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Klaus Huber

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Klaus Huber

Klaus Huber (1981)

Klaus Huber (born 30 November 1924) is a Swiss composer.


  • Life and work 1
  • Awards and recognition (selection) 2
  • Works (selection) 3
    • Stage works 3.1
    • Orchestra works 3.2
    • Ensemble works 3.3
    • Vocal music 3.4
    • Chamber music 3.5
    • Solo works 3.6
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and work

Klaus Huber studied violin at the Zurich University of the Arts with Stefi Geyer and composition with Willy Burkhard. He continued his studies with Boris Blacher in Berlin.[1] His international breakthrough came in 1959 with the world premiere of his chamber cantata "Des Engels Anredung an die Seele", at that time an unorthodox composition that uses consonant intervals within a strictly serial context.[2]

One of the leading figures of his generation in Europe, he has written extensively for chamber ensembles, choirs, soloists and the orchestra as well as the theater. Huber is a socially and politically conscious composer and his music often conveys a humanistic message.

Klaus Huber taught composition at the City of Basel Music Academy (1961–72) and at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (1973–90 ). He was also appointed director of the composition seminars at the Gaudeamus Foundation in Bilthoven, Netherlands, in 1966, 1968 and 1972.[3] Additionally, he held international visiting professorships and composition classes in (among others) Paris, London, Geneva, Milan, Lyon, Montreal, Sarajevo and Tatui (Brazil). Several students of Klaus Huber such as Brian Ferneyhough, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Toshio Hosokawa, Wolfgang Rihm and Kaija Saariaho became internationally recognized composers.[4]

Awards and recognition (selection)

Works (selection)

Stage works

  • Schwarzerde (1997-2001) Stage work in nine sequences. Text: Michael Schindhelm in cooperation with Klaus Huber, based on poems and prose texts by Ossip Mandelstam

Orchestra works

  • Quod est pax? - Vers la raison du coeur... (2006/07) for orchestra with five solo voices and one Arabic percussion. Text: Jacques Derrida, Octavio Paz, Mahmoud Darwisch, Klaus Huber
  • Lamentationes de fine vicesimi saeculi (1992/94) for orchestra in four groups with Sufi-singer (ad libitum)
  • Spes contra spem (1986–89) A contra-paradigm to "Götterdämmerung". Text: Bertolt Brecht, Elias Canetti, Georg Herwegh, Rosa Luxemburg, Friedrich Nietzsche, Reinhold Schneider, Dorothee Sölle, Richard Wagner, Peter Weiss
  • Protuberanzen (simultaneous version) (1985/86) Three small pieces for orchestra
  • Erniedrigt – Geknechtet – Verlassen – Verachtet... (1975/78-1983) for soloist, choir and orchestra. Text: Ernesto Cardenal, Florian Knobloch, George Jackson, Carolina Maria de Jesús, Prophet Jesaja
  • Erniedrigt – Geknechtet – Verlassen – Verachtet... (1975/78-1983) for soloist, choir and orchestra. Text: Ernesto Cardenal, Florian Knobloch, George Jackson, Carolina Maria de Jesús, Prophet Jesaja

Ensemble works

  • Miserere hominibus... (2005/2006) Cantata for seven solo voices and seven instrumentalists. Text: Altes Testament (51. Psalm), Octavio Paz (Il Cántaro Roto), Mahmoud Darwish (Murale), Carl Améry (Global Exit), Jacques Derrida
  • Die Seele muss vom Reittier steigen... (2002) for violoncello solo, baritone solo, counter tenor (or alto) and 37 instrumentalists. Text: Mahmoud Darwish
  • Lamentationes Sacrae et Profanae ad Responsoria Iesualdi (1993/1996-97) for six singers and two instrumentalists. Text: Jeremiah, Klaus Huber, Ernesto Cardenal, Mahmud Doulatabadi
  • Intarsi (1993/94) Chamber concerto for piano and 17 instruments
  • Die umgepflügte Zeit (1990) Space music for viola d’amore, mezzo-soprano, high tenor, female speaker, 2 mixed ensembles, choir voices and instruments. Text: Ossip Mandelstam
  • L'ombre de notre âge (1998/1999) for chamber ensemble
  • La terre des hommes (1987–89) for mezzo-soprano, counter tenor/speaker and eighteen instruments. Text: Simone Weil, Ossip Mandelstam

Vocal music

  • Kleines Requiem for Heinrich Böll (1991) for choir a cappella und Bassbaritone (ad lib.). Text: Hildegard von Bingen (lat.)

Chamber music

  • Ecce homines (1997/98) string quintet
  • Agnus Dei cum recordatione (1990/91) Text: Gösta Neuwirth, Latin Mess
  • Des Dichters Pflug (1989) for violin, viola and violoncello (all three-tone)
  • ...von Zeit zu Zeit... (1984/85) string quartet

Solo works

  • Intarsimile (2010) for violin solo
  • Winter seeds (1993) for accordion
  • ...Plainte... (1990) for viola d'amore in three-tone-tuning
  • Blätterlos (1975) for prepared piano


  1. ^ "Biography at Musinfo - The Database of Swiss Music". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Biography at All Music". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Biography at Ricordi". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Biography at Schott Music". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

External links

  • Official site including list of works, biographical information etc.
  • A biography on IRCAM's website (French)
  • Publisher's website: Klaus Huber at Ricordi Berlin
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