STOCK­HAUSEN Life&times

BBC Music Magazine - - Composer Of The Month -

1928

LIFE: Kar­lheinz Stock­hausen is born in Burg Mö­drath, near Cologne. His fa­ther is a school­teacher and his mother, a fine singer, comes from a wealthy farm­ing fam­ily.

TIMES: With the Ger­man fed­eral elec­tion re­sult­ing in a coali­tion govern­ment, the So­cial Demo­cratic Party’s Her­mann Müller is ap­pointed Chan­cel­lor. The Nazi Party se­cures only 12 seats.

1953

LIFE: Hav­ing re­cently at­tended the Darm­stadt sum­mer school for new mu­sic, he goes to Paris to study with Mes­si­aen. There, he meets fel­low modernist Pierre Boulez, among oth­ers.

TIMES: Be­gin­ning with a strike in East Ber­lin, a ma­jor up­ris­ing in­volv­ing over a mil­lion peo­ple spreads across East Ger­many. It is bru­tally sup­pressed by oc­cu­py­ing So­viet forces.

1993

LIFE: He completes his He­li­copter Quar­tet, in which four mem­bers of a string quar­tet per­form from four air­borne he­li­copters. It later forms part of the opera Mittwoch aus LICHT. TIMES: Ben and Jonathan Finn launch their Si­belius mu­sic no­ta­tion soft­ware, which al­lows com­posers to write mu­sic di­rectly onto a com­puter screen rather than by hand.

1941

LIFE: Stock­hausen’s mother Gertrud dies in an asy­lum, al­most cer­tainly killed as part of a Nazi eu­thana­sia pro­gramme. Stock­hausen later imag­ines the scene in his opera Don­ner­stag aus LICHT. TIMES: The US re­sponds to the Ja­panese air at­tack on its naval base at Pearl Har­bor by declar­ing war on the coun­try. Ger­many, in turn, de­clares war on the US.

1966

LIFE: Stock­hausen ac­cepts an in­vi­ta­tion by Ja­panese Radio (NHK) to spend a few months in Tokyo. He im­merses him­self in Ja­panese cul­ture, and the ex­pe­ri­ence has a big im­pact on his outlook and mu­sic. TIMES: At the Fifa World Cup fi­nal at Wem­b­ley, Ger­many loses 4-2 to Eng­land. Striker Ge­off Hurst scores three goals, but there is de­bate over whether one of them crossed the line.

2007

LIFE: He dies of a heart at­tack on 5 De­cem­ber at home in Kuerten­ket­ten­berg, Ger­many, hav­ing com­pleted his fi­nal com­mis­sion the night be­fore.

TIMES: Count Got­tfried von Bis­marck, the no­to­ri­ously dis­so­lute great-great­grand­son of for­mer Chan­cel­lor Otto von Bis­marck, dies of a co­caine over­dose at his flat in London.

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