In music, the Cologne School is a loosely associated group of composers and performers of the generation that came to prominence in the 1970s, who lived and worked in the city of Cologne, Germany.
Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. With slightly over a million inhabitants within its city boundaries, Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine and also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centered on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.
Most of the Cologne School composers had studied in Cologne during the 1960s with Vinko Globokar, Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen, or Bernd Alois Zimmermann, at either the Kölner Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, the Rheinische Musikhochschule , 50; Stockhausen 1971 , 196; Custodis 2004 , 138–42)., or at the Kölner Kurse für Neue Musik, organised by Prof. Hugo Wolfram Schmidt at the Rheinische Musikhochschule between 1963 and 1968 (Kapko-Foretić 1980
Vinko Globokar is a French avant-garde composer and trombonist of Slovene descent.
Mauricio Raúl Kagel was a German-Argentine composer notable for developing the theatrical side of musical performance. He spent his last fifty years in Germany, dying after a long illness at the age of 76.
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. A critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music". He is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, for introducing controlled chance into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.
There is some disagreement about how to define the school and who its central figures are. One of the earliest writers on the Cologne School observed that a large proportion are foreigners, and chose to focus on seven non-German composers as representative: Ladislav Kupkovič from Slovakia, Péter Eötvös from Hungary, Bojidar Dimov ( Kapko-Foretić 1980 , 50).from Bulgaria, Daniel Chorzempa and John McGuire, both from the United States, Mesías Maiguashca from Ecuador, and Clarence Barlow from India
Ladislav Kupkovič was a Slovak composer and conductor.
Péter Eötvös is a Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher.
Daniel Walter Chorzempa is an American organist and architect.
Seventeen years later, another writer identifies Barlow and three other composers, Gerald Barry (Ireland), Kevin Volans (South Africa), and Walter Zimmermann (Germany) as the central figures in the first wave of the group, and sees Stockhausen, Kagel, the Hochschule, and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (through its electronic music studio, new-music concert series, commissioning of new music, and its commitment to innovative programme-making both in TV and radio) as the key agents that produced this group. According to this view, later important arrivals included Chris Newman, Claude Vivier, and John McGuire, but their approaches were in many ways at odds with the aesthetic of the earlier group ( Fox 2007 , 27–28, 40).
Gerald Barry is an Irish composer.
Kevin Volans is a South African born Irish composer and pianist. He studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne in the 1970s and later became associated with the Neue Einfacheit movement in the city. In the late 1970s he became interested in the indigenous music of his homeland and began a series of pieces which attempted to combine aspects of African and contemporary European music. Although Volans later moved away from any direct engagement with African music, certain residual elements such as interlocking rhythms, repetition and open forms are still detectable in his music since the early 1990s which takes a new direction more redolent of certain schools of abstract art. He settled in Ireland permanently in 1986 and was granted Irish citizenship in 1995.
Walter Zimmermann is a German composer associated with the Cologne School.
One performer particularly associated with the Cologne School is the pianist Herbert Henck ( Fox 2007 , 30).
Several institutions founded in Cologne in the late 1960s and 1970s are associated with the Cologne-School composers. These include the Gruppe 8 (Georg Kröll ( Custodis 2004 , 186), Feedback Studio (Johannes Fritsch, David C. Johnson, and Rolf Gehlhaar), founded in 1970 ( Custodis 2004 , 188–89), the Beginner-Studio (Walter Zimmermann), founded 1977 ( Custodis 2004 , 190), and the Oeldorf Group (Péter Eötvös, Mesías Maiguashca, and Joachim Krist, together with the cellist Gaby Schumacher), founded 1972 and active until 1979 (Custodis 2004 , 189; Kapko-Foretić 1980 , 54)., Heinz Martin Lonquich , York Höller, Manfred Niehaus , Hans Ulrich Humpert , Rolf Riehm, Peter Michael Braun , and Bojidar Dimov), founded in early 1969 and disbanded in August 1972
York Höller is a German composer and Professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik Köln.
Rolf Riehm is a German composer who wrote stage and orchestral works as well as music for ensembles and solo instruments. He began as an oboist and music teacher and was later a professor of music theory at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main for several years.
Johannes G. Fritsch was a German composer.
A related term, Cologne School of Electronic Music, is sometimes applied to the previous generation of composers who worked mainly in the electronic music studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in the 1950s and 1960s, including Karlheinz Stockhausen (Anderson 2013; Butzmann 2003; Enders 2011 , 78; Reese 2008 , 100, 112; Schabbing 2008 , 177).
Gesang der Jünglinge is a noted electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was realized in 1955–56 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk studio in Cologne and is Work Number 8 in the composer's catalog of works. The vocal parts were supplied by 12-year-old Josef Protschka. It is exactly 13 minutes, 14 seconds long.
Inori, for one or two soloists with orchestra, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1973–74.
David C. Johnson is an American composer, flautist, and performer of live-electronic music.
Gruppen for three orchestras (1955–57) is amongst the best-known compositions of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 6 in the composer's catalog of works. Gruppen is "a landmark in 20th-century music. .. probably the first work of the post-war generation of composers in which technique and imagination combine on the highest level to produce an undisputable masterpiece".
Herbert Eimert was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer.
Die Reihe was a German-language music journal, edited by Herbert Eimert and Karlheinz Stockhausen and published by Universal Edition (Vienna) between 1955 and 1962. An English edition was published, under the original German title, between 1957 and 1968 by the Theodore Presser Company, in association with Universal Edition (London). A related book series titled Bücher der Reihe was begun, but only one title ever appeared in it, Herbert Eimert's Grundlagen der musikalischen Reihentechnik.
New Simplicity was a stylistic tendency amongst some of the younger generation of German composers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, reacting against not only the European avant garde of the 1950s and 1960s, but also against the broader tendency toward objectivity found from the beginning of the twentieth century. Alternative terms sometimes used for this movement are "inclusive composition", “new subjectivity”, “new inwardness”, “New Romanticism”, “New Sensuality”, “New Expressivity”, “New Classicism”, and “New Tonality”.
Tierkreis (1974–75) is a musical composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The title is the German word for Zodiac, and the composition consists of twelve melodies, each representing one sign of the zodiac.
Mesías Maiguashca is an Ecuadorian composer and an advocate of the new music, especially electroacoustic music.
Hymnen is an electronic and concrete work, with optional live performers, by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1966–67, and elaborated in 1969. In the composer's catalog of works, it is "Nr. 22".
John McGuire is an American composer, pianist, organist, and music editor.
Kurzwellen, for six players with shortwave radio receivers and live electronics, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 25 in the catalog of the composer’s works.
Spiral, for a soloist with a shortwave receiver, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 27 in the catalogue of the composer's works.
Studie II is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1954 and, together with his Studie I, comprises his work number ("opus") 3. It is serially organized on all musical levels and was the first published score of electronic music.
Studie I is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1953. It lasts 9 minutes 42 seconds and, together with his Studie II, comprises his work number ("opus") 3.
The Oeldorf Group was a musicians' collective active in Germany in the 1970s. Based in the village of Oeldorf, near Cologne, their performances emphasized live-electronic music.
Für kommende Zeiten is a collection of seventeen text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed between August 1968 and July 1970. It is a successor to the similar collection titled Aus den sieben Tagen, written in 1968. These compositions are characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intuition rather than the intellect of the performer(s). It is work number 33 in Stockhausen's catalog of works, and the collection is dedicated to the composer's son Markus.
The Studio for Electronic Music of the West German Radio was a facility of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in Cologne. It was the first of its kind in the world, and its history reflects the development of electronic music in the second half of the twentieth century.
Ensemble is a group-composition project devised by Karlheinz Stockhausen for the 1967 Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Twelve composers and twelve instrumentalists participated, and the resulting performance lasted four hours. It is not assigned a work number in Stockhausen's catalogue of works.