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News about Alfred Schnittke

On 24 November 2014 the musical world will commemorate the 80th birthday of Alfred Schnittke. The Russian composer was born on 24 November 1934 in Engels, the capital of the then Volga-German Republic. His musical education began in 1946 in Vienna where his father, a Jewish journalist and translator of German antecedents, worked for a newspaper for two years. Schnittke received piano instruction, experienced opera and concert performances and undertook his first attempts at composition. Living in Moscow from 1948 onwards, Schnittke first completed training as a choral conductor, forming the basis for his later passion for vocal music. His works were later played at all the important New Music Festivals and, during the 1990s, Schnittke in Europe was one of the most frequently performed composers of his time. This composer, who taught composition alongside Ligeti as a professor at the Hamburg Music Academy from 1989 until 1994, was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and of the Free Academy of the Arts in Hamburg, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm, the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. He died on 3 August 1998 in Hamburg.

In the issue 3/2014 of the chamber music journal ENSEMBLE, an extensive article appeared on Alfred Schnittke entitled "The Uprooted Russian – The Chamber Music of Alfred Schnittke" (pp. 50-53) in June 2014.

The new, revised works catalogue of Alfred Schnittke (SIK 4/5614) has also just been issued in its second printing. Many work and premiere performance data have been reworked here, sources completed and new knowledge of Schnittke researchers taken into consideration.


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