“In today’s world, ‘Harmony’ is an emotionally powerful musical of the greatest import.”
— Chicago Tribune

What happened to The Comedian Harmonists?

Oct 4, 2023

The Comedian Harmonists were a German-Jewish vocal sextet popular in the 1930s. They were known for their close harmonies, comedic performances, and wide repertoire of songs, including jazz, swing, and classical pieces.

The group formed in Berlin in 1927 and quickly rose to fame, winning over audiences with their talent and charm. They released several successful records and starred in several films.

However, their success came to an end with the rise of the Nazi Party. In 1933, the Comedian Harmonists were banned from performing in Germany because three of the members were Jewish. Their final concert was March 25, 1924 in Hanover. The group attempted to continue performing in other countries, but they were eventually forced to disband in 1940.

After the war, the Comedian Harmonists never reunited. 


What happened to the individual members of the group?

  • Harry Frommermann emigrated to the United States and became a successful songwriter.
  • Roman Cycowski became a cantor at a synagogue in Palm Springs, California.
  • Erich Collin remained in the United States and worked as a musician and actor.
  • Ari Leschnikoff returned to his native Bulgaria and became a successful singer and actor.
  • Robert Biberti remained in Germany and worked as a musician and arranger.
  • Erwin Bootz emigrated to Canada and then returned to Germany, where he worked as a composer and arranger.


To learn more about The Comedian Harmonists, click here.

The Musical about The Comedian Harmonists

Starting performances on Broadway on October 18th is the first and only musical about this singing group – Harmony: A New Musical

The complete Broadway cast includes Chip Zien as Rabbi, Sierra Boggess as Mary, Julie Benko as Ruth, Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey as the Comedian Harmonists, Allison Semmes as Josephine Baker, Andrew O’Shanick as Standartenfϋhrer, Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, Rhonni Rose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett. 

To learn more about Harmony: A New Musical, click here.