Stockhausen, enigmatic maestro, dies aged 79
Saturday 08 December 2007
Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the most influential composers of modern times, has died aged 79, it was announced yesterday. The German, whose work pushed the boundaries of modern music, died at his home in Kuerton, western Germany on Wednesday.
His unique blend of classical, avant-garde and electronic music propelled him to musical fame in the Fifties, and he has continued to influence a host of musical luminaries, from Miles Davis and Aphex Twin, to Brian Eno and Bjork.
Born in Moedrath, a small village near Cologne, in 1928, Stockhausen studied German, philosophy and musicology at the University of Cologne. A prolific writer, he created some 362 works during his extensive career, and won numerous awards.
His career breakthrough came in 1956, when he released the song Gesang der Junglinge (Song of the Youths). This strange fusion of electronic sounds and the human voice has been described as "the first masterpiece of electronic music".
He was one of the pioneering composers to use aleatory, or controlled chance, a method which allowed performers more artistic license. The piece Kontakte (Contacts), which he composed in 1960, was one of the first compositions to mix live instrumentation and pre-recorded material.
Stockhausen was revered by many and reviled by others. Perhaps the most notorious critique of his work came from Sir Thomas Beecham, who, when asked if he had heard of Stockhausen's music, replied "No, but I believe I have trodden in some."
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 3 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
- 4 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
Why Harry Potter's aged 35, not 26
Frank Ocean, where's that new album at?
Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
Benedict Cumberbatch has 1,480 lines in Hamlet - so what's the secret to actors' memory skills?
Drake responds to Meek Mill's 'diss' track 'Wanna Know' by laughing at the rapper on Instagram
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'