Gotthardt, Peter


Peter Gotthardt was born in Leipzig on August 22, 1941. From 1961 to 1966 he studied piano, conducting and composition at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” (Hanns Eisler Music Academy). From 1975 to 1976, he was director of incidental music at the Volkstheater Rostock, and since 1976 he has worked as a freelance composer. In 1991, Gotthardt founded the music publishing house, Verlagshaus Gotthardt. And one year later, he launched the Tonfilm Orchester Berlin (Berlin Sound Film Orchestra).


Gotthardt collaborated with notable East German singers, actors and directors, including Ernst Busch, Heiner Carow, Herrmann Zschoche, Rolf Losansky and Ralf Kirsten. At the beginning of the 1960s, he wrote his first film scores for the documentary filmmaker Winfried Junge (Filmsommerliches, Studentinnen), and he would continue throughout his career to write scores for film and television. From the 1970s to the 1980s, he also wrote the scores for popular TV series, such as the East German crime series Polizeiruf 110.


In 1968, Gotthardt began a productive and ongoing collaboration with the director Heiner Carow on his film, Die Russen kommen. He went on to work with Carow on important DEFA films, such as Die Legende von Paul und Paula, for which he wrote the title songs “Geh zu ihr” and “Wenn ein Mensch lebt,” which became hits in the GDR. The songs were performed by the rock band Puhdys, and they paved the way to the band’s stellar success. Carow and Gotthardt also collaborated on the youth film Ikarus, as well as on Bis daß der Tod euch scheidet, a film about marriage, parenting, work and gender identity in East Germany.

Gotthardt also worked with director Herrmann Zschoche on some of his best-known youth and coming-of-age films, such as Liebe mit 16, Sieben Sommersprossen and Insel der Schwäne. In 1986, Gotthardt scored Ralf Kirsten’s artist biography, Käthe Kollwitz – Bilder eines Lebens.


Peter Gotthardt is credited with composing and producing the music for over 500 films. His work ranges from film and television, to ballet music, to oratorios to chamber, opera and rock music. In 1990, he was awarded the Ernst-Reuter Prize for his original audiobook composition, “Ich schlage vor, den Beifall kurz zu halten” (“I Suggest Keeping with a Short Applause”).


In 2015, Gotthardt celebrated his 50th anniversary in the film industry with the release of a 6-CD set, Das filmmusikalische Testament (A Testament of Film Music), which includes compositions from his oeuvre. He is currently working on a book about the writing of the film score for Die Legende von Paul und Paula, and he is organizing a multimedia event about film scores. 


2008 Kategorie C (Category C, doc)
2004 Hitlerkantate (Hitler Cantata)
2003 Ewige Schönheit (Eternal Beauty, doc)
1997 Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (The Captain of Köpenick)
1996 Der Unhold (The Ogre)
1988 Gabriel, komm zurück (Gabriel, Come Back, TV)
1987 Das Eichsfeld (The Eichsfeld Region)
1987 Eindrücke – Gedanken – Tatsachen (Impressions – Thoughts – Facts)
1987 Ernst Barlach in Güstrow, (Ernst Barlach in Güstrow, short, doc.)
1987 Käthe Kollwitz  Bilder eines Lebens (Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life)
1987 Einzug ins Paradies (Moving to Paradise, TV series)
1984 Wo andere schweigen (Where Others Keep Silent)
1984 Ich liebe Victor (I Love Victor, TV)
1982 Insel der Schwäne (Swan Island)
1980 Lebensläufe - Die Geschichte der Kinder von Golzow in einzelnen Porträts (Children of Golzow: Individual Portraits)
1979 Das gestohlene Gesicht (The Stolen Face)
1978 Brandstellen (Fire Scenes)
1978 Bis daß der Tod euch scheidet (Until Death Do Us Part)
1978 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot (Snow White and Rose Red)
1978 Sieben Sommersprossen (Seven Freckles)
1976 Die Lindstedts (The Lindstedts, TV series)
1975 Blumen für den Mann im Mond (Flowers for the Man in the Moon)
1975 Ikarus (Icarus)
1974-89 Polizeiruf 110 (Police Call 110, TV series)
1974 ...und jeder hatte einen Namen (And Everyone Had a Name)
1974 Liebe mit 16 (Love at 16)
1973 ...verdammt, ich bin erwachsen (Damn It, I'm Grown Up)
1972 Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula)
1970 Hirde Dyama
1970 Guinea heute (Guinea Today)
1968/87 Die Russen kommen (The Russians Are Coming)
1968/71 Karriere (Career)
1967 Der tapfere Schulschwänzer (The Valiant Truant, short, doc.)
1965 StudentinnenEindrücke von einer Technischen Hochschule (trans. Female Students – Impressions of a Technical College, doc.)
1965 Die Schönsten der Welt (The Beauties of the World, short, doc.)
1964 Filmsommerliches (A Filmic Summer, short, doc.)

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