Engelbert Humperdinck was a German composer, best known for his opera Hansel and Gretel. Born in Siegburg in 1854, Humperdinck learnt piano from a young age and wrote his first composition at the age of seven. His parents disapproved of his desire to pursue a career in music, but he enrolled at the Cologne Conservatory in 1972, where he received composition lessons from Ferdinand Hiller and Isidor Seiss. He soon won a scholarship that allowed him to travel to Munich to study with Franz Lachner and Josef Rheinberger. He won the first Mendelssohn Award in 1879, and soon became acquainted with Richard Wagner, whom he assisted with the production of Parsifal in 1881. He spent some years travelling through Italy, France, and Spain, and taught at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona for two years. He returned to Germany in 1887, and was appointed professor at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt in 1890.
Humperdinck is known today primarily for his opera Hansel and Gretel, and few of his other works are known, though he composed a number of other stage works and songs. Hansel and Gretel was chosen as the first piece to be broadcast on radio by the Royal Opera House, and was transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera in 1931.