Dessau, Paul dĕs´ou [key], 1894–1979, German conductor and composer. As a conductor he worked (1919–23) in Cologne before moving to Berlin from 1925 until 1933. A fervent socialist, he left Germany for the United States where he collaborated with Bertolt Brecht on such works as Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder [Mother Courage and her children] (1941) and Der gute Mensch von Seuzuan (tr. The Good Woman of Setzuan, 1943), writing the music for each. After World War II, Dessau moved back to East Germany where he continued to work with Brecht. His later work includes the opera Einstein (1971).
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