24 August 1919
Thun, Bern, Switzerland
13 June 2015 (aged 95)
Heinz Hermann Polzer (Thun, Switzerland, 24 August 1919 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 June 2015), better known by his main alias Drs. P, was a Dutch/Swiss writer, composer, pianist, poet and singer of his own songs in the Dutch language. Out of gratitude towards the Swiss authorities, who helped him survive the second world war, he maintained his Swiss nationality. His mother returned to The Netherlands in the early 1920s.
He is well known for his outstanding use of the Dutch language , a talent which grew out of his work as a copy writer. He began to use this talent for writing song lyrics and poems, which are mostly characterized by comical sketches with extreme textual absurdities. His singing voice also adds to the comical quality of his musical performances: it sounds adequate, but not very well musically conditioned.
Drs. P made his début age 44 in 1964 on TV in the AVRO show "Voor de Vuist Weg" with famous Dutch presenter Willem Duys, with his song Het trapportaal. It was Willem Duys, who also came up with the idea for his well known artistic alias.
His absurd use of language can best be seen in his best known song "Dodenrit" (death-trip) which tells the story of a fatal trip by a family to Omsk, during wich the family members, being pursued by hungry wolves, are being sacrified one by one to buy time. But alas, Omsk is a beautiful city but just a little too remote.
He is also credited for a profound knowledge of traditional and the inventing of new poem formats in the Dutch language, of which the ollekebolleke is the most famous.
Heinz Polzer uses the following artistic aliases : Drs. P, een kindervriend, Drs. S, Geo Staad, Coos Neetebeem, Kirsten Wiedeman, Wilson Hode, Lars Brahe, M. de Gans, Henry van Kol, Cyriel P. Licentiaat, Henry Smith, Ludwig Otto Stadtherr en Alois Mückenspucke.
Drs. P remained active until 1996 after that appearances became sporadic. The most recent being when receiving a prize in September 2011 for the most innovative (Dutch) language performed (cabaratier).
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