Entering the Professional World
From 1913 onwards Hindemith had his first experiences as an orchestral musician. He became concertmaster of the orchestra of the Frankfurt New Theatre, a stronghold of expressionist theatre. For the 1913 summer holidays he was engaged as violinist in a spa orchestra that played on the Bürgenstock near Lucerne and in Lugano.
He wrote the following to the Weber family in Aarau about everyday life in the spa orchestra: «Then we usually had to play in the garden in the constantly rainy weather, and the instruments were all out of tune with each other because of the dampness. And then strings breaking! At least one broke per concert and that had a very depressing effect on the musical mood. For the entire summer, I have had to have e-strings sent to me for 25 marks (50 strings … 3 times= 150 purchases!) and I still had to buy some in Lucerne and Lugano. Apart from that it was wonderful!»
When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914, Hindemith was employed as violinist in the spa orchestra in Heiden, Switzerland. At first, he regretted the fact that he was not immediately called up for military service: «If I had been here from the beginning of the war, I would have long been in France, but I experienced the Swiss agitation instead of the German enthusiasm and thus missed the chance of serving my fatherland.»