Hans Eric Tausig was born on August 23rd, 1931 in Frankfurt, Germany. The only child of Victor Erich & Bertha Ahrenholtz Tausig, he survived the Anschluss in Vienna, the Kindertransport to Holland and fled occupied Europe with his parents to find refuge in the United States. They settled in Peoria, Illinois where Hans graduated high school in 1949. He moved to New York City and initially attended NYU, then ended up volunteering for the US Army during the Korean Conflict. He served in the Army from 1951-1954. His tour of duty included “Operation Castle” at Bikini Atoll. Following the Army, Hans returned to the East Coast to work in the chartering department of American Union Transport in New York City.

Ultimately hired by Philip Brothers/Engelhard to run Metal Transport, their international shipping conglomerate, Hans remained there for 30 years. When he left Engelhard, he formed his own shipping company: Nantucket Navigation. In his business and personal life, Hans always placed great emphasis on honesty and ethics.

After retirement, Hans worked for 2 years as the General Manager of New York Grand Opera.  He then went back to school, earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Adelphi University and a Masters in English Literature from NYU.

Music played a strong role in Hans’ life. An accomplished violin & viola player, he joined several orchestras; including a memorable tour of Hungary and Romania which were still behind the Iron Curtain.  Hans’ major interest was chamber music, which he played privately and publicly for the majority of his life. A season ticket holder at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, Hans delighted in attending operas at the great music halls around the world.

He was President of the Musicians Foundation in New York for over 20 years. Additionally, he was President and part-time auctioneer of the Violin Society of America, founding Board Member and President of The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, member of the Bohemians, and member of the Grolier Club.

With his wife Eva-Maria, he founded and served on the Board of the Nantucket Community Music Center. He was a life member of the Nantucket Historical Association, the Maria Mitchel Association, and the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum. His memberships in the Artists’ Association of Nantucket, the Nantucket Athenaeum, and the Nantucket Yacht Club brought him great joy. He served on the Board of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation for many years and held an advisory position at the time of his death.


Donations to Musicians Foundation may be made in honor of Mr. Tausig.