Hans Sigmund Aufrichtig
Born September 5, 1869 in Prague
Died May 26, 1951 in Helsinki
His parents were, Ferdinand Aufrichtig, a painter and principal of the Art Academy of Prague, and Louise Hvizdalek. Hans studied at the Conservatory in Prague and learnt how to play several instruments. His main instrument was the cello and when he finished his studies the Conservatory awarded him with a valuable one. He continued his studies in Berlin where he also, at the beginning of the 1890's, played in an orchestra.
On 1 May 1894, he married Augusta Amalia Eriksson (born April 24, 1869, in Stockholm, died 1943). They had six children:
1. son Ture Leopold, born 1895, violinist, died
2. daughter Magda Johanna, born September 11, 1896. Conductor and music teacher. She was alive in 1997. She was married several times, first to Algot Niska (a renowned bootlegger), then to a Mr Lipsanen (their son is a very well-known pop singer in Finland using the stage name Danny) and thirdly to Mr Yrjönen.
3. son Georg Robert, born April 7, 1899. Musician, moved to New York in 1917.
4. son Hans Birger, born March 24, 1902. Musician, moved to Florida in 1918.
5. daughter Irma Matilda Elise, born April 4, 1907. Married name was Schauman.
6. son Karl Gustaf, born September 30, 1909. Singing in our opera choir 1933-1938 (bass). Moved to Sweden in 1938 and was alive and living in Stockholm in 1997. Changed his name to Carl Gustav Aurula in 1948. He was married to another choir member, but they divorced in 1951.
At the end of the 19th century Hans and Augusta moved to the town of Vaasa on the west coast of Finland. There he worked as a singing teacher from 1901 and a conductor. Occasionally the whole family performed together.
In 1917 they moved to Helsinki and on 10 October 1918 Hans Aufrichtig was asked to join the Finnish Opera Company (Suomalainen Ooppera Oy) and to be in charge of the choir (Choir Master). He was strict but yet well-liked by choir members. The company changed to its present name of The Finnish National Opera in 1956.
Hans left the Choir Master's post on 31 December 1941, when he retired at the age of 72. Along with his "main job" he, in the course of all those years, worked also as a conductor for many operas and ballets. Even after 1941 he occasionally worked as a conductor at the Opera.
While in Helsinki he was organist for the Catholic St. Henry's church even though at that point his religion was Lutheran (like most Finns).
During his years in Helsinki he started composing especially for piano, cello and voice but he also composed music for a play (a fairytale).
He died in 1951 and is buried in Helsinki. Augusta was chiefly a housewife and mother, but had also been a singer (alto) and in the early 1920's had sung in the opera choir for three years. Later she managed a shop that owned by the couple.