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Carl  Orff

Born: July 10th, 1895
Died: March 29th, 1982
Country of origin: Germany
Upcoming :
Conductor: Niels Erlank
Orchestra: Oldenburgisches Schlossorchester
2020-01-25 | Oldenburg (Germany), Freie Waldorfschule
Conductor: Udo Schmitz
2020-01-25 | Efringen-Kirchen (Germany), Hermann-Burte-Halle — 19:30

Orff’s music, his musikē – I deliberately utilise the Greek expression – offers less for the ear than traditional opera music. In exchange, it involves all the senses; it is not just sound, but also dance; not just tone but also playing; not only singing but also scenes and theatre – it is music in the sense of an artistic muse uniting and fusing all the arts , as originally conceived by the Ancient Greeks. (Hans Maier)

Carl Orff was born on 10 July 1895 in Munich. He received his first piano tuition at the early age of five, and subsequently also cello and organ lessons. Evidence shows that he regularly attended the theatre and opera from 1903 onwards. In 1911, his first work was published: the lied “Eiland, ein Sang vom Chiemsee”, although Orff up to this point had not yet begun systematic courses in music theory. From 1912 to 1914, he studied composition with Anton Beer-Walbrunn at the Munich Akademie der Tonkunst and from 1915 piano with Hermann Zilcher. In 1915, Orff was able to gather initial practical experience in the theatre, worked as repetiteur and one year later was appointed as kapellmeister of the Munich Chamber Theatre. Following a brief period of military service, he was appointed as kapellmeister assisting Wilhelm Furtwängler at the National Theatre in Mannheim and the Landestheater Darmstadt. He received further training in composition from Heinrich Kaminski and undertook an extensive study of Bach, Buxtehude, Pachelbel and particularly Monteverdi. A co-founder of the “Günther School” for gymnastics, music and dance in Munich (1924), Orff became the director of the department for dance and musical education. This was for Orff an ideal experimental educational field for the development of the “Orff Schulwerk” (1930-1934/1950-1954) which was distributed with great success worldwide and continues today to be utilised within the areas of social and therapeutic education. In 1936, Orff received the commission to compose a part of the processional music for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. From 1950 to 1960, he held master classes for composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich. From 1955, he was resident in Dießen on Lake Ammer and died on 29 March 1982 in Munich.

Right from the beginning, Orff concentrated exclusively on textually related music. His aim was to combine theatre, music, dance and acting to form a single unified whole in which the rhythmical organisation of language frequently provided the compositional framework. Orff composed his first choral work (“Also sprach Zarathustra”, based on Nietzsche) and an early opera strongly influenced by Debussy entitled Gisei, das Opfer, which was completed in 1913. Orff found his way to his own individual style through the study of the counterpoint of the old masters. His fascination for mediaeval and classical texts was reflected in works such as his cycle Trionfi (Carmina Burana, 1936, Catulli Carmina, 1943 and Trionfo di Afrodite, 1951), Hölderlin’s adaptations of Greek dramas Antigonae (1949) and Oedipus der Tyrann (1959) and Aischylos’ Prometheus (1967). The works in the style of fairy tales such as Der Mond (1938/71) and Die Kluge (1942) belong to a further group of works. Orff was fascinated by the vocal richness of dialects and also wrote works utilising Old Bavarian: Die Bernauerin (1946). His final stage composition, the mystery play De temporum fine comoedia, was premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 1973.

Carmina Burana is Orff’s most famous composition. The staged cantata consisting of a collection of songs was based on texts from a mediaeval manuscript housed in the monastery Benediktbeuern. Orff created incredibly dynamic music combining archaic harmony and pulsating dance-like rhythms. The powerful chorus “Fortuna” which frames the vernal, drinking and love songs has made Carmina Burana one of the most frequently performed works of the 20th century.

Carl Orff received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Tübingen (1959) and Munich (1972) and also the Great Order of Merit with Star and shoulder ribbon of the Federal Republic pf Germany (1972). In 1947, he was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Munich and in 1974 the Romano Guardini Prize by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria. Carl Orff was made honorary citizen of the City of Munich and became a member of the Order pour le Mérite for science and the arts. The Carl Orff Museum in Dießen on Lake Ammer, commemorates the life and work of the composer; numerous educational establishments, schools and institutions have been named after him.

 

1895
Born in Munich on 20 July
1898
Birth of his sister Maria (Mia)
1900
First piano lessons
1901
Marsfeld School
1905
Ludwig High School
1907-12
Wittelsbacher High School
1910-12
Songs for voice and piano
1911-1912
"Zarathustra" (after Nietzsche) for baritone, three male choirs and orchestra
1912-14
Studies at the Academy of Music
1913
"Gisei" (Das Opfer) music drama
1914
"Tanzende Faune", orchestral play
1914
"Treibhauslieder". A tragedy after poems by Maurice Maeterlinck
1914
Studies with Hermann Zilcher
1915-17
Kapellmeister at the Munich Kammerspiele
1917
First version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (unfinished)
1917
Military service. Narrowly escapes death by burial under rubble on the Eastern front.
1918
Kapellmeister at the Mannheim Nationaltheater and the Darmstadt Hoftheater
1918-19
Music for Büchner´s "Leonce und Lena"
1919
Returns to Munich
1919
Studies old masters, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries
1919
Begins to teach private pupils
1919
Lieder after texts by Klabund, Dehmel, Lenau and Nietzsche
1920-21
Studies with Heinrich Kaminski
1920-21
Songs for voice and piano after texts by Franz Werfel
1920-21
"Des Turmes Auferstehung" (Werfel) for two bass voices, large orchestra and organ
1920-21
Second version for two male choirs, large orchestra and organ
1920-21
Draft of an arrangement of Bach's "Kunst der Fuge" for several orchestras and choirs
1920-25
Married to Alice Solscher
1921
Birth of daughter Godela
1921
Begins to study Monteverdi
1923/24
New dramaturgical and musical arrangement of Monteverdi's "L´Orfeo"
1924
Together with Dorothee Günther, founds the Günther School for gymnastics, rhythm, music and dance in Munich
1925
New arrangement of Monteverdi's "Lamento d`Arianna"
1925
17 April: World premiere of "Orpheus" (1st version) at the Mannheim Nationaltheater
1925
New arrangement of Monteverdi's "Ballo delle Ingrate" (1608) (after the 7th and 8th book of madrigals) as satyr play of "Orpheus" under the title "Tanz der Spröden"
1925
28 December: World premiere of "Tanz der Spröden" (1st version) at the Karlsruhe Landestheater
1925-32
Organal cantus-firmus pieces
1927
"Kleines Konzert" for harpsichord, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion after lute pieces of the 16th century
1928
11 December: World premiere of "Kleines Konzert" in Munich, as part of the "Vereinigung für Zeitgenössische Musik"
1928
"Entrata" (after William Byrd) for five-choir orchestra and organ
1928
Second version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (unfinished draft)
1929
13 October: World premiere of the 2nd version of "Orpheus" at the Munich Residenztheater
1930
Performance of "Entrata" using radio and loudspeakers by Hermann Scherchen in Königsberg
1930
Cantatas after texts by Franz Werfel (Book of Works I)
1930/31
Catulli Carmina I, II (choral pieces)
1930/31
Choral pieces after texts by Bert Brecht (Book of Works II)
1931-34
Publication of the first Schulwerk edition: "Orff-Schulwerk Elementare Musikübung" in collaboration with Gunild Keetman
1931
Plans for founding a "Münchner Turm- und Stadtmusik" (= ensemble of town musicians in Munich)
1932
Arrangement of Bavarian folk music with Kurt Huber
1932
28 April: First Performance of the "St. Luke Passion" at the "Vereinigung für Zeitgenössische Musik" in Munich
1932/33
Conductor of the Munich Bach Society
1933
Arrangement for stage and concert performance and presentation of Heinrich Schütz' " Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi" at the Bach Society
1937
8 June: "Carmina Burana", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1939
Married to Getrud Willert
1939
5 February: "Der Mond", World premiere at the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper
1939
14 October: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (3rd version), first performance, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1940
24 August: First performance of the "Entrata" (new version) in Frankfurt am Main
1940
4 October: Performance of the 3rd version of "Orpheus" at the Dresden Staatsoper
1940
30 November: Performance of all three Monteverdi works at the Reußisches Theater Gera
1943
20 February: "Die Kluge", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1943
6 November: "Catulli Carmina", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Leipzig
1943
Fourth Version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (not performed)
1947
15 June: "Die Bernauerin", World premiere, Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1948
First Schulwerk broadcasts by the Bavarian Radio, "Die Weihnachtsgeschichte"
1949
9 August: "Antigonae", World premiere, Salzburg Felsenreitschule
1950-54
Publication of the 2nd Schulwerk edition "Musik für Kinder" in collaboration with Gunild Keetman
1950-60
Teaches composition at the Munich Staatliche Hochschule für Musik
1952
30 October: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (5th version), first performance at the Darmstadt Landestheater
1953
14 February: "Trionfo di Afrodite", world premiere at the Teatro della Scala, Milan (in connection with "Carmina Burana" and "Catulli Carmina" under the title "Trionfi - Trittico teatrale")
1953
20 October: "Astutuli", World premiere at the Munich Kammerspiele
1954-59
Married to Luise Rinser
1956
31 March: "Comoedia de Christi Resurrectione", first broadcast by the Bavarian Television Channel
1956
3 August: "Die Sänger der Vorwelt", choral pieces after a text by Friedrich Schiller, world premiere in Stuttgart
1956
4 December. "Nänie und Dithyrambe", choral pieces after texts by Friedrich Schiller, world premiere in Bremen
1956
Member of the order "Pour le mérite" for science and arts
1957
21 April: "Comoedia de Christi Resurrectione", World premiere of stage version, Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart (Wieland Wagner)
1958
15 May: "Lamenti - Trittico teatrale liberamente tratto da opere di Claudio Monteverdi"; First performance at the Schwetzingen Festival
1959
11 December: "Oedipus des Tyrann", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater
1959
Honorary doctorate from the University of Tübingen
1960
Marries Liselotte Schmitz
1960
11 December: "Ludus de nato infante mirificus", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1961
Foundation of the seminar and centre for the Orff-Schulwerk at the Salzburg Mozarteum
1962/63
Schulwerk lecture tours to Canada, Japan and Portugal
1963
Inauguration of the Orff Institute in Salzburg
1963
12 March: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (6th version), first performance at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1968
24 March: "Prometheus", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1972
Honorary doctorate from the University of Munich
1972
Grand Cross with star and ribbon for Distinguished Service of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
1973
20 August: "De temporum fine comedia", World premiere at the Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus
1974
Romano Guardini Award of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria
1975-81
Worked on the eight-volume documentation "Carl Orff und sein Werk"
1982
Dies in Munich on 29 March
1982
Burried at the Schmerzhafte Kapelle of the Andechs monatery church on 3 April
Conductor: Niels Erlank
Orchestra: Oldenburgisches Schlossorchester
2020-01-25 | Oldenburg (Germany), Freie Waldorfschule
Conductor: Udo Schmitz
2020-01-25 | Efringen-Kirchen (Germany), Hermann-Burte-Halle — 19:30
Conductor: Karsten Koch
Orchestra: Orchestervereinigung Kurhessen
2020-01-26 | Kassel (Germany), Martinskirche
Conductor: Udo Schmitz
2020-01-26 | Efringen-Kirchen (Germany), Hermann-Burte-Halle — 16:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-01-28 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper | Revival
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 11:15
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 10:00
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 11:15
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 10:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-01 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-08 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Paul Haas
Orchestra: Symphony of Northwest Arkansas
2020-02-08 | Fayettivelle,AR (United States of America), Walton Art Center
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-14 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Josep Vincent
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2020-02-14 | Amsterdam (Netherlands), Concertgebouw — 20:00
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-20 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 10:30 - Kinder- und Jugendvorstellung
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-20 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-21 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 19:30
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-23 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 18:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-23 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana
Orchestra: Banda Municipal de Barcelona
2020-02-23 | Barcelona (Spain), L'Auditori — 18:00
Conductor: José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana
Orchestra: Banda Municipal de Barcelona
2020-02-24 | Barcelona (Spain), L'Auditori — 20:00
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-25 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 19:30 - Kinder- und Jugendvorstellung
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-27 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Michael Reif
Orchestra: Bochumer Symphoniker
2020-03-01 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
Orchestra: Münchner Rundfunkorchester; ausgewähle Schulorchester
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-10 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater | Revival
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-12 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-13 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Joseph Giunta
Orchestra: Des Moines Symphony
2020-03-14 | Des Moines,IA (United States of America), Civic Center of Des Moines
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-14 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-15 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Joseph Giunta
Orchestra: Des Moines Symphony
2020-03-15 | Des Moines,IA (United States of America), Civic Center of Des Moines
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-19 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-29 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Kirk Muspratt
Orchestra: Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-03 | Crown Point,IN (United States of America), Living Hope Church
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-04-03 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Lawrence Loh
Orchestra: West Virginia Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-18 | Charleston,WV (United States of America), The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-04-23 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Robert Moody
Orchestra: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-25 | Memphis,TN (United States of America), Cannon Center
Conductor: Robert Moody
Orchestra: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-26 | Germantown,TN (United States of America), GPAC
Conductor: Matthew Cody
Orchestra: Oneota Valley Community Orchestra
2020-05-03 | Decorah,Iowa (United States of America), Decorah High School Auditorium
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-07 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-08 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-09 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Hilary Davan
Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
2020-05-15 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Festival Hall — 19.30
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-05-21 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Christian Möbius
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2020-05-31 | Cottbus (Germany), Branitzer Park — 17:00
Conductor: Christian Möbius
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2020-06-01 | Cottbus (Germany), Branitzer Park — 17:00
Conductor: Adam Stern
Orchestra: Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
2020-06-06 | Seattle,WA (United States of America), Benaroya Hall
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-06-20 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Arnold; Martin Hannus
Orchestra: Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock; tutti Orchester 800
2020-06-21 | Wisma (Germany), St.-Georgen-Kirche — 16:00
Conductor: Florian Merz
Orchestra: Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen
2020-07-10 | Bad Elster (Germany), NaturTheater
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-07-10 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Esteve Nabona
2020-07-12 | Barcelona (Spain), Palau de la Música Catalana
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2020-07-30 | Heidenheim (Germany)
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2020-08-01 | Heidenheim (Germany)
Conductor: Simeone Tartaglione
Orchestra: Newark Symphony Orchestra
2021-05-16 | Newark,DE (United States of America), Independence School

Gallery

per page
  1. Music from Carmina Burana (O Fortuna)

    Music from Carmina Burana (O Fortuna)

    for string orchestra with piano and percussion
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bulla, Stephen
    Instrumentation : string orchestra with piano and percussion
    Edition : score and parts, 8 Violin I, 8 Violin II, 4 Violin III (Viola Treble Clef), 4 Viola, 4 Cello, 4 Bass, 2 Percussion I, 1 Percussion II, 1 Percussion III, 1 Piano
    Order No. : ED 20040-70 Q6549
    €46.99  *
  2. Music from

    Music from "Carmina Burana"

    (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi)
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bocook, Jay
    Instrumentation : wind band
    Edition : score and parts, 1 Piccolo, 8 Flute, 2 Oboe, 2 Bassoon, 4 Bb Clarinet 1, 4 Bb Clarinet 2, 4 Bb Clarinet 3, 2 Bb Bass Clarinet, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 2, 2 Bb Tenor Saxophone, 1 Eb Baritone Saxophone, 3 Bb Trumpet 1, 3 Bb Trumpet 2, 3 Bb Trumpet 3, 2 F Horn 1, 2 F Horn 2, 3 Trombone 1, 3 Trombone 2, 2 Baritone B.C., 2 Baritone T.C., 4 Tuba, 1 String Bass, 2 Percussion 1, 2 Percussion 2, 2 Mallet Percussion, 1 Timpani
    Order No. : ED 20296-10 Q6680
    €46.99  *
  3. Music from

    Music from "Carmina Burana"

    (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi)
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bocook, Jay
    Instrumentation : wind band
    Edition : score
    Order No. : ED 20296 Q6681
    €14.99  *
  4. Vier A-cappella-Chöre

    Vier A-cappella-Chöre

    aus "Catulli Carmina"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SMezATTBB) with tenor-solo
    Edition : score
    Language : Latin - German
    Order No. : C 37774 Q625
    €5.99  *
  5. Concento di voci

    Concento di voci

    1. Sirmio "Tria Catulli Carmina"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SMezATBarB)
    Edition : choral score
    Language : Latin
    Order No. : C 38748 Q640
    €2.99  *
  6. Concerto di voci

    Concerto di voci

    3. Sunt lacrimae rerum
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : men's choir (TTTBBB) and soloists (TBarB)
    Edition : score
    Language : Latin
    Order No. : C 39534 Q676
    €3.99  *
  7. Concento di voci

    Concento di voci

    2. Laudes creaturarum "Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SSSATTTB)
    Edition : choral score
    Language : Old Italian
    Order No. : C 39560 Q678
    €2.99  *
  8. Carmina Burana

    Carmina Burana

    8 Pieces for organ
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : organ
    Order No. : ED 20536 Q6970
    €13.99  *
  9. Quartettsatz in C minor in preparation

    Quartettsatz in C minor

    for String Quartet
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 20346
    €49.00  *

    Out of stock

  10. Des Turmes Auferstehung

    Des Turmes Auferstehung

    für zwei Männerchöre und Orchester
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : 2 men's choirs and orchestra
    Edition : performance material
    Language : German

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Profile

Orff’s music, his musikē – I deliberately utilise the Greek expression – offers less for the ear than traditional opera music. In exchange, it involves all the senses; it is not just sound, but also dance; not just tone but also playing; not only singing but also scenes and theatre – it is music in the sense of an artistic muse uniting and fusing all the arts , as originally conceived by the Ancient Greeks. (Hans Maier)

Carl Orff was born on 10 July 1895 in Munich. He received his first piano tuition at the early age of five, and subsequently also cello and organ lessons. Evidence shows that he regularly attended the theatre and opera from 1903 onwards. In 1911, his first work was published: the lied “Eiland, ein Sang vom Chiemsee”, although Orff up to this point had not yet begun systematic courses in music theory. From 1912 to 1914, he studied composition with Anton Beer-Walbrunn at the Munich Akademie der Tonkunst and from 1915 piano with Hermann Zilcher. In 1915, Orff was able to gather initial practical experience in the theatre, worked as repetiteur and one year later was appointed as kapellmeister of the Munich Chamber Theatre. Following a brief period of military service, he was appointed as kapellmeister assisting Wilhelm Furtwängler at the National Theatre in Mannheim and the Landestheater Darmstadt. He received further training in composition from Heinrich Kaminski and undertook an extensive study of Bach, Buxtehude, Pachelbel and particularly Monteverdi. A co-founder of the “Günther School” for gymnastics, music and dance in Munich (1924), Orff became the director of the department for dance and musical education. This was for Orff an ideal experimental educational field for the development of the “Orff Schulwerk” (1930-1934/1950-1954) which was distributed with great success worldwide and continues today to be utilised within the areas of social and therapeutic education. In 1936, Orff received the commission to compose a part of the processional music for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. From 1950 to 1960, he held master classes for composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich. From 1955, he was resident in Dießen on Lake Ammer and died on 29 March 1982 in Munich.

Right from the beginning, Orff concentrated exclusively on textually related music. His aim was to combine theatre, music, dance and acting to form a single unified whole in which the rhythmical organisation of language frequently provided the compositional framework. Orff composed his first choral work (“Also sprach Zarathustra”, based on Nietzsche) and an early opera strongly influenced by Debussy entitled Gisei, das Opfer, which was completed in 1913. Orff found his way to his own individual style through the study of the counterpoint of the old masters. His fascination for mediaeval and classical texts was reflected in works such as his cycle Trionfi (Carmina Burana, 1936, Catulli Carmina, 1943 and Trionfo di Afrodite, 1951), Hölderlin’s adaptations of Greek dramas Antigonae (1949) and Oedipus der Tyrann (1959) and Aischylos’ Prometheus (1967). The works in the style of fairy tales such as Der Mond (1938/71) and Die Kluge (1942) belong to a further group of works. Orff was fascinated by the vocal richness of dialects and also wrote works utilising Old Bavarian: Die Bernauerin (1946). His final stage composition, the mystery play De temporum fine comoedia, was premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 1973.

Carmina Burana is Orff’s most famous composition. The staged cantata consisting of a collection of songs was based on texts from a mediaeval manuscript housed in the monastery Benediktbeuern. Orff created incredibly dynamic music combining archaic harmony and pulsating dance-like rhythms. The powerful chorus “Fortuna” which frames the vernal, drinking and love songs has made Carmina Burana one of the most frequently performed works of the 20th century.

Carl Orff received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Tübingen (1959) and Munich (1972) and also the Great Order of Merit with Star and shoulder ribbon of the Federal Republic pf Germany (1972). In 1947, he was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Munich and in 1974 the Romano Guardini Prize by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria. Carl Orff was made honorary citizen of the City of Munich and became a member of the Order pour le Mérite for science and the arts. The Carl Orff Museum in Dießen on Lake Ammer, commemorates the life and work of the composer; numerous educational establishments, schools and institutions have been named after him.

 

Works
Chronology
1895
Born in Munich on 20 July
1898
Birth of his sister Maria (Mia)
1900
First piano lessons
1901
Marsfeld School
1905
Ludwig High School
1907-12
Wittelsbacher High School
1910-12
Songs for voice and piano
1911-1912
"Zarathustra" (after Nietzsche) for baritone, three male choirs and orchestra
1912-14
Studies at the Academy of Music
1913
"Gisei" (Das Opfer) music drama
1914
"Tanzende Faune", orchestral play
1914
"Treibhauslieder". A tragedy after poems by Maurice Maeterlinck
1914
Studies with Hermann Zilcher
1915-17
Kapellmeister at the Munich Kammerspiele
1917
First version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (unfinished)
1917
Military service. Narrowly escapes death by burial under rubble on the Eastern front.
1918
Kapellmeister at the Mannheim Nationaltheater and the Darmstadt Hoftheater
1918-19
Music for Büchner´s "Leonce und Lena"
1919
Returns to Munich
1919
Studies old masters, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries
1919
Begins to teach private pupils
1919
Lieder after texts by Klabund, Dehmel, Lenau and Nietzsche
1920-21
Studies with Heinrich Kaminski
1920-21
Songs for voice and piano after texts by Franz Werfel
1920-21
"Des Turmes Auferstehung" (Werfel) for two bass voices, large orchestra and organ
1920-21
Second version for two male choirs, large orchestra and organ
1920-21
Draft of an arrangement of Bach's "Kunst der Fuge" for several orchestras and choirs
1920-25
Married to Alice Solscher
1921
Birth of daughter Godela
1921
Begins to study Monteverdi
1923/24
New dramaturgical and musical arrangement of Monteverdi's "L´Orfeo"
1924
Together with Dorothee Günther, founds the Günther School for gymnastics, rhythm, music and dance in Munich
1925
New arrangement of Monteverdi's "Lamento d`Arianna"
1925
17 April: World premiere of "Orpheus" (1st version) at the Mannheim Nationaltheater
1925
New arrangement of Monteverdi's "Ballo delle Ingrate" (1608) (after the 7th and 8th book of madrigals) as satyr play of "Orpheus" under the title "Tanz der Spröden"
1925
28 December: World premiere of "Tanz der Spröden" (1st version) at the Karlsruhe Landestheater
1925-32
Organal cantus-firmus pieces
1927
"Kleines Konzert" for harpsichord, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion after lute pieces of the 16th century
1928
11 December: World premiere of "Kleines Konzert" in Munich, as part of the "Vereinigung für Zeitgenössische Musik"
1928
"Entrata" (after William Byrd) for five-choir orchestra and organ
1928
Second version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (unfinished draft)
1929
13 October: World premiere of the 2nd version of "Orpheus" at the Munich Residenztheater
1930
Performance of "Entrata" using radio and loudspeakers by Hermann Scherchen in Königsberg
1930
Cantatas after texts by Franz Werfel (Book of Works I)
1930/31
Catulli Carmina I, II (choral pieces)
1930/31
Choral pieces after texts by Bert Brecht (Book of Works II)
1931-34
Publication of the first Schulwerk edition: "Orff-Schulwerk Elementare Musikübung" in collaboration with Gunild Keetman
1931
Plans for founding a "Münchner Turm- und Stadtmusik" (= ensemble of town musicians in Munich)
1932
Arrangement of Bavarian folk music with Kurt Huber
1932
28 April: First Performance of the "St. Luke Passion" at the "Vereinigung für Zeitgenössische Musik" in Munich
1932/33
Conductor of the Munich Bach Society
1933
Arrangement for stage and concert performance and presentation of Heinrich Schütz' " Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi" at the Bach Society
1937
8 June: "Carmina Burana", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1939
Married to Getrud Willert
1939
5 February: "Der Mond", World premiere at the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper
1939
14 October: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (3rd version), first performance, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1940
24 August: First performance of the "Entrata" (new version) in Frankfurt am Main
1940
4 October: Performance of the 3rd version of "Orpheus" at the Dresden Staatsoper
1940
30 November: Performance of all three Monteverdi works at the Reußisches Theater Gera
1943
20 February: "Die Kluge", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt am Main
1943
6 November: "Catulli Carmina", World premiere, Städtische Bühnen, Leipzig
1943
Fourth Version of "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (not performed)
1947
15 June: "Die Bernauerin", World premiere, Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1948
First Schulwerk broadcasts by the Bavarian Radio, "Die Weihnachtsgeschichte"
1949
9 August: "Antigonae", World premiere, Salzburg Felsenreitschule
1950-54
Publication of the 2nd Schulwerk edition "Musik für Kinder" in collaboration with Gunild Keetman
1950-60
Teaches composition at the Munich Staatliche Hochschule für Musik
1952
30 October: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (5th version), first performance at the Darmstadt Landestheater
1953
14 February: "Trionfo di Afrodite", world premiere at the Teatro della Scala, Milan (in connection with "Carmina Burana" and "Catulli Carmina" under the title "Trionfi - Trittico teatrale")
1953
20 October: "Astutuli", World premiere at the Munich Kammerspiele
1954-59
Married to Luise Rinser
1956
31 March: "Comoedia de Christi Resurrectione", first broadcast by the Bavarian Television Channel
1956
3 August: "Die Sänger der Vorwelt", choral pieces after a text by Friedrich Schiller, world premiere in Stuttgart
1956
4 December. "Nänie und Dithyrambe", choral pieces after texts by Friedrich Schiller, world premiere in Bremen
1956
Member of the order "Pour le mérite" for science and arts
1957
21 April: "Comoedia de Christi Resurrectione", World premiere of stage version, Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart (Wieland Wagner)
1958
15 May: "Lamenti - Trittico teatrale liberamente tratto da opere di Claudio Monteverdi"; First performance at the Schwetzingen Festival
1959
11 December: "Oedipus des Tyrann", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater
1959
Honorary doctorate from the University of Tübingen
1960
Marries Liselotte Schmitz
1960
11 December: "Ludus de nato infante mirificus", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1961
Foundation of the seminar and centre for the Orff-Schulwerk at the Salzburg Mozarteum
1962/63
Schulwerk lecture tours to Canada, Japan and Portugal
1963
Inauguration of the Orff Institute in Salzburg
1963
12 March: "Ein Sommernachtstraum" (6th version), first performance at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1968
24 March: "Prometheus", World premiere at the Württembergische Staatstheater, Stuttgart
1972
Honorary doctorate from the University of Munich
1972
Grand Cross with star and ribbon for Distinguished Service of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
1973
20 August: "De temporum fine comedia", World premiere at the Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus
1974
Romano Guardini Award of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria
1975-81
Worked on the eight-volume documentation "Carl Orff und sein Werk"
1982
Dies in Munich on 29 March
1982
Burried at the Schmerzhafte Kapelle of the Andechs monatery church on 3 April
Performances
Conductor: Niels Erlank
Orchestra: Oldenburgisches Schlossorchester
2020-01-25 | Oldenburg (Germany), Freie Waldorfschule
Conductor: Udo Schmitz
2020-01-25 | Efringen-Kirchen (Germany), Hermann-Burte-Halle — 19:30
Conductor: Karsten Koch
Orchestra: Orchestervereinigung Kurhessen
2020-01-26 | Kassel (Germany), Martinskirche
Conductor: Udo Schmitz
2020-01-26 | Efringen-Kirchen (Germany), Hermann-Burte-Halle — 16:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-01-28 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper | Revival
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 11:15
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 10:00
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 11:15
Orchestra: Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie
2020-01-31 | Traunwalchen (Germany), Grundschule — 10:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-01 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-08 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Paul Haas
Orchestra: Symphony of Northwest Arkansas
2020-02-08 | Fayettivelle,AR (United States of America), Walton Art Center
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-14 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Josep Vincent
Orchestra: WDR Funkhausorchester Köln
2020-02-14 | Amsterdam (Netherlands), Concertgebouw — 20:00
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-20 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 10:30 - Kinder- und Jugendvorstellung
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-20 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-21 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 19:30
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-23 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 18:00
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-23 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana
Orchestra: Banda Municipal de Barcelona
2020-02-23 | Barcelona (Spain), L'Auditori — 18:00
Conductor: José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana
Orchestra: Banda Municipal de Barcelona
2020-02-24 | Barcelona (Spain), L'Auditori — 20:00
Conductor: Andreas Kowalewitz
2020-02-25 | München (Germany), Gärtnerplatztheater — 19:30 - Kinder- und Jugendvorstellung
Conductor: Guido Mancusi
2020-02-27 | Wien (Austria), Volksoper
Conductor: Michael Reif
Orchestra: Bochumer Symphoniker
2020-03-01 | Köln (Germany), Philharmonie — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Ivan Repušić
Orchestra: Münchner Rundfunkorchester; ausgewähle Schulorchester
2020-03-08 | München (Germany), Philharmonie im Gasteig — 11:00
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-10 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater | Revival
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-12 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-13 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Joseph Giunta
Orchestra: Des Moines Symphony
2020-03-14 | Des Moines,IA (United States of America), Civic Center of Des Moines
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-14 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
2020-03-15 | Detroit,MI (United States of America), Orchestra Hall
Conductor: Joseph Giunta
Orchestra: Des Moines Symphony
2020-03-15 | Des Moines,IA (United States of America), Civic Center of Des Moines
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-19 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-03-29 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Kirk Muspratt
Orchestra: Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-03 | Crown Point,IN (United States of America), Living Hope Church
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-04-03 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Lawrence Loh
Orchestra: West Virginia Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-18 | Charleston,WV (United States of America), The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-04-23 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Robert Moody
Orchestra: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-25 | Memphis,TN (United States of America), Cannon Center
Conductor: Robert Moody
Orchestra: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
2020-04-26 | Germantown,TN (United States of America), GPAC
Conductor: Matthew Cody
Orchestra: Oneota Valley Community Orchestra
2020-05-03 | Decorah,Iowa (United States of America), Decorah High School Auditorium
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-07 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-08 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2020-05-09 | Chicago,IL (United States of America), Symphony Center
Conductor: Hilary Davan
Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
2020-05-15 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Festival Hall — 19.30
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-05-21 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Christian Möbius
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2020-05-31 | Cottbus (Germany), Branitzer Park — 17:00
Conductor: Christian Möbius
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Orchester Cottbus
2020-06-01 | Cottbus (Germany), Branitzer Park — 17:00
Conductor: Adam Stern
Orchestra: Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
2020-06-06 | Seattle,WA (United States of America), Benaroya Hall
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-06-20 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Daniel Arnold; Martin Hannus
Orchestra: Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock; tutti Orchester 800
2020-06-21 | Wisma (Germany), St.-Georgen-Kirche — 16:00
Conductor: Florian Merz
Orchestra: Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen
2020-07-10 | Bad Elster (Germany), NaturTheater
Conductor: Justin Brown; Daniele Squeo, Saison 2018/19
Orchestra: Badische Staatskapelle
2020-07-10 | Karlsruhe (Germany), Badisches Staatstheater
Conductor: Esteve Nabona
2020-07-12 | Barcelona (Spain), Palau de la Música Catalana
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2020-07-30 | Heidenheim (Germany)
Conductor: Marcus Bosch
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2020-08-01 | Heidenheim (Germany)
Conductor: Simeone Tartaglione
Orchestra: Newark Symphony Orchestra
2021-05-16 | Newark,DE (United States of America), Independence School
Gallery

Gallery

Products

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  1. Music from Carmina Burana (O Fortuna)

    Music from Carmina Burana (O Fortuna)

    for string orchestra with piano and percussion
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bulla, Stephen
    Instrumentation : string orchestra with piano and percussion
    Edition : score and parts, 8 Violin I, 8 Violin II, 4 Violin III (Viola Treble Clef), 4 Viola, 4 Cello, 4 Bass, 2 Percussion I, 1 Percussion II, 1 Percussion III, 1 Piano
    Order No. : ED 20040-70 Q6549
    €46.99  *
  2. Music from

    Music from "Carmina Burana"

    (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi)
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bocook, Jay
    Instrumentation : wind band
    Edition : score and parts, 1 Piccolo, 8 Flute, 2 Oboe, 2 Bassoon, 4 Bb Clarinet 1, 4 Bb Clarinet 2, 4 Bb Clarinet 3, 2 Bb Bass Clarinet, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 2, 2 Bb Tenor Saxophone, 1 Eb Baritone Saxophone, 3 Bb Trumpet 1, 3 Bb Trumpet 2, 3 Bb Trumpet 3, 2 F Horn 1, 2 F Horn 2, 3 Trombone 1, 3 Trombone 2, 2 Baritone B.C., 2 Baritone T.C., 4 Tuba, 1 String Bass, 2 Percussion 1, 2 Percussion 2, 2 Mallet Percussion, 1 Timpani
    Order No. : ED 20296-10 Q6680
    €46.99  *
  3. Music from

    Music from "Carmina Burana"

    (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi)
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Editor : Bocook, Jay
    Instrumentation : wind band
    Edition : score
    Order No. : ED 20296 Q6681
    €14.99  *
  4. Vier A-cappella-Chöre

    Vier A-cappella-Chöre

    aus "Catulli Carmina"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SMezATTBB) with tenor-solo
    Edition : score
    Language : Latin - German
    Order No. : C 37774 Q625
    €5.99  *
  5. Concento di voci

    Concento di voci

    1. Sirmio "Tria Catulli Carmina"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SMezATBarB)
    Edition : choral score
    Language : Latin
    Order No. : C 38748 Q640
    €2.99  *
  6. Concerto di voci

    Concerto di voci

    3. Sunt lacrimae rerum
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : men's choir (TTTBBB) and soloists (TBarB)
    Edition : score
    Language : Latin
    Order No. : C 39534 Q676
    €3.99  *
  7. Concento di voci

    Concento di voci

    2. Laudes creaturarum "Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore"
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : mixed choir (SSSATTTB)
    Edition : choral score
    Language : Old Italian
    Order No. : C 39560 Q678
    €2.99  *
  8. Carmina Burana

    Carmina Burana

    8 Pieces for organ
    Download Edition
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : organ
    Order No. : ED 20536 Q6970
    €13.99  *
  9. Quartettsatz in C minor in preparation

    Quartettsatz in C minor

    for String Quartet
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : string quartet
    Edition : score and parts
    Order No. : ED 20346
    €49.00  *

    Out of stock

  10. Des Turmes Auferstehung

    Des Turmes Auferstehung

    für zwei Männerchöre und Orchester
    Composer : Orff, Carl
    Instrumentation : 2 men's choirs and orchestra
    Edition : performance material
    Language : German

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