Georg Katzer

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Georg Katzer

Georg Katzer (German: [ˈɡeː.ɔrk kat͡sɐ]; 10 January 1935 – 7 May 2019) was a German composer and teacher. The last master student of Hanns Eisler, he composed music in many genres, including works for the stage. Katzer was one of the pioneers of electronic new music in the German Democratic Republic and the founder of the first electronic-music studio in the GDR. He held leading positions in music organisations, first in the East (Akademie der Künste der DDR), then in the united Germany (Academy of Arts, Berlin, and Deutscher Musikrat), and received many awards, including the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Music Authors' Prize.

Biography[edit]

Katzer was born in Habelschwerdt, Lower Silesia (now Bystrzyca Kłodzka, Poland), on 10 January 1935 (Anon. n.d.; Klingberg 2001; Hanssen 2019). From 1954 to 1960 he studied piano, music theory, and composition with (amongst others) Rudolf Wagner-Régeny and Ruth Zechlin at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in East Berlin, then from 1957 to 1958 he studied in Prague with Karel Janáček (Klingberg 2001; Anon. n.d.). From 1961 to 1963 he was a postgraduate student of Hanns Eisler and Leo Spies at the German Academy of the Arts in Berlin (Klingberg 2001), the last master student of Eisler (Akademie der Künste 2019). In 1963, he became a freelance composer and musician (Anon. 2019).

From 1976 to 1977 he worked in electronic-music studios in Bratislava and Paris (Klingberg 2001). In 1978 Katzer was elected to membership in the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin (Klingberg 2001; Anon. 2019). In 1980 he was appointed a professor and subsequently taught a masterclass in composition at the Academy of the Arts (Akademie der Künste 2019) until 1991 (Niklew 2010). In 1986 he founded the Studio for Experimental Music, affiliated with the Music Department of the Academy of the Arts (Akademie der Künste 2019), and was its artistic director (Groetz 2019).

Katzer was a member of the Academy of Arts in East Berlin until 1993, and then a member of the Berlin section of music until his death. He served as vice president of the music section from 1994 to 2003 (Akademie der Künste 2019). From 1989 to 1991, he was president of the German Section of the C.I.M.E. (International Council for Electroacoustical Music) (Akademie der Künste 2019). From 1990 to 2001, he was a presiding member of the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council, a member of the International Music Council) (Anon. 2019).

Katzer lived in Zeuthen near Berlin until his death on 7 May 2019; he was 84 years old (Hanssen 2019).

Compositions[edit]

Katzer's earlier works owe a great deal to the music of Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, and his teacher, Hanns Eisler. In the late 1960s he came under the influence of Witold Lutosławski and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, departing from conventional tonality and forms. From this point on, his vocabulary included serial, aleatory, and collage techniques, as well as electronic sounds (Klingberg 2001). His compositions included works for chamber ensembles, orchestral works, solo concertos, operas, ballets, puppet plays, and oratorios. His work also encompassed electroacoustical pieces, music for radio dramas, multimedia projects, and projects involving improvised music. His compositions are held by the Saxon State and University Library Dresden, including (Anon. 2019):

  • String Quartet No. 1 (1965)
  • Baukasten für Orchester [de] (1972)
  • Die Igeltreppe for narrator and 13 instruments, text by Sarah Kirsch (1973) (Hanssen 2019)
  • Das Land Bum-Bum, opera (1973) (Hanssen 2019)
  • D-Dur Musikmaschine [de] (Music machine in D major), for orchestra (1973)
  • Schwarze Vögel, ballet (1975) (Hanssen 2019)
  • Szene für Kammerensemble, instrumental theatre (1975)
  • Bevor Ariadne kommt, for electronic sounds (1976)
  • Concerto for Harpsichord and Wind Quintet (1978)
  • Ein neuer Sommernachtstraum, ballet (1979)
  • Aide-memoire, for electronic sounds (1983)
  • Gastmahl oder über die Liebe, opera, libretto by Gerhard Müller (1987)
  • Antigone oder die Stadt, opera, libretto by Gerhard Müller (1989) (Hanssen 2019)
  • Mein 1989, radio composition (1990)
  • Ich bin ein anderer, Hörspiel after Arthur Rimbaud (1990)
  • L'homme machine, multimedia scenic action (2000)
  • Medea in Korinth, oratorical scenes, libretto by Christa Wolf (after Medea: Stimmen [de]). Premiered on 6 September 2002 at the Konzerthaus Berlin (Hanssen 2019).
  • Fukujamas Kiste, for electronic sounds (2002)

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  • Akademie der Künste. 2019. "Musik-Mitglieder: Georg Katzer: Komponist". Berlin: Akademie der Künste (accessed 8 May 2019).
  • Anon. 2011. "Bestenliste 1-2011". PdSK (15 February), retrieved 30 September 2011.
  • Anon. 2012. "Musikautorenpreis 2012 / Preisträger". German Music Authors' Prize (archived 26 October 2012, accessed 8 May 2019).
  • Anon. 2019. "Georg Katzer". Saxon State and University Library Dresden (accessed 8 May 2019).
  • Anon. n.d. "Georg Katzer". Munzinger (accessed 8 May 2019). (subscription required)
  • Groetz, Thomas. 2019. "Zum Tod des Komponisten Georg Katzer / Geschlagene Zeit". Deutschlandfunk (8 May, accessed 8 May 2019).
  • Hanssen, Frederick. 2019. "Zum Tod des Komponisten Georg Katzer / Immer gesprächsbereit", Der Tagesspiegel (7 May 2019).
  • Klingberg, Lars. 2001. "Katzer, Georg". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Niklew, Christiane. 2010. "Katzer, Georg". Wer war wer in der DDR?. Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 (Accessed 8 May 2019).
  • Tschernig, Erika. 1987. Unsere Kultur: DDR-Zeittafel, 1945–1987. East Berlin: Akademie für Gesellschaftswissenschaften [de]. ISBN 3-320-01132-4.

Further reading[edit]

  • Amzoll, Stefan. 1978. "Die Stimmen der toten Dichter. Eine Radio-Komposition von Georg Katzer". Musik und Gesellschaft 28, no. 12 (December): 720–21.
  • Amzoll, Stefan. 1993. "Georg Katzers 'Multimedia'-Projekte: Eine Dokumentation". Positionen: Beiträge zur Neuen Musik, no. 14: 26–29.
  • Becker, Peter. 2005. "'...aus heiterem Geiste geschöpfet': Der Komponist Georg Katzer". Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 166, no. 4 (July–August): 56–57.
  • Belkius, Gerd. 1982a. "Bemühungen um neuen Wirkungsraum für Musik. Der Komponist Georg Katzer". Weimarer Beiträge 28 (April): 42–55.
  • Belkius, Gerd. 1982b. "Interview mit Georg Katzer". Weimarer Beiträge 28 (April): 30–41.
  • Dümling, Albrecht. 2005. "In der Musik müssen wir ganz ehrlich sein: Georg Katzer im Gespräch über seinen Lehrer Hanns Eisler". Eisler-Mitteilungen: Internationale Hanns-Eisler-Gesellschaft 12, no. 37:21–24.
  • Förstel, François. 1998. "'Sprechen als Musik genommen': Experimentelle Schülerarbeiten mit Schwitters, Aperghis und Katzer". Musik & Bildung: Praxis Musikunterricht 30, no. 3 (May–June): 22–27.
  • Herz, Joachim. 1994. "Der lustige Musikant oder Das Land Bum Bum: Kinderoper von Rainer Kirsch und Georg Katzer". In Die lustige Person auf der Bühne, 2 vols., edited by Peter Csobádi, 2: 721–731. Anif-Salzburg: Mueller-Speiser. ISBN 3-85145-023-X
  • Kämpfer, Frank. 1999. "Frühmorgens, beim Sturz der Regierung: Georg Katzer im Gespäch". Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 160, no. 6 (November–December): 22–25.
  • Noeske, Nina. 2005. "'Auch eine Musik ist Maschine': NIna Noeske über Georg Katzers D-Dur-Musikmaschine (1973)". Musikforum: Referate und Information des Deutschen Musikrates 3, no. 1:27–29.
  • Noeske, Nina. 2008a. "Die D-Dur-Musikmaschine". In Musikalische Dekonstruktion: neue Instrumentalmusik in der DDR, third edition, 286–296. Cologne: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3-412-20045-9.
  • Noeske, Nina. 2008b. "IV.2.2.3.3 Katzer: Baukasten für Orchester". In Musikalische Dekonstruktion: neue Instrumentalmusik in der DDR, third edition, 302–305. Cologne: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3-412-20045-9.
  • Raab Hansen, Jutta. 1992. "Georg Katzer". Komponisten der Gegenwart: Loseblatt-Lexikon, edited by Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer. Munich: Edition text + kritik. ISBN 3-88377-414-6
  • Rebling, Eberhard. 1981. "Ein neuer Sommernachtstraum: Ballett von Georg Katzer". Musik und Gesellschaft 31, no. 7:423–24.
  • Schneider, Frank. 1984. "Und das Schöne blüht nur im Gesang: Zwei Versuche uber Georg Katzers Komposition". MusikTexte: Zeitschrift für Neue Musik, no. 7:25–29.
  • Vieth, Heike. 1997. "Georg Katzers Szene: Für Kammerensemble". In Jeder nach seiner Fasson: Musikalische Neuansätze heute, edited by Claudia Schurz and Ulrike Liedtke, 219–24. Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag. ISBN 3-930735-70-9
  • Ziegenrücker, Kai-Erik. 1987. "Studios für elektronische Musik in Berlin und Dresden". Bulletin des Musikrates der DDR 24, no. 2:31–35.

External links[edit]