Kühr studied history, conducting and composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and took master classes in conducting with Gerhard Wimberger, Hans Swarowsky and Sergiu Celibidache. He continued his studies of composition with Josef Friedrich Doppelbauer and Hans Werner Henze. In 1983 he collaborated with Henze, David Graham and Marcel Wengler to compose the film music for Volker Schlöndorff's Eine Liebe von Swann after Marcel Proust.
His opera Stallerhof, to a libretto of Franz Xaver Kroetz based on his own play, was premiered at the first Munich Biennale in 1988, as a co-production with the Staatstheater Wiesbaden. Ulf Schirmer conducted the premiere at the Kongresssaal of Deutsches Museum. The play Stallerhof, a dialect play on a taboo subject matter, was premiered in 1972. A review of the opera in a production of the Theater Luzern remarks:
Kroetz's Stallerhof is a work about inability to communicate, which opens space for music. Gerd Kühr's music serves the function of expressing the feelings and situations in which people find themselves. With a fairly large chamber orchestra he provides a rich tapestry of colours and motives. There is expressionist music, which brings to mind. the inarticulacy and exploitation suffered by Wozzeck.
Kühr composed in 1997/99 the opera Tod und Teufel (Death and Devil) on a libretto of Peter Turrini on a commission of the Theater Graz and the festival Steirischer Herbst on the occasion of the centennial of the opera house. Kühr composed the opera Agleia Federweiß in 2000/01 on a libretto of Petra Ernst, commissioned by the Jugendmusikfest Deutschlandsberg, a music festival for young people founded by Henze as part of the festival Steirischer Herbst.
Kühr taught from 1985 to 1994 in Graz, from 1992 to 1994 at the Mozarteum. Since 1995 he has been professor for composition at the Graz University of Music.
|Premiere||Title||Description||Libretto and source|
|1988-06-033 Jun 1988, Munich Biennale||Stallerhof||Opera, 90'||Franz Xaver Kroetz, after his own play|
|1999-09-1717 Sep 1999, Grazer Oper/ Steirischer Herbst||Tod und Teufel||Opera, 105'||Peter Turrini, after his own play (1990)|
|2001-10-2424 Oct 2001, Deutschlandsberg||Agleia Federweiß||Kleine Oper, 75'||Petra Ernst|
- Gerd Kühr music information center austria
- Un amour de Swann filmsdefrance.com
- Archive notes to first biennale, 1988, Munich Biennale.
- Peter Grahame Woolf: Gerd Kühr Stallerhof Lucerne Theatre November 2001–12 January 2002 musicweb-international.com
- Tod und Teufel Steirischer Herbst 1999 (German)
- List of past winners of the Composers' Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Foundation. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- Gerd Kühr website
- Gerd Kühr The Living Composers' Project
- Literature by and about Gerd Kühr in the German National Library catalogue