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Hans Gál was born in 1890 in Brunn am Gebirge, next to Vienna. He was composer, scientist and author of numerous musicological studies and books. He studied music theory and composition with Eusebius Mandyczewski (a close friend of Brahms) and Guido Adler, as well as piano with Ladislav Ungar and Richard Robert. When he was awarded the PhD in 1913 at the University of Vienna, he already was a well-known personality. He achieved plenty national and international awards for his orchestra and chamber music works. His opera “The SacredDuck” (1923) was an enormous success. From 1918 until 1929 Gál was lector for music theory at the University of Vienna; he then went to Germany to take up his duties as director of the Conservatory in Mainz.
He had to quit this position because of his Hungarian-Jewish roots, when Hitler came to power. The Nazis prohibited performing his works and Gál immigrated to Scotland right before the “Anschluss”. In 1945 he was asked to teach at the University of Edinburgh. He also was one of the people who helped to realise the Edinburgh Festival. Until his dead, Gál continued his studies and writings. Besides he also worked as a conductor. He died in 1987 at the age of 97 in Edinburgh.