Reinhard Febel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Reinhard Febel
Reinhard Febel.jpg
Febel visiting Gahoe-dong 31-79 in Seoul on 28 March 2012
Born (1952-07-03) 3 July 1952 (age 66)
  • Composer
  • Academic teacher

Reinhard Febel (born 3 July 1952) is a German composer, notable for his operas. He is also a music theorist and a university professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover and the Mozarteum.


Febel was born in Metzingen, Baden-Württemberg, and first studied music and piano with Jürgen Uhde at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart.[1] On a recommendation from Helmut Lachenmann he studied composition from 1979, with Klaus Huber at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and at the IRCAM in Paris where he attended courses in electronic music in 1982.[2] On a commission of the Bayerische Staatsoper he composed the chamber opera Euridice, premiered in 1983. He described his work "The musical world of Euridice is a hybrid of instrumentation, pastiche, collage, composition, sound-noise, and song-language-speech particles."[3] He worked from 1983 to 1988 as a freelance composer in London, in 1984 in Rome on a scholarship of the Villa Massimo. In 1985 his Symphony, composed for the Youth Orchestra of the European Community, was premiered at the Donaueschinger Musiktage.[2]

In 1989 he took over the Chair of Composition and Music Theory at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. In 1992 his opera in three acts Sekunden und Jahre des Caspar Hauser (Seconds and years of Caspar Hauser) on a libretto by Lukas Hemleb was premiered at the Opernhaus Dortmund.[4] In 1996 WERGO recorded his Variations for Orchestra, Das Unendliche (The Infinite) for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra, and his first string quartet, played by the Arditti Quartet.[5] Joseph Stevenson described Variations for Orchestra as "a highly individual, strikingly mysterious one-movement orchestral piece in a post-modern style that mixes tonality and atonality in a freely chromatic technique."[6] Das Unendliche on a poem by Giacomo Leopardi begins with an instrumental reference to the opera Euridice.[3] The string quartet shows elements of American Minimal music and is written in a notation of eight lines, two for each player.[7] In 2003 Wolkenstein, Lieder und Chöre nach Texten und Melodien des Oswald von Wolkenstein (Wolkenstein, songs and choruses after texts and tunes of Oswald von Wolkenstein) was first performed at the Berliner Philharmonie.[2] Triptychon is a "Kammermusiktheater für zwei Sänger, zwei Schauspieler und Kammerorchester nach drei Gemälden von Frida Kahlo, Edward Hopper und Diego Velázquez" (chamber music theater for two singers, two actors and chamber orchestra on three paintings by Frida Kahlo, Edward Hopper and Diego Velázquez) on a text by the composer. The three parts are entitled "Frida", "Gespensterhaus" (Ghost house) and "Raum 17" (Room 17). The opera was premiered in 2009 at the Opernhaus Kiel.

Over the years he spent periods of study, teaching and composing abroad, including in South America (Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina), New Zealand, South Africa (University of Natal) and Cameroon, and in cities such as Skopje, Edinburgh and Riga. Since 1997 he has been professor of composition at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg.[2]

Stage works[edit]

Premiere Title Description Libretto and source
10 Nov 1983, Munich, Bayerische Staatsoper Euridice Chamber opera, 80' Helmut Danninger, after Ottavio Rinuccini's libretto for Jacopo Peri
15 May 1988, Opernhaus Kiel Nacht mit Gästen Music-theatre the composer after the eponymous play by Peter Weiss
12 Apr 1992, Opernhaus Dortmund Sekunden und Jahre des Caspar Hauser Opera in three acts and nine scenes Lukas Hemleb
6 Nov 1994, Staatstheater Darmstadt Morels Erfindung Opera in one act Lukas Hemleb, after La invención de Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares
14 Sep 1996, Theater Hagen Beauty Music-theatre Lukas Hemleb, after a newspaper article
20 Dec 2005, WDR Köln Desert Inn Radio play
10 May 2001, Oper Bonn Besuchszeit Music-theatre for three actors and music, 60' the composer
22 Mar 2003, Philharmonie Berlin Wolkenstein Lieder after texts and melodies of Oswald von Wolkenstein additional texts by the composer
1 Aug 2005, Toihaus Salzburg / TRT Taschenopern-Festival Frida 20'. Ein Traumbild after Unos quantos piquetitos by Frida Kahlo the composer
1 Aug 2007, Toihaus Salzburg / TRT Taschenopern-Festival Gespensterhaus Kammermusiktheater, 30'. Ein Horrorbild after Haunted House by Edward Hopper the composer
16 May 2009, Opernhaus Kiel Raum 17 Music-theatre after the Rokeby Venus by Diego Velasquez the composer

Frida, Gespensterhaus and Raum 17 were presented as Triptychon, an operatic triptych based on paintings.[8]

Febel's works have been published by Ricordi.



  • Reinhard Febel: Musik für zwei Klaviere seit 1950 als Spiegel der Kompositionstechnik. Pfau Verlag, Saarbrücken 1998.
  • Rainer Nonnemann (ed.) and Reinhard Febel: Alles ständig in Bewegung: Texte zur Musik 1976–2003. Pfau Verlag, Saarbrücken 2004.


  • Günter Katzenberger (editor): Reinhard Febel. Beiträge zu seinem musikalischen Schaffen. Hannoversche Gesellschaft für Neue Musik. Ricordi, Feldkirchen 1994, ISBN 3-9803090-4-5.


  1. ^ Rainer Nonnenmann (2011). "Reinhard Febel". Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Reinhard Febel". Ricordi. 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b Joseph Stevenson (2011). "Das Unendliche, for mezzo-soprano, baritone & orchestra". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Febel, Reinhard". Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Variationen für Orchester / Das Unendliche / 1. Streichquartett". WERGO. 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  6. ^ Joseph Stevenson (2011). "Variations for Orchestra". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  7. ^ Joseph Stevenson (2011). "String Quartet". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  8. ^ Horst-Schinzel (3 May 2008). "Höhepunkte im Kieler Theater / Unbekannte Opern und Erinnerung an den Matrosenaufstand 1918" (in German). Horst-Schinzel. Retrieved 14 November 2011.

External links[edit]