Best remembered for his fairy tale opera Hänsel und Gretel, Englebert Humperdinck was a German composer in the late 19th century. He studied music at the Cologne Conservatory, and from there won a scholarship to study in Munich. A further award enabled him to be mentored by fellow composer Richard Wagner, whose influence is evident in Humperdinck's theatrical works. Wagner was so fond of Humperdinck, that he engaged him as a tutor to his son, Siegfried.
His lesser known operas include Die Heirat wider Willen, Dornröschen, Bübchens Weihnachtstraum, Königskinder and The Miracle, and his other compositions include many choral works, works for piano, an orchestral suite, and several lieder. Like Hänsel und Gretel many of his other works were based in fairy tales, often adapted from the Brothers Grimm, and they demonstrate a true genius in their representations of the world through a child's eyes.
His unusual name has inspired many people, long after his death, including being adopted by the singer Arnold Dorsey in 1965, and being used as the name for an asteroid belt in 1977.
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