16th February 1854
10th January 1931
Oscar Fetrás was a German composer of popular dance music, military marches, piano pieces and arrangements.
He had over 200 compositions to his name. His best known work is his waltz "Mondnacht auf der Alster" Op. 60 which is still immensely popular to the present day.
He was born as Otto Kaufmann Faster 1854 in Hamburg. Early in his career he worked for Ferdinand Laeisz, founder of the Flying P-Liner. Once he became widely regarded as being on the same level as the revered Viennese waltz kings, he departed to conduct his own orchestra.
At the age of 26 his compositions attracted the attention of a Hamburg publisher and he made an anagramme of his name and formed the name Fetras from Faster. He was essentially of German descent and his musical talent did not come from his father Matthias Faster, who was an Hamburgian editor of a stock-exchangemagazine. The ancestors of Otto Faster came from Bützfleth (a locality of today's Stade near Hamburg). His grandfather a vessel-captain died in his sinking ship " Ceres ". The origin of his mother Amalie Margarethe, born Decker, is from the island Sylt
He soon rose to the position of conductor of the Uhlenhorster Fährhaus which was the most famous restaurant with ballrooms in Hamburg for which he composed his second most famous, but now forgotten work, Uhlenhorster Kinder. He was regarded as the most talented light music composer that Northern Germany ever produced and right from the start modelled his own composing on that of his idol, Johann Strauss Jr.. The Hamburgian business scene donated Fetras as a thank gift for his Waltz " Mondnacht auf der Alster " which made hamburg most fomous in the world, a bronce statue of the roman god hermes/mercurius of the French artist Marius Montagne. This statue ist the only thing out of the possession of Fetras which survived the war bombings and is now owned privately in Henstedt-Ulzburg near Hamburg/Germany