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Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 - )


Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a contemporary composer.

Born in Burg Mödrath, near Cologne (German: Köln), he studied at the Cologne Musikhochschule and University (1947-51), at Darmstadt in 1951 and with Olivier Messiaen in Paris (1951-53). From 1954 to 1956, at the University of Bonn, he studied phonetics, acoustics, and information theory and composition. After lecturing at the contemporary music seminars at Darmstadt (1957), Stockhausen gave lectures and concerts in Europe and North America. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlheinz_Stockhausen [Aug 2004]

On 9/11

The avant garde registered its own peculiar response to the disaster. Rushing in where angels fear to tread, Karlheinz Stockhausen voiced what some may have felt, but none dared say. For him, the crashing planes and collapsing towers felt like art: "What happened there is: now you must re-adjust your brain. The greatest work of art imaginable for the whole cosmos. Minds achieving in a single act what we in music can only dream of, people rehearsing like mad for ten years, preparing fanatically for a concert, and then dying. You have people who are that focused on a performance and then 5,000 people who are dispatched to the afterlife, in a single moment. I couldn’t match it. Against that, we - as composers - are nothing." Surely the guy is crazy? In Stockhausen’s defence, he did go on to admit it was a crime, because part of the "audience" were "not consenting". This demur didn’t soften Gyorgy Ligeti’s retort: "Stockhausen should be locked up in a psychiatric hospital". --Ben Watson in Music, Violence, Truth (2001) http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/violence.html

Stockhausen on Music - Karl-Heinz Stockhausen

Stockhausen on Music - Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Robin MacOnie [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The leading German composer of electronic music presents his theories of composition and performance. Transcribed from a series of public lectures given in English in 1971, and a long interview with Maconie in 1981, the book covers electronic, chance and intuitive music, process planning and other trends in avant-garde composition. Maconie ( The Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen ) has retained the flavor of Stockhausen's English, revealing much of the composer's personality as he talks about his sources of inspiration and describes in detail his composing methods. Stockhausen's lectures contain penetrating philosophical and spiritual observations on his lifelong involvement with sound and his desire to build an aural tradition. Published on the occasion of the composer's 60th birthday, the book includes a chronological list of Stockhausen's works and a discography. --From Publishers Weekly

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