Classical World Marks 50th Anniversary Of Kurt Weill's Death

Composed such works as The Threepenny Opera.

Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Kurt Weill, one of this century's most popular and eclectic composers.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Weill's birth, which is being celebrated with new centenary recordings and concerts the world over, featuring everyone from noted Weill interpreter Ute Lemper to pop artist Joe Jackson.

A native German who immigrated to the United States in 1935, Weill is best known for his collaborations with writer Bertolt Brecht,with whom he created such dark, socially critical cabaret-style works as The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, as well as the sung ballet The Seven Deadly Sins.

After moving to America, Weill broke from the European art-music tradition and devoted himself to the Broadway musical, creating such hits as Street Scene, One Touch of Venus, and Lady in the Dark.

Weill's wife, singer and actress Lotte Lenya, created many of his female lead roles, and championed a revival of his work in the 1950s.

In subsequent years, singers ranging from Louis Armstrong, to Lou Reed, Teresa Stratas and Marianne Faithfull have helped to keep Weill's songs a part of popular musical culture.