»It was my aim to make myself acquainted with everything a dramatist should know.«
To improve his performance on the piano, Orff began private lessons with Hermann Zilcher in 1915 who – following Orff’s brief period of employment at the Court Opera House in Munich - was able to procure him a post as musical director of the Munich Chamber Theatre (1916/17).
Inspired by the sensational productions by Otto Falckenberg, Orff produced the first draft of his music for Shakespeare’s ›A Midsummer Night’s Dream‹.
Having been called up for military service in 1917, he subsequently became trapped in a shelter on the Eastern Front. Following a long period of convalescence, he was employed as musical director at the National Theatre in Mannheim and the Court Theatre in Darmstadt. The few compositions to have survived from this period are perceptibly influenced by the style of Richard Strauss.