MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Gottfried von Einem at 100

Gottfried von Einem was born exactly 100 years ago today. Boosey & Hawkes has a useful introduction: Einem at 100 

Also from Boosey & Hawkes:
Gottfried von Einem was son of a military attaché and educated abroad in Germany and England * Studied composition with Boris Blacher in Berlin * First ballet, Princess Turandot, won him post of composer to the Dresden State Opera * Radical use of jazz elements in the Concerto for Orchestra led to conflict with the Nazi authorities * After the war, closely associated with the rejuvenation of the Salzburg Festival * Operas, including Dantons Tod, Der Prozess, Der Zerrissene and Der Besuch der alten Dame, soon brought recognition as Austria’s leading composer, and rapidly attracted international performances * Orchestral music conducted by the twentieth century’s leading maestros including Karajan, Furtwängler, Böhm, Ormandy, Sawallisch, Giulini, Dohnányi, Ozawa and Mehta.

Gottfried von Einem believed that it is only possible to experience the unexpected as new when it is presented against the background of music which seems familiar to a listener. If exclusively new elements are employed, this leads to a dulling of receptiveness to what is new and may even result in boredom. And to be boring – according to Gottfried von Einem – is the greatest sin an artist can commit. All his life, Gottfried von Einem knew how to avoid and avert this transgression. –Harald Kunz, 1998

New York Times: “Saving Konrad Latte”

profile by Tobias Sedlmaier (in German)

Filed under: anniversary, Gottfried von Einem

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