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A Grand Old Man of New Music: NDR Broadcast to Commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the Death of Rolf Liebermann

Rolf Liebermann died in Paris at the age of 88 on 2 January 1999, almost exactly ten years before the broadcast date of neue musik on 7 January on NDR Kultur (starting time: 9:29 PM). Four years prior to that, his final opera Acquittal for Medea, commissioned by the Hamburg State Opera, received its world premiere in Hamburg. This was the last production by Ruth Berghaus. As music manager and opera director, long-term director of the Main Department of Music at NDR and composer, the Swiss-born Liebermann positioned himself in an extraordinary way. It was he who once invited the aged Igor Stravinsky to Hamburg; he initiated the tradition of live broadcasts of premieres of the Hamburg State Opera on radio, as well as guest appearances and the opera companys first American tour. He made it easier for young people to attend the opera through a special tariff system in Hamburg. When Liebermann took over the United Paris Opera Houses in 1973, he said, Your garden must be newly cultivated; the paper weeds, the letters that kill the spirit, must be weeded out so that your garden may again become what it once was the most beautiful in the world.

Excerpts from Rolf Liebermanns opera Medea and other compositions will be introduced during the broadcast of neue musik. Numerous aspects of his extraordinary artistic personality will be illuminated.