Helmut Lachenmann is a major figure of both 20th century and modern German music. He is a composer of "instrumental concrete music" and a member of the "Klang Komposition" movement.
Helmut Lachenmann studied music with Jürgen Uhde and theory with Johann Nepomuk David. In 1958, he continued his musical education with Luigi Nono, this profoundly shaped the musical personality of the young German composer. Since 1961, Helmut Lachenmann's works have attracted public attention and the interest of contemporary composers. In 1963 and 1964 he took part in Stockhausen’s New Music Classes in Cologne, and in 1965 he did an internship at the electronic studio in Ghent.
Helmut Lachenmann's music rivaled (and even surpassed) the electronic works and musical ideologies of his contemporaries. His work exemplifies the creation of music that moves from sound to noise and from tone to the exploration of tone, while remaining firmly framed in an instrumental context (unlike the electronic forays of his contemporaries). Lachenmann himself termed this style of work "KlangKomposition" (the composition of sound). Helmut Lachenmann's music strives for aesthetic purity and strongly rejects any form of pre-conceived order. It is made up of squeaks, friction and screeches, causing the listener to reflect on the nature of sound and noise.
Throughout his career Helmut Lachenmann taught at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart (1966-70), and at the Hanover (1976-81) and Stuttgart (1981-99) conservatoires. He has also been invited to speak at a number of composition seminars, notably in Darmstadt, the Centre Acanthes and the Juilliard School of Music. He is a member of Fine Arts Academies of in several Germany and Belgium cities. Helmut Lachenmann maintains an active presence on the contemporary music scene, and enjoys worldwide recognition as a major composer of the German avant-garde.
Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Helmut Lachenmann:
1958 : Was taught by Luigi Nono in Venice
1966 : Was made a Professor of Musical Theory at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart
1972 : Was invited to Darmstadt to give a Composition Seminar
1972 : Was awarded the Bachpreis from the Municipality of Hambourg
1981 : Was appointed as a Composition teacher at the Stuttgart conservatoire
1997 : Received the Ernst von Siemens Foundation Prize
Six Key Works by Helmut Lachenmann :
1971 : Gran Torso (quartet)
1982 : Mouvement (-vor der Erstarrung)
1984-85 : Ausklang (Concerto for Piano)
1997 : Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (opera)
1997-99 : NUN (work for soloist, choir and orchestra)
2001 : Grido (string quartet)