Wolfgang Rihm

WOLFGANG RIHM (1952, Karlsruhe) studied music theory, piano and composition at Musikchochschule in Karslruhe, where attended courses of H. Searle. During 1972–1973 was a scholar of Karlheinz Stockhausen in Koln, 1973–1976 studied musicology with Hans H. Eggebrecht and composition with Klaus Huber in Freiburg. Several times he gave the lectures at New Music Courses in Darmstadt and at Musikhochschule in Karslruhe. Wolfgang Rihm is being considered to be one of the most succesful composers of his generation. Spontaneity in expression of his music ranks him among Mahler, Berg and Hartman. His style is characterized by wide-spreading melodies bearing a major portion of pathos as well as blocks of dissonant chords that are regularly substitute by tonal parts. Rihm is part of a group of composers who, during the 1970´s, efected a paradigm shift in German musical culture, replacing their predecessors’ essentially intellectual and structuralist conception of art with one that gave freer rein to emotion and adopted a more flexible approach to structure. Highly prolific in vocal and instrumental composition, he has also created some of the most powerful and distinctive stage works of the late 20th century.

Works (selection): 9 string quartets, 3 symphonies for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus and large orchestra on a words by F. Nietzsche and A. Rimbaud (1969, 1975, 1977), Parusie for organ (1970), Sätze for 2 pianos (1971), String trio (1972), Hervorgedunkelt for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble on words by P. Celan (1974), Segmente for 18 solo instruments (1974), Dis-kontur for orchestra (1974), O Notte for baritone and small orchestra on words by M. Buonarotti (1975), Cuts and Dissolves for orchestra (1976), Nachtordnung for 15 instruments (1976), Lichtzwang (in memoriam Paul Celan) for violin and orchestra (1976), Hölderlin-Fragmente for voice and piano or orchestra (1976), Faust und Yorick, chamber opera No. 1 on libretto by J. Tardieu (1977), Jakob Lenz, chamber opera No. 2 on words by M. Fröhling after G. Büchner (1979), La musique creuse le ciel for 2 pianos and orchestra (1979), Nature morte – Still alive for 13 instruments (1980), Concerto for viola and orchestra (1981), Tutuguri, balet for voices, soloists and orchestra after A.

Artaud (1981), Oedipus, music theatre after Sofokles, (1986–1987), Bruchstück ‘Die Vorzeichen’ for orchestra (1988–1989), Ungemaltes Bild for orchestra (1989–1990), Dritte Musik für Violine und Orchester (1993), Musik für Oboe und Orchester (1994), Nucleus for 13 instruments (1996), Vers une symphonie fleuve for orchestra I, II, III (1994–1995), IV (1997–1998, rev 2000), In-Schrift for orchestra (1995), Etude d’apre´s Séraphin for ensemble and tape (1997), Marsyas, scene for trumpet, percussion and orchestra (1998), Toccata for piano and orchestra (1998), Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999), Sotto voce for piano and orchestra (1999), Concerto for string quartet and orchestra (2000), Die Stücke des Sängers for harp and small orchestra (2000-2001), 2. Bratschenkonzert (Über die Linie IV, 2000-2002), Nach-Schrift – Eine Chiffre for small orchestra (1982-2004), Dritter Doppelgesang for clarinet, viola and orchestra (2004), Two Other Movements (2004).