Georg Katzer

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Georg Katzer Georg katzer.jpg
Georg Katzer

Georg Katzer (German: [ˈɡeː.ɔrk kat͡sɐ] ; 10 January 1935 – 7 May 2019) was a German composer and teacher. The last master student of Hanns Eisler, he composed music in many genres, including works for the stage. Katzer was one of the pioneers of electronic new music in the German Democratic Republic and the founder of the first electronic-music studio in the GDR. He held leading positions in music organisations, first in the East (Akademie der Künste der DDR), then in the united Germany (Academy of Arts, Berlin, and Deutscher Musikrat), and received many awards, including the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Music Authors' Prize.

Hanns Eisler Austrian composer

Hanns Eisler was an Austrian composer. He is best known for composing the national anthem of East Germany, for his long artistic association with Bertolt Brecht, and for the scores he wrote for films. The Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" is named after him.

Electroacoustic music is a style of Western art music which originated around the middle of the 20th century, following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition to fixed media during the 20th century are associated with the activities of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at the ORTF in Paris, the home of musique concrète, the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) studio in Cologne, where the focus was on the composition of elektronische Musik, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City, where tape music, electronic music, and computer music were all explored. Practical electronic music instruments began to appear in the early 1900s.

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.



Katzer was born in Habelschwerdt, Lower Silesia (now Bystrzyca Kłodzka, Poland), on 10 January 1935 (Anon. n.d.; Klingberg 2001; Hanssen 2019). From 1954 to 1960 he studied piano, music theory, and composition with (amongst others) Rudolf Wagner-Régeny and Ruth Zechlin at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in East Berlin, then from 1957 to 1958 he studied in Prague with Karel Janáček (Klingberg 2001; Anon. n.d.). From 1961 to 1963 he was a postgraduate student of Hanns Eisler and Leo Spies at the German Academy of the Arts in Berlin ( Klingberg 2001 ), the last master student of Eisler ( Akademie der Künste 2019 ). In 1963, he became a freelance composer and musician ( Anon. 2019 ).

Bystrzyca Kłodzka Place in Lower Silesian, Poland

Bystrzyca Kłodzka is a historic town in Kłodzko County, in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in southwestern Poland. It is the administrative seat of Gmina Bystrzyca Kłodzka. The old town of Bystrzyca is famous for its many historical buildings and is a popular tourist destination.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Rudolf Wagner-Régeny Austro-Hungarian composer

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From 1976 to 1977 he worked in electronic-music studios in Bratislava and Paris ( Klingberg 2001 ). In 1978 Katzer was elected to membership in the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin (Klingberg 2001; Anon. 2019). In 1980 he was appointed a professor and subsequently taught a masterclass in composition at the Academy of the Arts ( Akademie der Künste 2019 ) until 1991 ( Niklew 2010 ). In 1986 he founded the Studio for Experimental Music, affiliated with the Music Department of the Academy of the Arts ( Akademie der Künste 2019 ), and was its artistic director ( Groetz 2019 ).

Katzer was a member of the Academy of Arts in East Berlin until 1993, and then a member of the Berlin section of music until his death. He served as vice president of the music section from 1994 to 2003 ( Akademie der Künste 2019 ). From 1989 to 1991, he was president of the German Section of the C.I.M.E. (International Council for Electroacoustical Music) ( Akademie der Künste 2019 ). From 1990 to 2001, he was a presiding member of the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council, a member of the International Music Council) ( Anon. 2019 ).

The German NGO Deutscher Musikrat is an umbrella organization, based in Berlin and Bonn, for music associations and the 16 music councils of the German federal states. It represents over 14 million music-loving citizens who, for professional reasons or as amateurs, are affiliated with the Musikrat and its member organizations. With more than 100 member associations, institutions and numerous personalities, it acts, together with its projects and support measures, as an advisor and competence centre for politics and civil society.

The International Music Council (IMC) was created in 1949 as UNESCO's advisory body on matters of music. It is based at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, France, where it functions as an independent international non-governmental organization. Its primary aim is to facilitate the development and promotion of international music-making.

Katzer lived in Zeuthen near Berlin until his death on 7 May 2019; he was 84 years old ( Hanssen 2019 ).

Zeuthen Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Zeuthen is a municipality in the district of Dahme-Spreewald in Brandenburg in Germany.


Katzer's earlier works owe a great deal to the music of Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, and his teacher, Hanns Eisler. In the late 1960s he came under the influence of Witold Lutosławski and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, departing from conventional tonality and forms. From this point on, his vocabulary included serial, aleatory, and collage techniques, as well as electronic sounds ( Klingberg 2001 ). His compositions included works for chamber ensembles, orchestral works, solo concertos, operas, ballets, puppet plays, and oratorios. His work also encompassed electroacoustical pieces, music for radio dramas, multimedia projects, and projects involving improvised music. His compositions are held by the Saxon State and University Library Dresden, including ( Anon. 2019 ):

Béla Bartók Hungarian composer and pianist

Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

Igor Stravinsky Russian-born composer

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

Witold Lutosławski Polish composer and conductor

Witold Roman Lutosławski was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. He earned many international awards and prizes. His compositions include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and orchestral song cycles.


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<i>Antigone oder die Stadt</i>

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