1950 - current
Elmer Schönberger composes both for the concert hall and the theatre. He is also a music journalist, playwright and novelist. He has long been affiliated with the weekly Vrij Nederland, is a frequent contributor to Dutch and foreign magazines, and is the (co-) author of a series of books ...
Biography Elmer Schönberger
Elmer Schönberger composes both for the concert hall and the theatre. He is also a music journalist, playwright and novelist. He has long been affiliated with the weekly Vrij Nederland, is a frequent contributor to Dutch and foreign magazines, and is the (co-) author of a series of books about music. He is a programme maker for the Holland Festival and linked as an artistic adviser with the Asko|Schönberg ensemble. “Writer, composer and musicologist is the briefest description Elmer Schönberger would give himself, but the order can vary at times,” according to his homepage.
1950 - 1974
Elmer Schönberger is born in Utrecht. He studies the piano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Jan de Man and Gérard van Blerk. He takes private lessons in composition with Rudolf Escher. While a musicology student at Utrecht University, he writes his first reviews for the Utrechts Nieuwsblad. On the recommendation of Herman Strategier, his music theory teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory, he writes his first official composition, 'Chasse à l'enfant' (1971), for the International Choir Festival.
1976 - 1985
Schönberger writes about music for the weekly Vrij Nederland, including, for more than 20 years, “Het Gebroken Oor” [The Broken Ear], a column. In 1983, his Stravinsky monograph 'Het apollinisch uurwerk' is published, written in collaboration with the composer Louis Andriessen and translated in 1989 by Jeff Hamburg as 'The Apollonian Clockwork. On Stravinsky'. A Russian translation, by Irinia Leskovskaia, follows in 2003. Schönberger’s essay collection 'De wellustige tandarts & andere componisten' [The Lusty Dentist & Other Composers] is published in 1985.
1988 - 1990
The Schönberg Ensemble names him its artistic adviser. He makes an arrangement for the ensemble of Darius Milhaud’s 'Saudades do Brazil' (1921/1990). In 1990, he receives the Pierre Bayle Prize for music criticism.
1992 - 1998
For the choreographer Wies Merkx, Schönberger writes the dance concerto 'De laatste dans' [The Last Dance] about the life and work of the composer Anna Cramer. The collection 'Histoire d’Oor' [History of the Ear] is published by Bert Bakker. The essay collections 'De vrouw met de hamer & andere componisten' (The Woman with the Hammer & other Composers, 1992) and 'De kunst van het kruit verschieten' (The Art of Shooting your Bolt, 1998) are published by De Bezige Bij. Schönberger arranges the 'Four Balmont Songs' (1918/1994) by Nikolai Obukhov for the Schönberg Ensemble.
Schönberger makes his debut as a playwright with 'Kwartetten' [Quartets], for four actors and string quartet. It is performed by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. 'Kwartetten' dramatizes a rumour about a famous string quartet: the first violinist apparently had a relationship with the other three (male) members. But: “It is first and foremost about being a musician, about keeping the flame burning, about the way musicians solve their problems. About art and life, and how that can clash.” (Schönberger)
2002 - 2003
The play 'Dovemansoren' [Deaf Man’s Ears] is premiered on April 26 by Toneelgroep De Appel. With 'Vic, met name' [Vic, in particular, 2003], Schönberger debuts as a novelist.
In the Huizinga Lecture, Elmer Schönberger looks at how people listen to music and the changes in listening behaviour over the past hundred years. He focuses on: How can it be that people listen to more and more music while music scarcely plays a role in the cultural debate of our time? The essay collection 'Het Gebroken Oor' [The Broken Ear] is published by Meulenhoff.
The 'Nacht van de Vlucht' [Night of the Flight], a dramatic concerto for musicians, actors and “Gerausmacher” [Noisemakers] is premiered during the tenth Amsterdam Canal Festival at Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. Schönberger works on three monologues, each about composers. The first, 'Liszt spreekt' [Liszt Speaks] is premiered by Jeroen Willems on November 23 at the Philharmonie in Haarlem.
The monologue 'De brief' [The Letter], about Alphons Diepenbrock, is premiered on January 12 by Krijn ter Braak, and 'Summer Moon', about Igor Stravinsky, is premiered on March 29 by Kees Hulst in the Philharmonie in Haarlem.
The second novel, 'Vuursteens Vleugels' [Flint’s Wings] is published by Meulenhoff.
Discography Elmer Schönberger
|Type and year||CD, 2007|
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