Harry Halbreich

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Harry Halbreich

Harry Halbreich (born February 9, 1931, Berlin) is a Belgian musicologist.[1]

He studied with Arthur Honegger and later with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. From 1970 to 1976 he was Lecturer (German: Dozent) in Musical Analysis at the Royal Conservatory in Mons. He worked on numerous radio broadcasts and co-founded the Belgian music magazine Crescendo for which he has been major contributor.[1]

He is known for a number of books, articles and studies on modern and contemporary music, including monograph works on Olivier Messiaen, Claude Debussy, Arthur Honegger and Bohuslav Martinů. He has prepared musical catalogues of the works of Honegger and Martinů, and their works are therefore sometimes referred to by their H number. He assisted Nicolas Bacri in orchestrating Honegger's opera, La morte de Sainte Alméenne, originally written in 1918 for voice and piano; the new version was premiered in Utrecht on 26 November 2005, on the 50th anniversary of the composer's death.

Halbreich's interest in modern music has led to articles on composers including contemporary music, particularly Spectral music: Horațiu Rădulescu, Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana-Maria Avram, Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. But he has also written on composers of the past, including Iannis Xenakis, Giacinto Scelsi, György Ligeti, Edgard Varèse, George Enescu, Maurice Ohana, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach.


  • Albéric Magnard, together with Simon-Pierre Perret, Fayard, 2001. (ISBN 2-213608466)
  • Arthur Honegger, un musicien dans la cité des hommes, Fayard, 1992. (ISBN 2-213028370)
  • L'Oeuvre d'Arthur Honegger : Chronologie, catalogue raisonné, analyses, discographie, Fayard, 1994. (ISBN 2-852032821)
  • Bohuslav Martinů, Fayard, 1968. (ISBN 3-795705657)
  • Debussy, sa vie et sa pensée, together with Edward Lockspeiser, Fayard, 1989. (ISBN 2-213024189)
  • Olivier Messaien, Fayard, 1980. (ISBN 2-213030154)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Bohuslav Martinů Werksverzeichnis, Dokumentation und Biographie. Zürich: Atlantis Verlag, 1968 (384 pages).
  • Bohuslav Martinů Werkverzeichnis und Biographie. Mainz: Schott, 2007 (579 pages). (ISBN 3795705657)
  • Ana-Maria Avram/ Harry Halbreich: "Roumanie, Terre du Neuvième Ciel", interviews and articles. Bucharest: Edition Axis Mundi, 1992 (215 pages).
  • La Musique Spectrale au début du XXIè Siècle Conference in Paris with Harry Halbreich, Ben Watson, Costin Cazaban, Sébasien Beranger, moderated by Ana Maria Avram. CREMAC, 2006 (234 pages).


  1. ^ a b Dust jacket biography of Harry Halbreich from Halbreich (2007).


Part of the text was translated from the Harry Halbreich article in the French Wikipedia