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Wolfgang Rihm in Cologne, June 2007

Wolfgang Rihm (born 13 March 1952 in Karlsruhe) is a German composer.

Rihm is Head of the Institute of Modern Music at the Karlsruhe Conservatory of Music and has been composer in residence at the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Festival. He was honoured as Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2001. Most recently, he is the recipient of the 2015 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition sponsored by the University of Louisville for his orchestral work In-Schrift 2.


Rihm finished both his school and his studies in music theory (with Hans H. Eggebrecht) in 1972, two years before the premiere of his early work Morphonie at the 1974 Donaueschingen Festival launched his career as a prominent figure in the European new music scene. Rihm's early work, combining contemporary techniques with the emotional volatility of Mahler and of Schoenberg's early expressionist period, was regarded by many as a revolt against the avant-garde generation of Boulez, Stockhausen (with whom he studied in 1972–73), and others, and led to a large number of commissions in the following years. In the late 1970s and early 1980s his name was associated with the movement called New Simplicity. His work still continues to plough expressionist furrows, though the influence of Luigi Nono, Helmut Lachenmann and Morton Feldman, amongst others, has affected his style significantly.

Rihm is an extremely prolific composer, with hundreds of completed scores, a large portion of which are yet to be commercially recorded. (Vide the List of the compositions of Wolfgang Rihm, in German, or the IRCAM works list, in French.) He does not always regard a finished work the last word on a subject—for example the orchestral work Ins Offene... (1990) was completely rewritten in 1992, and then used as the basis for his piano concerto Sphere (1994), before the piano part of Sphere was recast for the solo piano work Nachstudie (also 1994). (In 2002 Rihm also produced a new version of Nachstudie, Sphäre nach Studie, for harp, two double basses, piano and percussion, and also a new version of Sphere, called Sphäre um Sphäre, for two pianos and chamber ensemble.) Other important works include thirteen string quartets, the operas Die Hamletmaschine (1983–1986, text by Heiner Müller) and Die Eroberung von Mexico (1987–1991, based on texts by Antonin Artaud), over twenty song-cycles, the oratorio Deus Passus (1999–2000) commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, the chamber orchestra piece Jagden und Formen (1995–2001), more than thirty concertos and a series of related orchestral works bearing the title Vers une symphonie fleuve. The New York Philharmonic premièred Rihm's 2004 commission Two Other Movements. In 2008 Rihm composed KOLONOS | 2 Fragments by Hölderlin after Sophokles for orchestra and countertenor, premiered in Bad Wildbad with the countertenor Matthias Rexroth.[1]

Invited by Walter Fink, he was the fifth composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 1995, in two programs of chamber music and Lied, also of Robert Schumann, including his works Fremde Szene I for piano trio, Vier Lieder after poems of Paul Celan, Klavierstück 7, Klavierstück 6, Das Rot, six songs after poems of Karoline von Günderrode, Antlitz for violin and piano, and Fremde Szene III. In 1995 he contributed Communio (Lux aeterna) to the Requiem of Reconciliation. In 2003 he received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.

In March 2010 the BBC Symphony Orchestra featured the music of Rihm in one of their 'total immersion' weekends at the Barbican Centre, London. Recordings from this weekend were used for three 'Hear and Now' programmes on BBC Radio 3 dedicated to his work.[2] On 27 July 2010, Rihm's latest opera, Dionysus, based on Nietzsche’s late cycle of poems Dionysus-Dithyrambs, had its world premiere at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher, and designed by Jonathan Meese.[3] This performance was voted World Premiere of the Year (Uraufführung des Jahres) for 2010/11 by Opernwelt magazine.[4] He revised his Gegenstück (2006) for bass saxophone, percussion and piano, premiered on 16 August 2010 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Walter Fink.[5] Anne-Sophie Mutter premiered his violin concerto Lichtes Spiel (Light Games) in Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic on 18 November 2010.[6]

Selected list of works[edit]

Stage works[edit]

Orchestral works[edit]

  • Form / 2 Formen (2nd state)
  • Gejagte Form (1st version)
  • Gejagte Form (2nd version)
  • IN-SCHRIFT (1995)
  • Jagden und Formen
  • Jagden und Formen (state 2008)
  • Symphonie n°1 op. 3
  • Symphonie n°2 (first and last movement)
  • Vers une symphonie fleuve I–IV
  • IN-SCHRIFT 2 (2013); winner of the 2015 Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition[7]

Solo instruments and orchestra[edit]

  • Violin
    • Gesungene Zeit
    • Lichtes Spiel
  • Viola
    • Bratschenkonzert
    • Bratschenkonzert n°2
  • Violoncello
    • Konzert in einem Satz
    • Styx und Lethe
  • String quartet
    • ”CONCERTO”
  • Clarinet
    • Musik für Klarinette und Orchester
  • Oboe
    • Musik für Oboe und Orchester
  • Bassoon
    • Psalmus
  • Trumpet
    • Gebild
    • Marsyas, Rhapsodie für Trompete mit Schlagzeug und Orchester
  • Piano
    • Sphere
  • Harp
    • Die Stücke des Sängers
  • Organ
    • Unbenannt IV

String quartet[edit]

  • Grave
  • Quartettstudie
  • Streichquartett n°1–13

Vocal works[edit]

  • Voice and orchestra
    • 5 Abgesangsszenen
    • Drei späte Gedichte von Heiner Müller
    • Ernster Gesang mit Lied
    • Frau / Stimme
    • Hölderlin-Fragmente
    • Lenz-Fragmente
    • Penthesilea Monolog
    • Rilke: Vier Gedichte

Voice and piano[edit]

Choral works[edit]

  • Choir a cappella
    • Sieben Passions-Texte
  • Choir with orchestra or ensemble
    • Astralis
    • ET LUX
    • Vigilia

Solo instruments[edit]

  • Über die Linie (violoncello)
  • Über die Linie VII (violin)

Piano solo[edit]

Auf einem anderen Blatt

  • Brahmsliebewalzer
  • Klavierstück n° 1–7 1970–1980
  • Ländler 1979
  • Nachstudie
  • Zwiesprache 1999

Organ solo[edit]

  • Drei Fantasien


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Rihm — Please support Wikipedia.
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8568 videos foundNext > 

Wolfgang Rihm: Astralis (2001)

Wolfgang Rihm (*1952): Astralis (.Über die Linie" III), für kleinen Chor, violoncello und 2 pauken (2001). Rie Miyama, percussioni Dirk Wietheger violoncello...

Wolfgang Rihm 'String Quartet no. 13'

Institute of Musical Research http://www.sas.ac.uk/ http://music.sas.ac.uk/ TITLE: Wolfgang Rihm 'String Quartet no. 13' ARTIST: Arditti String Quartet COMPO...

Wolfgang Rihm - Lichtes Spiel

Year of composition: 2009 The title of Lichtes Spiel might be translated as "Light Game" or "Light Play", and may be taken as a pun on the German expression ...


ACADEMIA PARA LA NUEVA MÚSICA (CSMA) Nacho de Paz, Conductor [01.03.2011] http://academiaparalanuevamusica.blogspot.com.es/

Wolfgang Rihm: Deus Passus (1999 - 2000) I

Wolfgang Rihm: Deus Passus "St. Luke Passion", oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1999 - 2000). 1. Das ist mein Leib 2. Potum meum 3. Instrumentals...

Wolfgang Rihm: 1.Symphonie (1969)

Wolfgang Rihm (1952 - ) 1.Symphonie, op.3 für Orchester (1969) In Memorian Karl Amadeus Hartmann 1. Appasionato 2. Adagio - 3:41 Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stut...

Wolfgang Rihm: Sub-Kontur (1974-75)

Wolfgang Rihm (1952 - ) Sub Kontur (1974 - 75), for orchestra SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg Ernest Bour Painting by Mark Rothko.

Wolfgang Rihm ~ CONCERTO 'Dithyrambe'

CONCERTO 'Dithyrambe' Wolfgang Rihm (2000) *Arditti s.q. and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester*

Wolfgang Rihm ~ Vers une symphonie fleuve III

Vers une symphonie fleuve III Wolfgang Rihm (1992/1995) *Gianluigi Gelmetti guides Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR*

Wolfgang Rihm - String Quartet no.12

released 28. jan 2011.

8568 videos foundNext > 

1448 news items

The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 07:28:57 -0800

Composer Wolfgang Rihm has won the University of Louisville's Grawemeyer award for his 15-minute work In-Schrift 2. The award, worth $100,000, is given annually for outstanding work in music composition. Rihm's piece was commissioned by the Berlin ...

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:45:00 -0800

As it turned out, the Goethe settings by Schubert and Wolfgang Rihm were wonderful. Rihm's substantial songs spoke directly to the audience; Schubert's work seemed all the more contemporary in the unusual but effective juxtaposition, and Gerhaher is ...

Slipped Disc

Slipped Disc
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:41:44 -0800

(December 18, 2014, SF) The Salzburg Festival regrets to announce that Luc Bondy finds himself unable to direct the production of Wolfgang Rihm's Die Eroberung von Mexico for reasons of scheduling as well as personal ones. With him, his team (Johannes ...

Slipped Disc

Slipped Disc
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 06:43:48 -0800

Or he builds posts around his unfounded personal opinions (i.e. “Wolfgang Rihm is a terrible composer so he should not receive awards or commissions.”) (Not that having opinions is wrong, but it's nice to see a reasonable basis or argument for them ...

Salzburger Nachrichten

Salzburger Nachrichten
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:37:30 -0800

Statt Luc Bondy wird Peter Konwitschny bei den Salzburger Festspielen die Oper "Die Eroberung von Mexico" von Wolfgang Rihm inszenieren. Festspiele: Konwitschny ersetzt Bondy bei Rihm-Oper. Peter Konwitschny wird bei den Salzburger Festspielen die ...
SWR Nachrichten
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 22:22:30 -0800

Der deutsche Komponist Wolfgang Rihm bekommt den Grawemeyer Musik-Preis für Komposition der Universität Louisville in Kentucky. Das gab die Universität am Montag bekannt. Rihm ist Professor an der Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe. Er bekommt ...
NewsWalk.info (Pressemitteilung)
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 20:03:46 -0800

German composer?s work wins Grawemeyer Award.German composer Wolfgang Rihm wins Grawemeyer Award for his 2013 work “IN-SCHRIFT Zwei .” weiterlesen ... url im Text ...prnewswire.co.uk berichtet dazu: Rihm wird mit dem Grawemeyer-Musikpreis ...

Bayerischer Rundfunk

Bayerischer Rundfunk
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:55:54 -0700

"Jakob Lenz" von Wolfgang Rihm Ein Ausnahmeabend an der Stuttgarter Staatsoper. Rihms "Jakob Lenz" gilt geradezu als moderner Klassiker und wurde in den letzten 35 Jahren schon häufig inszeniert. Die Premiere am Samstag war dennoch eine ...

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