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date: 12 April 2021

Orff, Carllocked

  • Alberto Fassone


(b Munich, July 10, 1895; d Munich, March 29, 1982). German composer and music educator. Drawing on ancient Greek tragedy and employing models of Baroque theatrum emblematicum, he established a musical theatre of impressive force permeated at times by Bavarian peasant life and Christian mystery.

Orff was born into a family of army officers given to scientific and historical studies, whose members were also great music lovers. He began to study the piano, the organ and the cello at the age of five. In Munich he attended the Ludwigsgymnasium (1905–7) and later the Wittelsbacher Gymnasium (1907–12). Dissatisfied with the teaching of Beer-Walbrunn at the Akademie der Tonkunst (1912–14), he discovered for himself not only the sound world of Debussy, a fascination that is readily apparent in the music drama Gisei, das Opfer (1913), but also the musical language of Schoenberg. His activity as Kapellmeister at the Munich Kammerspiele (...

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