Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 22 August 2019

Birnstein, Renatelocked

  • Roswitha Sperber


(b Hamburg, Nov 17, 1946). German composer. In 1966 she entered the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Hamburg, where she studied music theory and composition with Diether de la Motte and Ligeti. From 1973 to 1980 she taught music theory at the Hochschule für Musik in Lübeck and from 1974 at the Hamburg Hochschule, where in 1988 she became a professor of composition and music theory. She has received many prizes and grants, including a three-month stay at the Boswil Künstlerhaus in Switzerland and a year at the Villa Massimo, Rome. Birnstein’s output includes orchestral, choral and chamber music. Her rigorously structural, crystalline and linear thought processes were originally stamped by the music of Webern, but it was Steve Reich’s minimalism, first encountered by her in 1972, that provided new inspiration at a time of disenchantment with the Darmstadt School. Her choral piece In terra (1978) is an example of how she used a form of ‘pattern technique’ based on small motivic units to produce her own minimalist style. In the 1980s she wrote a number of multi-layered compositions, including the Sextet (...

Access to the complete content on Grove Music Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.