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Bernd Alois  Zimmermann

Born: March 20th, 1918
Died: August 10th, 1970
Country of origin: Germany
Upcoming :
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-19 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall — 19:00

It is of greater significance that Zimmermann possessed a much higher differentiated musical perception and awareness than most of the composers of his time, that he was able to compose intensively ‘heard-through’ cantilenas and that he had a highly sensitive feeling for when to stand still and then continue, when to pause, when to surprise and when to consolidate. (Karlheinz Stockhausen)

Bernd Alois Zimmermann was born on 20 March 1918 in Bliesheim near Cologne. He attended the Salvatorianer College Steinfeld in der Eifel from1929 to 1936. After having passed his Abitur [higher education entrance examination], he initially commenced a primary teacher training course in 1937, but transferred a year later to the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne to study school music, music theory and composition with Heinrich Lemacher and Philipp Jarnach. In 1939, Zimmermann was drafted into military service and returned from the front three years later due to illness. He then completed his musical studies in 1947 with the music teacher examination. In 1948, Zimmermann first attended the Darmstadt Summer courses for new music, coming into contact with Wolfgang Fortner und René Leibowitz; at the same time, his Concerto for Orchestra (2nd version 1948) was first performed in Darmstadt. For financial security, Zimmermann arranged light and film music in the 1950s and composed music for school radio programmes. Zimmermann was elected as the president of the German section of the IGNM in 1956, but relinquished the post a year later after having been unsuccessful in uniting the composers of the older and younger generations. In the early summer of 1957, he was the first German composer to receive a scholarship for the Villa Massimo in Rome where he began work on the opera Die Soldaten. From 1957 onwards, he supervised a composition class and seminar for film and radio music at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. The composer devoted the final years of his life to work on the Requiem for a young poet which was given its first performance in 1969. On 10 August 1970, Zimmermann took his own life in Groß-Königsdorf near Cologne.

Although the size of his musical oeuvre is relatively small, Zimmermann occupies a key position in the history of German post-war music. He not only immersed himself in serial music and the strict concept of the Darmstadt avant-garde, but also combined these influences in a highly original manner with elements of jazz and quotations from historical compositions, thereby intriguingly anticipating the core concepts and techniques of so-called post-modernism. Zimmermann’s oeuvre includes compositions for orchestra - a Symphony (2nd version, 1953), a variety of ballet works and solo concertos - vocal works, chamber music and solo literature and electronic magnetic tape music. The Requiem for a young poet (1967/1969) can be viewed as a showcase for Zimmermann’s compositional development. The work is scored for large-scale forces including narrator, soloists, three choirs, electronic sounds, orchestra, jazz combo and organ. The texts selected by the composer range from political speeches, reports and liturgies to poems by Majakowski, Joyce, Pound, Camus, Schwitters und Bayer. The boundaries of the oratorio are pushed back towards the direction of radio play, reportage and features.

Zimmermann developed the concept of “pluralistic tonal composition” with the Sonata for cello solo (1960) and the Dialogues for 2 pianos and orchestra (2nd version, 1965). The superimposition of a variety of metres and rhythms produces a box form with differing time levels; quotations were also added. In the opera Die Soldaten (1957-1965), the technique of simulation was the central starting point (“sphericity of time”). The literary text, the play by J.M.R. Lenz, already splits open the unity of space and time: the various plot lines run parallel to each other. Zimmermann left the text of the play almost unaltered – elements of the text are additionally superimposed in a collage technique. The planned first performance of Die Soldaten in 1960 was initially postponed as the work was considered to be unplayable. The opera finally experienced its premiere at the Städtische Bühnen in Cologne in 1965: a sensational success which has continued up to the present day.

Zimmermann received a number of prizes, including the north Rhine-Westphalia Grand Art Prize (1960) and the Art Prize from the City of Cologne (1966). In 1965, Zimmermann was appointed as a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin.

1918
Born in Bliesheim on 20 March
1929
Attended the Salvatorian School in Steinfeld (Eifel)
1937
Matriculation
Began training as elementary school teacher in the winter term in Bonn
Began music teachers' course at Cologne Conservatory
1938
Labour service
1939
Called up into the army. Took part in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns as mounted messenger and horse groom. Became ill in 1942, released for treatment in Cologne, and began studying musicology there
1945
Resumption of studies as music teacher. Musical theorie under Heinrich Lemacher. Composition uner Phlipp Jarnach
1946
First performances. "Scherzo Sinfonico", from "Sinfonia prosodica", "Extemporale", "Three Sacred Songs"
1947
Music teachers' examination
First performance of "Concerto for Orchestra" (1st version)
1948
Attended Darmstadt Music Course, and took part in courses given by René Leibowitz
1949
"Enchiridion"
1950
Married Sabine von Schablowsky
First dodecaphonic composition (2nd movement of the "Violin Concerto")
1951
Birth of son Gereon
"Exerzitien" (2nd part of "Enchiridion"), "Symphony in One Movement" (1st version)
1952
Birth of daughter Bettina
First performance of "Oboe Concerto" by Hans Rosbaud at Donaueschingen
1954
First plans for a big oratorio
"Cello Concerto" (later re-written as "Conto di speranza")
1955
"Perspectives". First performance 1956 by the Kontarsky Brothers
1956
Zimmermann was elected as President of the German section of the ISCM, but resigned in 1957 when he failed to initiative a dialogue between composers of the older and the younger generations
1957
Zimmermann became first composer to be awarded a scholarship to the Villa Massimo. In autumn 1957, began composing his opera "Die Soldaten". Appointed successor to Professor Frank Martin at the Cologne Conservatory, and ran a seminar for radio play music.
First performance "Canto di speranza" by Siegfried Palm
1959
End of 1959, beginning of 1960, ceased working on "Die Soldaten".
Composed "Cello Sonata", "Dialogues" (1st version), new thoughts on planned oratorio
1960
Awarded "Großer Kunstpreis" of North Rhine-Westphalia
1961
"Antiphonen"
1963
First performance of "Vocal Symphony" from "Die Soldaten". From autumn a further stay at Villa Massimo, where the composition of "Die Soldaten" was resumed
1965
First performance of "Die Soldaten"
1966
Birth of son Johann Jakob Wimar
Awarded the "Kunstpreis" of the city of Cologne
Further work on the oratorio
Began a new opera project "Medea" (after Hans Henny Jahnn)
"Tratto I"
1967
"Intercomunicatione"
1968
Work on oratorio, now entitled "Requiem for a Young Poet". First performance 1969
1970
"Stillness and Return", "I turned and saw all the injustices that are committed under the sun". On 10th August Bernd Alois Zimmermann took his own life
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall — 19:00
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-19 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall — 19:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-19 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-20 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Orchestra: DR SymfoniOrkestret
2018-01-20 | Copenhagen (Denmark), DR Koncerthuset — 15:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-20 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-21 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 14:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-21 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 14:00
2018-01-26 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater — 21:00
Orchestra: Mitglieder des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Mainz
2018-01-26 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater — 21:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
2018-01-28 | Berlin (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00
2018-01-28 | Köln (Germany), WDR Studio Neue Musik — 23:04
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-06 | Schleswig (Germany), A. P. Møller-Skolen — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-07 | Flensburg (Germany), Deutsches Haus — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-08 | Husum (Germany), NordseeCongressCentrum — 20:00
Conductor: Ulrich Kern
Orchestra: Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
2018-02-08 | Reutlingen (Germany), Stadthalle — 20:00
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-09 | Rendsburg (Germany), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Scott Sandmeier
Orchestra: Orchester der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg
2018-02-09 | Freiburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik — 18:00
2018-02-11 | Köln (Germany), WDR Studio Neue Musik — 23:04
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt
2018-02-15 | Erfurt (Germany), Theater, Großes Haus
2018-02-24 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 15:00
Conductor: Francesco Bossaglia
Orchestra: Ensemble 900
2018-02-25 | Lugano (Switzerland), Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI — 17:30
Conductor: Francesco Bossaglia
Orchestra: Ensemble 900
2018-02-25 | Lugano (Switzerland), Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI — 17:30
Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
2018-03-01 | Leipzig (Germany), Gewandhaus
Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
2018-03-02 | Leipzig (Germany), Gewandhaus
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz
2018-03-02 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater. Großes Haus
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz
2018-03-03 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater. Großes Haus
Conductor: Evan Christ
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2018-03-09 | Cottbus (Germany), Staatstheater, Großes Haus
Conductor: Evan Christ
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2018-03-11 | Cottbus (Germany), Staatstheater, Großes Haus
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-17 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30 | First Night
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-20 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Robert Trevino
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-03-22 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle — 13:00
Conductor: Robert Trevino
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-03-23 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Brad Lubman
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-03-24 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-25 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:00
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
Conductor: John Storgårds
Orchestra: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
2018-04-06 | Wien (Austria), Musikverein
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-08 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 15:30
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-14 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
2018-04-15 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus, Werner-Otto-Saal
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
2018-04-15 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus, Werner-Otto-Saal
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-20 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle
Conductor: Justus Thorau
Orchestra: Sinfonieorchester Aachen
2018-04-22 | Aachen (Germany), Eurogress
Conductor: Justus Thorau
Orchestra: Sinfonieorchester Aachen
2018-04-23 | Aachen (Germany), Eurogress
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-23 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-27 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-28 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-28 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), WDR
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00 | World Premiere
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-29 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 16:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-04-29 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 18:00 | First Night
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-29 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 16:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-30 | Freiburg (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-30 | Freiburg (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-03 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Emilio Pomarico
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-05-05 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Emilio Pomarico
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-05-05 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
2018-05-06 | Wien (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Brad Lubman
Orchestra: Ensemble Modern Orchestra
2018-05-06 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus Wallrafplatz — 17:00
2018-05-06 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus Wallrafplatz — 17:00
Conductor: Michael Wendeberg
Orchestra: Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
2018-05-10 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-11 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-13 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 16:00
Conductor: Paul Krämer
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-15 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-16 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Olari Elts
Orchestra: Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz
2018-05-16 | Chemnitz (Germany), Stadthalle
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-17 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Olari Elts
Orchestra: Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz
2018-05-17 | Chemnitz (Germany), Stadthalle
2018-05-18 | Leuk (Switzerland), Schloss Leuk
Conductor: Günter Neuhold
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-18 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Günter Neuhold
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-18 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-19 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-19 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
2018-05-19 | Berlin (Germany), Pierre Boulez Saal
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-22 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-24 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-25 | Kraków (Poland), Filharmonia im. Karola Szymanowskiego — 20:00
Conductor: Hannu Lintu
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-05-25 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-25 | Kraków (Poland), Filharmonia im. Karola Szymanowskiego — 20:00
2018-05-27 | Frankfurt (Germany), Hessischer Rundfunk, hr-Sendesaal
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-28 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-31 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Adam Stern
Orchestra: Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
2018-06-02 | Seattle, WA (United States of America), Benaroya Hall
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-06-03 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Kai-Uwe Jirka
Orchestra: Symphonieorchester der Universität der Künste Berlin
2018-06-09 | Berlin (Germany), Universität der Künste, Konzertsaal
Conductor: Michael Wendeberg
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-06-23 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz
Conductor: Valentin Uryupin
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-07-18 | Freiburg (Germany), E-Werk — 21:00
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2018-09-01 | Luzern (Switzerland), Kultur- Kongresszentrum — 18:30
Conductor: Kai-Uwe Jirka
Orchestra: Kammersymphonie Berlin
2018-11-23 | Berlin (Germany), Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche

Gallery

per page
  1. Rheinische Kirmestänze

    Rheinische Kirmestänze

    for 13 Wind Instruments
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: 13 wind instruments
    Edition: score
    Order No.: CON 176
    €16.99
  2. Monologe

    Monologe

    Digital output
    Instrumentation: 2 pianos (4 hands)
    Edition: 2 Exemplare zur Aufführung nötig
    Order No.: ED 5427
    €27.99
  3. Dialoge

    Dialoge

    Concerto
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: 2 pianos and orchestra
    Edition: study score
    Order No.: ED 7134
    €42.99
  4. String Quartet

    String Quartet

    Digital output
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 9985
    €18.99
  5. Cadenzas

    Cadenzas

    Concertos for Flute and Orchestra G major KV 313 and D-major KV 314 by W. A. Mozart
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: flute
    Order No.: ED 21448
    €6.99
  6. Aria · Larghetto molto

    Aria · Larghetto molto

    Two alternative movements for the second movement of the "Kleine Suite" for violin and piano
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: violin and piano
    Order No.: ED 21335
    €9.99
  7. Lied der Abelone

    Lied der Abelone

    based on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: medium voice and piano
    Language: German
    Order No.: ED 21336
    €9.99
  8. Configurations

    Configurations

    8 Works
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: piano
    Order No.: ED 4942
    €11.99
  9. Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Volksliedkantate
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: mixed choir (SATB), soloists (ABar) and instruments
    Edition: choral score
    Language: German
    Order No.: ED 7559-01
    €5.99
  10. Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Volksliedkantate
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: mixed choir (SATB), soloists (ABar) and instruments
    Edition: vocal/piano score
    Language: German
    Order No.: ED 7559-10
    €20.99

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Profile

It is of greater significance that Zimmermann possessed a much higher differentiated musical perception and awareness than most of the composers of his time, that he was able to compose intensively ‘heard-through’ cantilenas and that he had a highly sensitive feeling for when to stand still and then continue, when to pause, when to surprise and when to consolidate. (Karlheinz Stockhausen)

Bernd Alois Zimmermann was born on 20 March 1918 in Bliesheim near Cologne. He attended the Salvatorianer College Steinfeld in der Eifel from1929 to 1936. After having passed his Abitur [higher education entrance examination], he initially commenced a primary teacher training course in 1937, but transferred a year later to the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne to study school music, music theory and composition with Heinrich Lemacher and Philipp Jarnach. In 1939, Zimmermann was drafted into military service and returned from the front three years later due to illness. He then completed his musical studies in 1947 with the music teacher examination. In 1948, Zimmermann first attended the Darmstadt Summer courses for new music, coming into contact with Wolfgang Fortner und René Leibowitz; at the same time, his Concerto for Orchestra (2nd version 1948) was first performed in Darmstadt. For financial security, Zimmermann arranged light and film music in the 1950s and composed music for school radio programmes. Zimmermann was elected as the president of the German section of the IGNM in 1956, but relinquished the post a year later after having been unsuccessful in uniting the composers of the older and younger generations. In the early summer of 1957, he was the first German composer to receive a scholarship for the Villa Massimo in Rome where he began work on the opera Die Soldaten. From 1957 onwards, he supervised a composition class and seminar for film and radio music at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. The composer devoted the final years of his life to work on the Requiem for a young poet which was given its first performance in 1969. On 10 August 1970, Zimmermann took his own life in Groß-Königsdorf near Cologne.

Although the size of his musical oeuvre is relatively small, Zimmermann occupies a key position in the history of German post-war music. He not only immersed himself in serial music and the strict concept of the Darmstadt avant-garde, but also combined these influences in a highly original manner with elements of jazz and quotations from historical compositions, thereby intriguingly anticipating the core concepts and techniques of so-called post-modernism. Zimmermann’s oeuvre includes compositions for orchestra - a Symphony (2nd version, 1953), a variety of ballet works and solo concertos - vocal works, chamber music and solo literature and electronic magnetic tape music. The Requiem for a young poet (1967/1969) can be viewed as a showcase for Zimmermann’s compositional development. The work is scored for large-scale forces including narrator, soloists, three choirs, electronic sounds, orchestra, jazz combo and organ. The texts selected by the composer range from political speeches, reports and liturgies to poems by Majakowski, Joyce, Pound, Camus, Schwitters und Bayer. The boundaries of the oratorio are pushed back towards the direction of radio play, reportage and features.

Zimmermann developed the concept of “pluralistic tonal composition” with the Sonata for cello solo (1960) and the Dialogues for 2 pianos and orchestra (2nd version, 1965). The superimposition of a variety of metres and rhythms produces a box form with differing time levels; quotations were also added. In the opera Die Soldaten (1957-1965), the technique of simulation was the central starting point (“sphericity of time”). The literary text, the play by J.M.R. Lenz, already splits open the unity of space and time: the various plot lines run parallel to each other. Zimmermann left the text of the play almost unaltered – elements of the text are additionally superimposed in a collage technique. The planned first performance of Die Soldaten in 1960 was initially postponed as the work was considered to be unplayable. The opera finally experienced its premiere at the Städtische Bühnen in Cologne in 1965: a sensational success which has continued up to the present day.

Zimmermann received a number of prizes, including the north Rhine-Westphalia Grand Art Prize (1960) and the Art Prize from the City of Cologne (1966). In 1965, Zimmermann was appointed as a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin.

Works
Chronology
1918
Born in Bliesheim on 20 March
1929
Attended the Salvatorian School in Steinfeld (Eifel)
1937
Matriculation
Began training as elementary school teacher in the winter term in Bonn
Began music teachers' course at Cologne Conservatory
1938
Labour service
1939
Called up into the army. Took part in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns as mounted messenger and horse groom. Became ill in 1942, released for treatment in Cologne, and began studying musicology there
1945
Resumption of studies as music teacher. Musical theorie under Heinrich Lemacher. Composition uner Phlipp Jarnach
1946
First performances. "Scherzo Sinfonico", from "Sinfonia prosodica", "Extemporale", "Three Sacred Songs"
1947
Music teachers' examination
First performance of "Concerto for Orchestra" (1st version)
1948
Attended Darmstadt Music Course, and took part in courses given by René Leibowitz
1949
"Enchiridion"
1950
Married Sabine von Schablowsky
First dodecaphonic composition (2nd movement of the "Violin Concerto")
1951
Birth of son Gereon
"Exerzitien" (2nd part of "Enchiridion"), "Symphony in One Movement" (1st version)
1952
Birth of daughter Bettina
First performance of "Oboe Concerto" by Hans Rosbaud at Donaueschingen
1954
First plans for a big oratorio
"Cello Concerto" (later re-written as "Conto di speranza")
1955
"Perspectives". First performance 1956 by the Kontarsky Brothers
1956
Zimmermann was elected as President of the German section of the ISCM, but resigned in 1957 when he failed to initiative a dialogue between composers of the older and the younger generations
1957
Zimmermann became first composer to be awarded a scholarship to the Villa Massimo. In autumn 1957, began composing his opera "Die Soldaten". Appointed successor to Professor Frank Martin at the Cologne Conservatory, and ran a seminar for radio play music.
First performance "Canto di speranza" by Siegfried Palm
1959
End of 1959, beginning of 1960, ceased working on "Die Soldaten".
Composed "Cello Sonata", "Dialogues" (1st version), new thoughts on planned oratorio
1960
Awarded "Großer Kunstpreis" of North Rhine-Westphalia
1961
"Antiphonen"
1963
First performance of "Vocal Symphony" from "Die Soldaten". From autumn a further stay at Villa Massimo, where the composition of "Die Soldaten" was resumed
1965
First performance of "Die Soldaten"
1966
Birth of son Johann Jakob Wimar
Awarded the "Kunstpreis" of the city of Cologne
Further work on the oratorio
Began a new opera project "Medea" (after Hans Henny Jahnn)
"Tratto I"
1967
"Intercomunicatione"
1968
Work on oratorio, now entitled "Requiem for a Young Poet". First performance 1969
1970
"Stillness and Return", "I turned and saw all the injustices that are committed under the sun". On 10th August Bernd Alois Zimmermann took his own life
Performances
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall — 19:00
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-19 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-01-19 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall — 19:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-19 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-20 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Orchestra: DR SymfoniOrkestret
2018-01-20 | Copenhagen (Denmark), DR Koncerthuset — 15:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-20 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 20:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-21 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 14:00
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
2018-01-21 | Los Angeles, CA (United States of America), Walt Disney Concert Hall — 14:00
2018-01-26 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater — 21:00
Orchestra: Mitglieder des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Mainz
2018-01-26 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater — 21:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
2018-01-28 | Berlin (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00
2018-01-28 | Köln (Germany), WDR Studio Neue Musik — 23:04
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-06 | Schleswig (Germany), A. P. Møller-Skolen — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-07 | Flensburg (Germany), Deutsches Haus — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-08 | Husum (Germany), NordseeCongressCentrum — 20:00
Conductor: Ulrich Kern
Orchestra: Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
2018-02-08 | Reutlingen (Germany), Stadthalle — 20:00
Conductor: Peter Sommerer
Orchestra: Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester
2018-02-09 | Rendsburg (Germany), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Scott Sandmeier
Orchestra: Orchester der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg
2018-02-09 | Freiburg (Germany), Hochschule für Musik — 18:00
2018-02-11 | Köln (Germany), WDR Studio Neue Musik — 23:04
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt
2018-02-15 | Erfurt (Germany), Theater, Großes Haus
2018-02-24 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 15:00
Conductor: Francesco Bossaglia
Orchestra: Ensemble 900
2018-02-25 | Lugano (Switzerland), Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI — 17:30
Conductor: Francesco Bossaglia
Orchestra: Ensemble 900
2018-02-25 | Lugano (Switzerland), Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI — 17:30
Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
2018-03-01 | Leipzig (Germany), Gewandhaus
Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
2018-03-02 | Leipzig (Germany), Gewandhaus
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz
2018-03-02 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater. Großes Haus
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz
2018-03-03 | Mainz (Germany), Staatstheater. Großes Haus
Conductor: Evan Christ
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2018-03-09 | Cottbus (Germany), Staatstheater, Großes Haus
Conductor: Evan Christ
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2018-03-11 | Cottbus (Germany), Staatstheater, Großes Haus
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-17 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30 | First Night
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-20 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Robert Trevino
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-03-22 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle — 13:00
Conductor: Robert Trevino
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-03-23 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Brad Lubman
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-03-24 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-03-25 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:00
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
2018-04-05 | Köln (Germany), Hochschule für Musik und Tanz | First Night
Conductor: John Storgårds
Orchestra: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
2018-04-06 | Wien (Austria), Musikverein
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-08 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 15:30
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-14 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
2018-04-15 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus, Werner-Otto-Saal
Conductor: Peter Hirsch
2018-04-15 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus, Werner-Otto-Saal
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-20 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle
Conductor: Justus Thorau
Orchestra: Sinfonieorchester Aachen
2018-04-22 | Aachen (Germany), Eurogress
Conductor: Justus Thorau
Orchestra: Sinfonieorchester Aachen
2018-04-23 | Aachen (Germany), Eurogress
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
2018-04-23 | Nürnberg (Germany), Staatstheater — 19:30
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-27 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-28 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-28 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), WDR
Conductor: Alfred Eschwé
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2018-04-28 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00 | World Premiere
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-29 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 16:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-04-29 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 18:00 | First Night
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-29 | Dortmund (Germany), Konzerthaus — 16:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-30 | Freiburg (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-04-30 | Freiburg (Germany), Konzerthaus — 20:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-03 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Emilio Pomarico
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-05-05 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Emilio Pomarico
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-05-05 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Orchestra: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
2018-05-06 | Wien (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Brad Lubman
Orchestra: Ensemble Modern Orchestra
2018-05-06 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus Wallrafplatz — 17:00
2018-05-06 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus Wallrafplatz — 17:00
Conductor: Michael Wendeberg
Orchestra: Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
2018-05-10 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-11 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-13 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 16:00
Conductor: Paul Krämer
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-15 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-16 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Olari Elts
Orchestra: Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz
2018-05-16 | Chemnitz (Germany), Stadthalle
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-17 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Olari Elts
Orchestra: Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz
2018-05-17 | Chemnitz (Germany), Stadthalle
2018-05-18 | Leuk (Switzerland), Schloss Leuk
Conductor: Günter Neuhold
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-18 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: Günter Neuhold
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-18 | Nürnberg (Germany), Meistersingerhalle — 20:00
Conductor: François-Xavier Roth
Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
2018-05-19 | Köln (Germany), Staatenhaus — 19:30
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-19 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
2018-05-19 | Berlin (Germany), Pierre Boulez Saal
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-22 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-24 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-25 | Kraków (Poland), Filharmonia im. Karola Szymanowskiego — 20:00
Conductor: Hannu Lintu
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2018-05-25 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre, Concert Hall
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg
2018-05-25 | Kraków (Poland), Filharmonia im. Karola Szymanowskiego — 20:00
2018-05-27 | Frankfurt (Germany), Hessischer Rundfunk, hr-Sendesaal
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-28 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-05-31 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Adam Stern
Orchestra: Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
2018-06-02 | Seattle, WA (United States of America), Benaroya Hall
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado; Michael Zlabinger, 19.5.
2018-06-03 | Madrid (Spain), Teatro Real — 20:00
Conductor: Kai-Uwe Jirka
Orchestra: Symphonieorchester der Universität der Künste Berlin
2018-06-09 | Berlin (Germany), Universität der Künste, Konzertsaal
Conductor: Michael Wendeberg
Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
2018-06-23 | Köln (Germany), Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz
Conductor: Valentin Uryupin
Orchestra: SWR Symphonieorchester
2018-07-18 | Freiburg (Germany), E-Werk — 21:00
Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2018-09-01 | Luzern (Switzerland), Kultur- Kongresszentrum — 18:30
Conductor: Kai-Uwe Jirka
Orchestra: Kammersymphonie Berlin
2018-11-23 | Berlin (Germany), Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche
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  1. Rheinische Kirmestänze

    Rheinische Kirmestänze

    for 13 Wind Instruments
    Digital output
    Instrumentation: 13 wind instruments
    Edition: score
    Order No.: CON 176
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  2. Monologe

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    Digital output
    Instrumentation: 2 pianos (4 hands)
    Edition: 2 Exemplare zur Aufführung nötig
    Order No.: ED 5427
    €27.99
  3. Dialoge

    Dialoge

    Concerto
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    Instrumentation: 2 pianos and orchestra
    Edition: study score
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    Digital output
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 9985
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    Concertos for Flute and Orchestra G major KV 313 and D-major KV 314 by W. A. Mozart
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    Instrumentation: flute
    Order No.: ED 21448
    €6.99
  6. Aria · Larghetto molto

    Aria · Larghetto molto

    Two alternative movements for the second movement of the "Kleine Suite" for violin and piano
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    Instrumentation: violin and piano
    Order No.: ED 21335
    €9.99
  7. Lied der Abelone

    Lied der Abelone

    based on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
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    Instrumentation: medium voice and piano
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  9. Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Volksliedkantate
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    Edition: choral score
    Language: German
    Order No.: ED 7559-01
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    Die Brünnlein, die da fließen

    Volksliedkantate
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    Instrumentation: mixed choir (SATB), soloists (ABar) and instruments
    Edition: vocal/piano score
    Language: German
    Order No.: ED 7559-10
    €20.99

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