German composer and conductor Gerd Joachim Natschinski was born in Chemnitz on 23 August 1928 and grew up in Dresden, where he studied at the Musikhochschule and privately. He studied with Hanns Eisler and worked for the East German state-controlled Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft, producing more than forty film and TV scores. He was also chief conductor of the Unterhaltungsorchesters des Berliner Rundfunks.
In 1978 he became artistic director of Berlin's Metropol Theatre, but gave up the position after three years to devote his time to composing.
He wrote many musical theatre works and orchestral compositions. His operetta Messeschlager Gisela, his musical Mein Freund Bunbury and his ballet Hoffmanns Erzählungen were all very successful.
Gerd Natschinski lived in Berlin until his death on 4 August 2015, aged eighty-six, in a Berlin hospital.