Boris Blacher

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Blacher, in a passport photo of 1922 Boris Blacher.jpg
Blacher, in a passport photo of 1922

Boris Blacher (19 January [ O.S. 6 January] 1903 30 January 1975) was a German composer and librettist.

Old Style and New Style dates 16th-century changes in calendar conventions

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Libretto text used for an extended musical work

A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.



Blacher was born when his parents were living within a Russian-speaking community in the Manchurian town of Niuzhuang (Chinese : 牛庄镇 ) (hence the use of the Julian calendar on his birth record). He spent his first years in China and in the Asian parts of Russia, and in 1919, he eventually came to live in Harbin.[ citation needed ] In 1922, after finishing school, he went to Berlin where he began to study architecture and mathematics. Two years later, he turned to music and studied composition with Friedrich Koch. His career was interrupted by National Socialism. He was accused of writing degenerate music and lost his teaching post at the Dresden Conservatory.[ citation needed ]

Manchuria geographic region in Northeast Asia

Manchuria is a name first used in the 17th century by Japanese people to refer to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. Depending on the context, Manchuria can either refer to a region that falls entirely within the People's Republic of China or a larger region divided between China and Russia. "Manchuria" is widely used outside China to denote the geographical and historical region. This region is the traditional homeland of the Xianbei, Khitan, and Jurchen peoples, who built several states within the area historically.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 45 BC, by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

His career resumed after 1945, and he later became president of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, and is today regarded as one of the most influential music figures of his time. His students include Aribert Reimann, Isang Yun, Maki Ishii, Fritz Geißler, Giselher Klebe, Heimo Erbse, Richard Aaker Trythall, [1] Klaus Huber, Francis Burt  [ de ], Gottfried von Einem, Kalevi Aho and Richard Wernick. See: List of music students by teacher: A to B#Boris Blacher .

Academy of Arts, Berlin national German academic institution for the advancement of the arts

The Academy of Arts is a state arts institution in Berlin, Germany. The task of the Academy is to promote art, as well as to advise and support the states of Germany.

Aribert Reimann German composer, pianist and accompanist

Aribert Reimann is a German composer, pianist and accompanist, known especially for his literary operas. His version of Shakespeare's King Lear, the opera Lear, was written at the suggestion of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who sang the title role. His opera Medea after Grillparzer's play premiered in 2010 at the Vienna State Opera. He was a professor of contemporary song in Hamburg and Berlin. In 2011, he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for his life's work.

Isang Yun Korean composer

Isang Yun, also spelled Yun I-sang, was a Korean-born composer who made his later career in West Germany.

Blacher was married to the pianist Gerty Blacher-Herzog  [ de ]. They had four children including the German actress Tatjana Blacher and the international violinist Kolja Blacher. He died in Berlin in 1975, aged 72. He was buried in an Ehrengrab in the Waldfriedhof Zehlendorf, Berlin.[ citation needed ]

Tatjana Blacher is a German actress. She is the daughter of composer Boris Blacher and pianist Gerty Blacher-Herzog. Blacher studied at the Max Reinhardt seminar and at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. She is mostly known for her role as Edith Frank in Anne Frank: The Whole Story. She has been on many TV shows and has a son named Josh. She is multi-talented. She has had professional training in singing and dancing. She comes from Berlin, Germany and speaks fluent English as well as her native German. She had started her career in 1997 in her debut film called Reise in die Dunkelheit.

Kolja Blacher is a German violin player. He plays the 1730 "Tritton" Stradivarius.

<i>Ehrengrab</i> distinction granted by certain German, Swiss and Austrian cities to some citizens for extraordinary services in their lifetime

An Ehrengrab is a distinction granted by certain German, Swiss and Austrian cities to some of their citizens for extraordinary services or achievements in their lifetimes. If there are no descendants or institutions to care for the gravesites, the communities or cities will take responsibility for the graves and for financing their care.


Works include:

Chamber opera is a designation for operas written to be performed with a chamber ensemble rather than a full orchestra. Early 20th-century operas of this type include Paul Hindemith's Cardillac (1926). Earlier small-scale operas such as Pergolesi's La serva padrona (1733) are sometimes known as chamber operas.

Salzburg Festival music festival

The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the play Jedermann (Everyman) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Radio opera is a genre of opera. It refers to operas which were specifically composed to be performed on the radio and is not to be confused with broadcasts of operas which were originally written for the stage. Radio operas were generally shorter than staged operas and some occupied less than fifteen minutes. Plots were usually more straightforward than those of stage operas.

Blacher wrote the libretto for Gottfried von Einem's operas Dantons Tod (1947) and Der Prozeß (1953).

Gottfried von Einem austrian composer

Gottfried von Einem was an Austrian composer. He is known chiefly for his operas influenced by the music of Stravinsky and Prokofiev, as well as by jazz. He also composed pieces for piano, violin and organ.

Der Prozeß is a German-language opera in two parts, divided into nine scenes, with music by Gottfried von Einem and a libretto by Boris Blacher and Heinz von Cramer, based on the novel by Franz Kafka. Composed over the period 1950 to 1952, this was von Einem's second opera. He dedicated it to the psychologist and theologian Oskar Pfister, who had been his therapist, and to his former teacher, Karl Christian Jensen.

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Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house

The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is the country's second largest opera house and also home to the Berlin State Ballet.

<i>Dantons Tod</i> (opera) opera by Gottfried von Einem

Dantons Tod is an opera by Gottfried von Einem to a libretto by Boris Blacher and Gottfried von Einem after Georg Büchner's 1835 play of the same name. Its first performance took place in Salzburg on 6 August 1947. It was revised in 1955.

David Geringas is a Lithuanian cellist and conductor who studied under Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1970 he won the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He also plays the baryton, a rare instrument associated with music of Joseph Haydn.

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Gerhard Schedl was an Austrian composer.

Victor Gsovsky was a Russian ballet dancer, teacher, balletmaster and choreographer.

Theater des Westens theatre in Berlin, Germany

The Theater des Westens is one of the most famous theatres for musicals and operettas in Berlin, Germany, located at Kantstraße 10–12 in Charlottenburg. It was founded in 1895 for plays. The present house was opened in 1896 and dedicated to opera and operetta. Enrico Caruso made his debut in Berlin here, and the Ballets Russes appeared with Anna Pavlova. In the 1930s it was run as the Volkstheater Berlin. After World War II it served as the temporary opera house of Berlin, the Städtische Oper. In 1961 it became the first theatre in Germany to show musicals. Since then it has become the "German equivalent of Broadway extravaganzas", putting on plays and musical comedies.

Hermann Reutter was a German composer and pianist. He was born in Stuttgart. The compositions of Hermann Reutter are not well known, though his musical career was one of great excellence and long duration. Reutter was, at one time or another, a teacher, administrator, composer, recitalist and accompanist. His song output demonstrates a remarkable sensitivity to poetry and awesome musical originality. It also encompassed an amazing breadth of poetic sources; a variety of Russian poets, Rilke, Rückert, Lorca, Icelandic poems, Hölderlin, ancient Egyptian poems, Goethe, Sappho and Langston Hughes, amongst many others. Reutter was a member of the Nazi Party. He died in Heidenheim an der Brenz.

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  1. "Richard Aaker Trythall, The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music".
  2. Cello concerto
  3. "200000-Taler-Mißverständnis" by Heinz Josef Herbort, Die Zeit , 3 October 1969 (in German)