Ralf Petersen was born in 1938. He is one of the best known composers of popular music of the former GDR. He finished university in 1961 where he studied conducting and composition. He worked as a music editor and producer for radio.
His first pop song was published 1959, while he was still a student. More than 700 titles have followed since, many of them became evergreens. "Blau ist die Nacht"
("Blue is the Night"
) for example, of which more than 20 cover versions exist. The same is true for "Weil du heut Geburstag hast"
("Because it's your birthday today"
), a song which became the German equivalent to "Happy Birthday to you".
Ralf Petersen has helped a number of artists to a successful debut. His songs brought Andres Holm ("Das ist der Bikini Shake"), Frank Schöbel ("Eine kleine Burg im weißen Sand"
), Roland Neudert ("Ich möcht' wieder zu Hause sein"
), Ruth Brandin ("Das alles lieb ich so an dir") and Monika Herz ("Komm, Kolumbus, komm"
) into the charts.
He also wrote numerous successful titles for international artists. Especially noticeable are the Kroatians Ljupka Dimitrovska ("Wenn Musik erklingt"
), Ivica Serfezi ("Du hast mein Wort"
), Dani Marsan ("Aber weine keine Tränen"
) and Miro Ungar ("Komm mit mir").
Whenever Ralf Petersen entered a competition he was certain to be at the top of the list with his titles. Udo Jürgens liked "Regen in der Nacht"
) so much that he produced it the same year he had heard it.
More than 100 instrumental titles deserve special attention. Many of his "soft" romantic orchestra pieces found their way even to America.
Petersen was also creative in compositions for children. The cycle "Die Spieldose"
(consisting of 20 single pieces) for instance, was a supplement for piano-lessons. It stimulated the musical imagination of children - and was also simply a lot of fun for them!
In spring 2002 the compilation "Blau ist die Nacht"
was published, containing 40 of his most successful popular compositions.
In 2007 he published a book with memorys under the title "Composer and Radioman"
Ralf Petersen died in the spring of 2018.