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date: 21 September 2019

Henze, Hans Wernerlocked

  • Virginia Palmer-Füchsel


(b Gütersloh, July 1, 1926 d Dresden, Oct 27, 2012).German composer. His formidably numerous operas, ballets, symphonies and concertos have gained an established place in the international repertory. His personal and compositional development has been documented in numerous interviews, articles, autobiographical essays and books. Striving for a communicative, ‘impure’ music concerned with feelings, ideas, history, people and politics, he has drawn inspiration for his vocal and instrumental works from a broad spectrum of renowned poets, writers and librettists.

Henze was the eldest of six children born to the schoolteacher Franz Henze and his wife, Margarete (née Geldmacher). Due to financial considerations, Margarete and the children remained in Gütersloh until 1930, when Franz brought the growing family to live with him in Bielefeld. Budget cuts forced him to accept another position at the ‘collective’ school. A proficient amateur musician, he directed a workers’ chorus and brass ensemble and played the viola in a local chamber orchestra. As befitting the eldest child of a teacher, Hans Werner received his first piano lessons soon after beginning primary school. In ...

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