25-05-1941 - 04-10-2014
Konrad Boehmer is a composer, culture researcher and administrator. He is the author of numerous musicological articles and essays on a variety of topics (including serialism, composing electronic music, cultural politics, European musical life, and sociology of music). He has held numerous positions as an administrator, for example with Geneco ...
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Biography Konrad Boehmer
Konrad Boehmer is a composer, culture researcher and administrator. He is the author of numerous musicological articles and essays on a variety of topics (including serialism, composing electronic music, cultural politics, European musical life, and sociology of music). He has held numerous positions as an administrator, for example with Geneco and Buma/Stemra. Boehmer composes both pure electronic music and works for orchestra, vocalists and instruments combined with electronic instruments, and music theatre. Among the audible sources of his inspiration are Cologne neo-expressionism and the music of Edgar Varèse. The Romantic Faust character is a recurrent element in his work. Boehmer’s music is performed internationally. “I learned a great deal in a technical sense from Boulez. Bruno Maderna made the deepest impression on me (certainly with regard to aesthetics!). I am, thus, torn inside – just as Novalis put it 2 centuries ago – ‘internally pluralistic’. If your whole life you are weighed down by what you learned from your teachers, you remain a psychological cripple who produces handicrafts.”
1959 - 1966
Konrad Boehmer (born May 24, 1941, in Berlin) studies composition with Gottfried Michael Koenig. From 1961 to 1963, he works at the studio for electronic music of Cologne radio (WRD) while studying musicology, philosophy and sociology at the University of Cologne.
1966 - 1968
Boehmer completes his studies with the thesis 'Zur Theorie der offenen Form in der neuen Musik' [Toward a Theory of Open Form in New Music, Edition Tonos, Darmstadt, 1967]. He moves to Amsterdam and receives an appointment at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht, with which he remains affiliated until 1968. Boehmer is awarded the AVRO Music Prize for his composition 'Information' (1968), for two pianos and four percussionists, and the prize of the 5e Biennial in Paris for the electronic composition 'Aspekt' (1968).
1968 - 1973
Konrad Boehmer is on the staff of the weekly magazine Vrij Nederland.
1972 - 1982
Boehmer teaches music history and theory of modern music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. The essay collection 'Gehoord en ongehoord' [Heard and Unheard] is published by Oosthoek (1974). In the 1970s and ’80s he is often a guest teacher abroad. He is a guest lecturer at various occasions during the Latin-American Courses for Music in Uruguay and Brazil.
Konrad Boehmer is the first recipient of the Rolf Liebermann Prize for his music drama 'Dr. Faustus', on a libretto by Hugo Claus.
For his writings on music, Boehmer is awarded the Pierre-Bayle Prize of the City of Rotterdam.
For the Multatuli year, Konrad Boehmer composes 'Woutertje Pieterse'- a “cruel, serial children’s operetta”, he says. The piece, according to Ernst Vermeulen, is “both eminently intellectually compelling and childishly naive. [...] the high point of alienation.”
1989 - 1996
Boehmer is chairman of the CIAM (Conseil International des auteurs de Musique). The essay collection 'Das böse Ohr' (1993) is published by DuMont. In 1994, he becomes head of the Institute for Sonology (which in the 1980s was cast off by the University of Utrecht and has found a new home in The Hague, as part of the Royal Conservatory). “We let students hear musical products that shock them. They realise that outside their small world is a great universe of music that they have never heard of. They become curious and want to learn how the software is put together or can be improved upon.”
At the Holland Festival on June 13, the noise guitar band Sonic Youth plays the 'Goodbye 20th Century' project at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam in which arrangements are performed of electronic pieces by, among others, Steve Reich, John Cage and Cornelis Cardew. Also performed is 'Echelon', a work that Boehmer wrote for Sonic Youth at the request of the festival organisation.
Boehmer is named chairman of Buma Cultuur. The following year, he transfers to Buma/ Stemra and becomes its chairman. “Our motto must be and remain what the composer Busoni once succinctly formulated: ‘Music is born free and freedom is her destiny’. The lack of respect for the value of music is a form of small-mindedness that is disastrous for the whole of culture.”
'Doktor Fausti Höllenfahrt' is premiered in the Netherlands during the Dutch Music Days. It was written for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Würzburg for a Faust Week. Regarding his choice to write for traditional orchestra, Boehmer says: “The traditional orchestra offers a number of possibilities, certainly also with regard to the wealth of colours. My compositions with electronic instruments generally also employ other types of instruments (percussion, pianos). I have indescribable loathing for orchestral pieces in which suddenly clouds, farts, traffic accidents or stupid-important texts come out of loudspeakers.”
As of January 1, Konrad Boehmer withdraws all of his publications from the music publisher Tonos in Darmstadt.
Karl Boehmer dies on 4 october in Amsterdam.
Discography Konrad Boehmer
|Type and year||CD, 1990|
|Type and year||CD, 1990|
|Type and year||2CD, 1994|
The Piano Works
|Type and year||CD, 2002|
|Type and year||CD, 2008|
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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