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Hugo Distler

1908-1942. German composer, perhaps the most influential composer of church music in Germany between the two world wars. In 1931 he began a series of musical vespers in Lübeck reminiscent of those of Buxtehude* in the seventeenth century. In Stuttgart he came under the influence of Orff and Hindemith. He strove in his compositions to create functional church music in a contemporary idiom that would carry on the great musical tradition of the Lutheran past. He was honored with professorial rank and made the conductor of the Staats und Domchor in Berlin. He took his own life rather than be conscripted into the Nazi army.