Udo Zimmermann

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Udo Zimmermann
Udo Zimmermann.jpg
Zimmermann in 2006
Born (1943-10-06) 6 October 1943 (age 75)
Dresden, Germany
  • Composer
  • Musicologist
  • Conductor
  • Opera director

Udo Zimmermann (born 6 October 1943) [1] is a German composer, musicologist, opera director and conductor. [2] He worked as a professor of composition, founded a centre for contemporary music in Dresden, and was director of the Leipzig Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He directed a contemporary music series for the Bayerischer Rundfunk and a European centre of the arts in Hellerau. His operas, especially Weiße Rose , on a topic he set to music twice, have been performed internationally and recorded.

Leipzig Opera opera house in Leipzig, Germany

The Leipzig Opera is an opera house and opera company located at the Augustusplatz in Leipzig, Germany.

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.

Bayerischer Rundfunk public-service radio and television broadcaster based in Munich

Bayerischer Rundfunk is a public-service radio and television broadcaster, based in Munich, capital city of the Free State of Bavaria in Germany. BR is a member organization of the ARD consortium of public broadcasters in Germany.



Born in Dresden, Zimmermann was a member of the Dresdner Kreuzchor from 1954 to 1962, when he completed the Abitur. [3] Directed by Rudolf Mauersberger, Zimmermann was immersed in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and learned vocal expression, which became a focus of his own compositions. He wrote three motets which were performed by the choir, [4] including a "Vaterunserlied" in 1959. [5] Education in the choir fostered a humanitarian attitude which he kept for life. [5]

Dresden Place in Saxony, Germany

Dresden is the capital city of the German state of Saxony, and with around 550,000 inhabitants, it is the state's second most populous city after Leipzig. It is the 12th most populous city of Germany, the fourth largest by area after Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, as well as the third most populous city in the area of former East Germany, after (East) Berlin and Leipzig. Dresden is contiguous with Freital, Pirna, Radebeul, Meissen and Coswig, and its urban area has around 780,000 inhabitants, making it the largest in Saxony.

Dresdner Kreuzchor choir

The Dresdner Kreuzchor is the boys' choir of the Kreuzkirche in Dresden, Germany. It has a seven-century history and a world-wide reputation. Today, the choir has about 150 members between the ages of 9 and 19, from Dresden and the surrounding region. The boys attend the Kreuzschule in Dresden. They are also called "Kruzianer".

Abitur is a qualification granted by university-preparatory schools in Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia. It is conferred on students who pass their final exams at the end of their secondary education, usually after twelve or thirteen years of schooling. In German, the term Abitur has roots in the archaic word Abiturium, which in turn was derived from the Latin abiturus.

He continued his music education at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, studying composition with Johannes Paul Thilman and also voice and conducting. [4] The works composed during these years include Dramatische Impression für Violoncello und Klavier auf den Tod von J. F. Kennedy (Dramatic impression for cello and piano on the death of John F. Kennedy), composed in 1963, Fünf Gesänge für Bariton und Kammerorchester (Wolfgang Borchert) (Five chants for baritone and chamber orchestra after Wolfgang Borchert), written in 1964, and the opera Weiße Rose based on a libretto by his brother Ingo Zimmermann  [ de ] and composed in 1967/68. [4] The theme of the opera, which he composed as a student, is the White Rose resistance movement of the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl. [1] [6] From 1968, he studied in Berlin at the Akademie der Künste with Günter Kochan. In the same year he composed Musik für Streicher (Music for strings), his first work including twelve-tone technique and a new organisation of sound processes in levels ("flächig)". [4]

Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber education organization in Dresden, Germany

The "Carl Maria von Weber" College of Music is a college of music in Dresden, Germany.

Johannes Paul Thilman was a German composer.

Wolfgang Borchert German playwright, and short story writer

Wolfgang Borchert was a German author and playwright whose work was strongly influenced by his experience of dictatorship and his service in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. His work is among the best-known examples of the Trümmerliteratur movement in post-World War II Germany. His most famous work is the drama "Draußen vor der Tür ", which he wrote soon after the end of World War II. His works are known not to make compromises on the issues of humanity and humanism. He is one of the most popular authors of the German postwar period; his work continues to be studied regularly in German schools.

In 1970, Zimmermann became dramaturge of the Staatsoper Dresden. [3] In 1978 he was appointed professor of composition at the Dresdnen Musikhochschule, where he had lectured from 1976. [3] As a conductor, he was invited by major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, Orchestre de Radio France in Paris, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, MDR Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also appeared as a guest conductor at opera houses in Bonn, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. [7] He organised productions of his operas in both East and West Germany, and arranged for leading papers to review them. [5]

A dramaturge or dramaturg is a literary adviser or editor in a theatre, opera, or film company who researches, selects, adapts, edits, and interprets scripts, libretti, texts, and printed programmes, consults with authors, and does public relations work. Its modern-day function was originated by the innovations of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, an 18th-century German playwright, philosopher, and theatre theorist.

Semperoper Opera house and concert hall in Dresden, Saxony, Germany

The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden and the concert hall of the Staatskapelle Dresden. It is also home to the Semperoper Ballett. The building is located near the Elbe River in the historic centre of Dresden, Germany.

Berlin Philharmonic orchestra based in Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Philharmonic is a German orchestra based in Berlin. It is traditionally ranked in the top handful of orchestras in the world, distinguished amongst peers for its virtuosity and compelling sound. The orchestra’s history has always been tied to its chief conductors, many of whom have been authoritative and controversial characters, such as Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan.

In 1986, he founded the Dresdner Zentrum für zeitgenössische Musik (Dresden Center for Contemporary Music) as a research center and for concerts and festivals. He returned to his opera topic Weiße Rose and wrote a condensed version for only two voices and ensemble on a text by Wolfgang Willaschek. [8] It premiered at the Opera Stabile, Hamburg, on 27 February 1986, and was staged often. [8] Zimmermann was the artistic director of the Leipzig Opera. During this time, 27 premieres of new works were performed at the house, [1] including several especially for the tricentenary of the opera house. [9] Parts of Stockhausen's Licht were premiered, also Jörg Herchet's nachtwache, staged by Ruth Berghaus, and Dieter Schnebel's "Majakowskis Tod – Totentanz". The house received international attention, presenting Busoni's Doktor Faustus staged by Willy Decker, and a cycle of Mozart's operas on librettos by da Ponte, staged by John Dew, among others. [10] From 2001 to 2003 he was general director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. [1] [3] [11]

An artistic director is the executive of an arts organization, particularly in a theatre or dance company, who handles the organization's artistic direction. They are generally a producer and director, but not in the sense of a mogul, since the organization is generally a non-profit organization. The artistic director of a theatre company is the individual with the overarching artistic control of the theatre's production choices, directorial choices, and overall artistic vision. In smaller theatres, the artistic director may be the founder of the theatre and the primary director of its plays. In larger non-profit theatres, the artistic director may be appointed by the board of directors.

<i>Licht</i> cycle of seven operas composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen

Licht (Light), subtitled "Die sieben Tage der Woche", is a cycle of seven operas composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen between 1977 and 2003. The composer described the work as an "eternal spiral" because "there is neither end nor beginning to the week." Licht consists of 29 hours of music.

Jörg Herchet is a German composer.

Zimmermann directed the series musica viva of contemporary music, run by the broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk from 1997 to 2011. He invited notable composers and ensembles to concerts in Munich, many of which were recorded. In 2007/08, he initiated an additional ars musica viva festival, which presented leading radio orchestras and ensembles. The BMW Kompositionspreises, a composition prize for the series, was an award for many new works by young international composers. A total of 175 works were performed, with 161 compositions commissioned by musica viva, and presented in 180 broadcasts. Zimmermann received the broadcaster's Gold Medal for his work over 14 years. [12]

Zimmermann then directed the Europäisches Zentrum der Künste in Dresden-Hellerau (European centre of the arts in Dresden-Hellerau), with a vision of a laboratory for contemporary art ("Labor für zeitgenössische Kunst"), including theatre, dance, architecture, art and media art. He retired from the position in 2008. [1]


Zimmermann's operas were published by Breitkopf: [13]


Zimmermann's publications are held by the German National Library, including: [15]


Zimmermann's recordings are held by the German National Library: [15]


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<i>Die wundersame Schustersfrau</i> Opera by Udo Zimmermann and Eberhard Schmidt

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Block, Simona (5 October 2018). "Lebenselixier Musik – Komponist Udo Zimmermann wird 75". Neue Musikzeitung (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. Opera Glass
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Udo Zimmermann". Wer war wer in der DDR? (in German). bundesstiftung-aufarbeitung. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Nicolai, Felicitas. Udo Zimmermann. Munzinger Biographien (in German). Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 Ernst, Michael (6 October 2013). "Lautstarker Mahner, schwieriger Freund: Udo Zimmermann zum 70. Geburtstag". Neue Musikzeitung (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. Hennenberg, Fritz (May 1980). "Die Mittlere Generation: Versuch über sechs Komponisten der DDR". German Studies Review (in German). The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of the German Studies Association. 3 (2): 289–321. doi:10.2307/1429724. JSTOR   1429724.
  7. "Udo Zimmermann". Breitkopf . Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  8. 1 2 Schmöe, Stefan (16 October 2002). "Weiße Rose". Online Musik Magazin (in German). Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. Ernst, Michael (5 October 2013). "Macher und Feingeist: Udo Zimmermann wird 70". Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (in German). Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  10. Korfmacher, Peter (5 October 2018). "Der Komponist und Dirigent und Manager Udo Zimmermann feiert seinen 75. Geburtstag". Leipziger Volkszeitung (in German). Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  11. Warrack, John; West, Evan (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera . ISBN   978-0-19-869164-8.
  12. "Udo Zimmermann nach Abschlusskonzert der musica viva ausgezeichnet". Neue Musikzeitung (in German). 13 July 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  13. "Works by Udo Zimmermann". Breitkopf . Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  14. 1 2 3 4 Kosch, Wilhelm (2011). Zimmermann, Udo. Deutsches Theater-Lexikon (in German). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 2816–3818. ISBN   978-3-11-026901-7 . Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  15. 1 2 "Recordings by Udo Zimmermann" (in German). German National Library . Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  16. ArkivMusic page for Udo Zimmermann