Artist Biography Hans Koller, one of Europe's most beloved jazz performers and an acclaimed abstract painter, died of pneumonia on Monday, December 21, 2003 in his hometown of Vienna. He was 82 years old. A saxophone prodigy, Koller immediately impressed the faculty of the Vienna Music Academy upon his arrival at the age of 14. Within a few years he was playing professionally in jazz and dance bands. In 1941 Koller was drafted into the Nazi army; he spent most of the war as an American POW, at which time he organized a detention camp band. Following his release in 1946 he founded a band called the Hot Club Vienna.
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