Paul Tietjens (b. St. Louis, May 22, 1877; d. St. Louis, Nov. 25, 1943), is best known for the score that he wrote for the stage production of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. The successful production ran from 1902-1907 in Chicago staring the well-known team of Fred Stone and Dave Montgomery. The St. Louis Municipal Opera (the Muny) revived the show in August of 1962.
Tietjens was educated here in St. Louis receiving his musical instruction through his mother, Marcus Epstein and Ernest R. Kroeger. At 15, he appeared as a soloist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 1902 he continued his studies in Europe under Harold Bauer, Hugo Kaun and Theodor Leschetizky.
Other important compositions include an opera, The Tents of the Arabs, Carnival, which was presented by Rudolph Ganz and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra February 5, 1922, and incidental music for Barrie’s A Kiss for Cinderella. Tietjens composed symphonies, chamber works, sonatas, and numerous songs.
The success of his early stage work allowed him to live abroad or in New York throughout the remainder of his life. Tietjens occasionally visited St. Louis until May of 1942 when he became ill and made his home here. He died in 1943 at the home of his sister, Mrs. Louis A Dammert, who gave his music manuscripts to the Gaylord Music Library in January of 1961.