BBC Music Magazine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.