Born: February 17, 1931 - Regensburg, Germany
Died: October 23, 2003 - Regensburg, Germany
The German harpsichordist and organist, Eberhard Kraus, was the the son of Karl Kraus, the cathedral organist in Regensburg. He received his initial musical training in the parents' house and passed the exams at the Humanistischen Gymnasium in Regensburg in 1950. He then studied at the Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik in Munich - organ playing with Heinrich Wismeyer, harpsichord with Li Stadelmann and piano with Walter Georgii. After the maturity examinations in 1953 and 1954 and master diplomas in 1955 and 1956, followed organ studies with Friedrich Högner in Munich.
In 1953 Eberhard Kraus already played organ several times at the City Museum of Regensburg, of which he served organist and musical leader for over 50 years until his death, giving over 1,000 concerts. He had an extensive training activity starting from 1956 with teaching organ playing and music theory at the Musikgymnasium der Regensburger Domspatzen; from 1971 as a lecturer in organ playing, improvisation and organ theory at the Fachakademie für Katholische Kirchenmusik und Musikerziehung in Regensburg; since 1975 as a training representative at the University of Regensburg; and since 1977 at the Bischöflichen Priesterseminar in Regensburg.
From 1964 to 1996 Eberhard Kraus was cathedral organist at the Dom St. Peter in Regensburg, and from 1968 he was organ expert of the Diözese Regensburg. He led and organized the Collegium Musicum in Regensburg from 1975 until his death, giving concerts of chamber music and oratorios in Regensburg.
An extensive concert activity led Eberhard Kraus to the music centers of Germany and other European countries. He produced numerous broadcast and recordings, which appeared partly also on CD's. Collections of early music as well as books and publications on organ issues are the fruits of his scientific work. His composition work covers above all chamber and church music, in addition to orchestral works as well as secular and sacred cantatas. He used the twelve-tone system in some of his compositions.
Eberhard Kraus received many prizes: in 1956 at the Competition of Music Schools in Hamburg, in 1956, 1957 and 1959 at the International Music Competitions of the Broadcasting Corporations in Munich; in 1959 at the Federal Selection of the Concerts of Young Artists of the German Music Council; in 1960 the Culture Prize of East Bavaria; in 1961 the Culture Prize of Regensburg; and he was also distinguished with the Order of Merit. He was a member of Rotary International and knight of the medal from the Holy Grave in Jerusalem, and in 1996 he received from Pope Johannes Paul II the medal "Pro Ecclesia et Pontific"