischen mir und dir und ihr (The Distance Between You and Me and Her)
1987 Die Alleinseglerin (The Solo Sailor)
1986 Der Bärenhäuter (The Bear-Skinned Man)
1985 Die Zeit, die bleibt (The Time that Remains, TV, doc.)
1985 Die Grünstein-Variante (The Grünstein Variant)
1985 Das Haus am Fluss (The House on the River)
1985 Didi und die Rache der Enterbten (Nonstop Trouble with the Family)
1983 Bockshorn (Taken for a Ride)
1983 Copyright by Luther
1983 Der Prinz hinter den sieben Meeren (The Prince Beyond the Seven Seas)
1983 Fariaho
1982 Der Aufenthalt (Held for Questioning)
1981 Märkische Forschungen (Exploring the Mark Brandenburg)
1981 Der König und sein Narr (The King and His Jester, TV)
1981 Bürgschaft für ein Jahr (On Probation)
1980 Nightkill
1980 Pugowitza (Pugovitsa)
1980 Und nächstes Jahr am Balaton (And Next Year By Lake Balaton)
1980 Darf ich Petruschka zu Dir sagen? (May I Call You Petruschka?)
1979 Solo Sunny
1979 Glück im Hinterhaus (Rear House Bliss)
1978 Geschlossene Gesellschaft (Closed Society, TV)
1978 Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo (Just a Gigolo)
1978 Severino
1978 Des Henkers Bruder (The Hangman's Brother)
1978 P.S.
1977 Das Versteck (The Hiding Place)
1977 Die Flucht (The Flight)
1977 Ein irrer Duft von frischem Heu (The Wonderful Smell of Fresh Hay)
1977 Feuer unter Deck (Fire Below Deck)
1977 Disco 22: Puhdys II (Disco Film 22: The Puhdys)
1976 Vier Kapitel DDR (Four Chapters on the GDR)
1976 Ottokar, der Weltverbesserer (Ottokar, The World Reformer)
1976 Hostess
1974 Hans Röckle und der Teufel (Hans Röckle and the Devil)
1973 Wie füttert man einen Esel (How Do You Feed a Donkey?)
1973 Der Wüstenkönig von Brandenburg (The Desert King of Brandenburg)
1973 Die sieben Affären der Dona Juanita (Dona Juanita’s Seven Affairs, TV mini-series)
1972 Eolomea
1972 Tecumseh
1972 Ferien und das alte Haus (Vacation and the Old House)

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