Rolf Liebermann

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Rolf Liebermann
Rolf Liebermann par Claude Truong-Ngoc 1980.jpeg
Rolf Liebermann,
by Claude Truong-Ngoc (1980)
Born(1910-09-14)14 September 1910
Zürich, Switzerland
Died2 January 1999(1999-01-02) (aged 88)
Paris, France
Years active1943–1999

Rolf Liebermann (14 September 1910 – 2 January 1999 [1] ), was a Swiss composer and music administrator. He served as the Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1959–1973 and again from 1985–1988. He was also Artistic Director of the Paris Opera from 1973–1980.



Liebermann was born in Zürich, and studied composition and conducting with Hermann Scherchen in Budapest and Vienna in the 1930s, and later with Wladimir Vogel in Basel. His compositional output involved several different musical genres, including chansons, classical, and light music. His classical music often combines myriad styles and techniques, including those drawn from baroque, classical, and twelve-tone music.

Liebermann was the director of the Hamburg Staatsoper from 1959 to 1973, and again from 1985 to 1988. [1] During his tenure in Hamburg, he commissioned 24 new operas, including The Devils by Krzysztof Penderecki, Der Prinz von Homburg by Hans Werner Henze, and Help, Help, the Globolinks! by Gian Carlo Menotti. In the intervening years he served as director of the Paris Opera from 1973 to 1980. He died in Paris. [2]

At the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, Liebermann acted as the president of the jury; being responsible for moderating and finalising the results of the seven international juries judging the competition. [3]

In 1989, he was the head of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival. [4]


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  1. 1 2 John W. Freeman (March 1999). "The Houdini of Opera: Rolf Liebermann". Opera News . 63 (9).
  2. Tom Sutcliffe, "Fanfare of the opera" (obituary), The Guardian, 14 January 1999
  3. John Kennedy O'Connor, The Eurovision Song Contest—The Official History (Carlton Books, 2010).[ full citation needed ]
  4. "Berlinale: 1989 Juries". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  5. Hans Koeltzsch (1967). Der neue Opernführer (in German). Hamburg: Deutscher Bücherbund Stuttgart.