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Mahnkopf, Claus-Steffen


Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf was born in Mannheim in 1962. He studied composition with Brian Ferneyhough, Klaus Huber and Emanuel Nunes, piano with James Avery and music theory with Peter Förtig, as well as musicology, philosophy, etc. with Jürgen Habermas and sociology with Ludwig von Friedeberg.

In 1993 Mahnkopf received his Ph. D. with a dissertation on Arnold Schönberg. Alongside his compositional activity, he has published over 120 essays, written five books and edited a further ten. In these, he treats not only subjects from the area of contemporary music, but also composer-personalities such as Wagner and Cage as well as the musical philosophy of Adorno.

In 1995 he was a major participant in the founding of the Gesellschaft für Musik und Ästhetik (Society of Music and Aesthetics). Mahnkopf’s musical roots lie deeply in German-Austrian art music. His central point of reference is Beethoven, and for the twentieth century, Alban Berg. He has been strongly infl uenced by the avant-garde of high modernism and is also internationally orientated, thanks to his non-German teachers.

After many years of activity as an instructor in music theory, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf became Professor of Composition at the Academy of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig in 2005.

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