Born in Dresden in 1929, Hans Drewanz grew up in Berlin. His studies at the conservatory in Frankfurt brought him to the Frankfurt Opera where he became a student of Sir Georg Solti, later his personal assistant and head of the study department at the opera.
In 1963 Hans Drewanz was named Music Director of the Darmstadt Staatstheater, at that time the youngest Music Director in the country. He stayed until 1995, a conscious decision for musical and artistic continuity in one city for over three decades. For his merits in securing the Darmstadt Staatstheater such a wide reputation, Hans Drewanz received two major German awards in 1994.
Besides his work in Darmstadt, Hans Drewanz has been a successful guest conductor with an immensely broad repertoire. Besides the works from the classical and romantic period, which were always the basis of his artistic work, Hans Drewanz has also devoted a lot of attention to new music by commissioning pieces of young composers. Other repertoire fields are the works by Gustav Mahler, the composers of the Viennese School, the music by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, as well as Dmitry Shostakovich and the younger German composers from Reimann to Pintscher.
One main focus of his work over the last few years has been opera. Hans Drewanz has conducted regulary at the major German houses like Düsseldorf/Duisburg, Frankfurt and Munich. In Munich, he regularly conducted works by Mozart and Strauss. The more unusual repertoire is his domain at the Opera in Bern where he conducts two new productions each season as a regular Guest Conductor including Peter Eötvös’ Drei Schwestern. In the fall of 2006 he conducted a new production of Don Giovanni at the Opera in Athens.
In concert, Hans Drewanz has been a guest with orchestras in Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Poland and Sweden, as well as his activities in Germany. For two years he was Music Director of the Noord Nederlands Orkest in Holland, following his retirement from Darmstadt. He also has a longstanding relationship to the NHK Orchestra and the Yomiuri Orchestra in Tokyo.