Friedrich Goldmann

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Friedrich Goldmann (born April 27, 1941 in Siegmar-Schönau (today a district of Chemnitz ), † July 24, 2009 in Berlin ) was a German composer and conductor .


As a member of the Dresden Kreuzchor (1951 to 1959) he made his first attempts at composition. During the Darmstadt summer courses in 1959, as a scholarship holder from the city of Darmstadt, he took part in a special composition seminar with Karlheinz Stockhausen , who continued an extensive correspondence with Goldmann after the Wall was built.

After studying at the University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden (1959-1962) in the subject composition at John Paul Thilman he was 1962-1964 master student at Rudolf Wagner-Régeny at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. He also worked as a freelance musical assistant at the Berliner Ensemble , where he made important artistic contacts with Heiner Müller , Ruth Berghaus and Luigi Nono, among others . He owed support and significant impulses to Paul Dessau .

After completing further studies in musicology at the Humboldt University in Berlin from 1964 to 1968, he worked as a freelance composer and conductor. Since the late 1960s, as the main representative of a young generation of composers in the GDR, including Bredemeyer , Dittrich , Katzer and Schenker , he achieved a breakthrough at music institutions opening up to new music such as the Berlin State Opera , Komische Oper Berlin or the Gewandhaus Leipzig . Since the mid-1970s, his works have also been performed in the FRG and Western Europe, although travel has been possible since the late 1970s, which increasingly established him internationally both as a composer and as a conductor.

His major commissions include works for the Witten Days for New Chamber Music , the Berlin Philharmonic , the Berliner Festwochen , Ensemble Modern , Arditti Quartet , the broadcasting companies and their orchestras, and after 1990 in particular the Konzerthaus . There were also works outside of the new music context, for example for the Expo 2000 in Hanover or the state ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (2009). World premieres of his works conducted a. a. Pierre Boulez , Daniel Barenboim , Michael Gielen , Ernest Bour and Ingo Metzmacher . Edition Peters publishes his scores .

The only opera work by Friedrich Goldmann is R. Hot or Die Wärme with a libretto by Thomas Körner based on the play Der Engländer by JMR Lenz . The work was written from 1971 to 1974; the world premiere took place in 1977 at the Berlin State Opera under the direction of Peter Konwitschny . New productions followed u. a. in Dresden ( Semperoper , 1984 and 2015/2016), Hamburg, Stuttgart, Braunschweig and Berlin (Konzerthaus 2010 and State Opera 2012).

As a conductor, Goldmann's focus was on the latest music, but his programs were often characterized by juxtaposing new music with works from the classical and early modern periods. He regularly directed the Ensemble Modern , the Staatskapelle Berlin , the Konzerthausorchester Berlin , the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and as a guest a. a. the Berlin Philharmonic and Radio Orchestra a. a. in Germany and Austria. Since the 1970s, Goldmann has also made international guest appearances as a conductor in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, the USA, Japan and South Korea. Since it was founded, there has been close cooperation, in particular with the Ensemble Modern and the Neue Musik Hanns Eisler group (with them in Donaueschingen and at the Warsaw Autumn, among others ). Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was chief conductor of the Boris Blacher Ensemble at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1988 . Goldmann has made numerous radio recordings as well as sound carriers, recorded a. a. for Nova, WERGO and Deutsche Grammophon both with interpretations of their own compositions as well as with works by others (e.g. Karlheinz Stockhausen's groups , 1994). Important performances under Goldmann's direction included a. Schönberg's Moses und Aron (Berlin State Opera, 1988, director: Ruth Berghaus ) and the German and French premieres of Luigi Nono's main work Prometeo (Paris and Frankfurt a. M., 1985, and Berlin 1988). In the mid-nineties he stopped conducting for health reasons.

Friedrich Goldmann had been a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts (East) and West (since 1990) since 1978 . From 1980 he taught there as part of the masterclasses until the two academies were merged in 1993. At the invitation of the Goethe Institute , he also led composition courses in Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo and Kyoto (Japan). Since 1996 he has been a member of the Saxon Academy of the Arts . From 1990 to 1997 Goldmann was President of the Society for New Music .


In 1991 he accepted a professorship for composition at the Berlin University of the Arts . There he headed the Institute for New Music. Goldmann's students include Enno Poppe , Helmut Oehring , Arnulf Herrmann , Sergej Newski , Steffen Schleiermacher , Jakob Ullmann , Charlotte Seither , Nicolaus Richter de Vroe , H. Johannes Wallmann , Paul Frick , Adrian Pavlov , Malin Bång, Sebastian Elikowski-Winkler, Arne Sanders and others. His retirement took place in 2006. His grave is in the Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof in Berlin, his manuscripts in the archive of the Akademie der Künste Berlin.

His son is the musician Stefan Goldmann (* 1978).


Goldmann's extensive oeuvre, which includes more than 200 individual works , includes chamber music compositions, several symphonies, solo concerts, film music and the opera “R. Hot or the heat ". Most of his official oeuvre was performed during his lifetime or shortly after his death in 2009. The orchestral works De profundis (1975) and Konzertstück (2004–2006) as well as the short ensemble work Postscriptum (1983) were premiered posthumously . The entire official orchestral and chamber music work of Goldmann up to 2009 was thus made accessible in 2014 in concert. Overview of work categories:

  • Orchestral works
  • Concerts for solo instruments with orchestra (including piano, oboe, violin, trombone)
  • Stage works
  • Chamber music
  • Vocal works
  • Film music ( Till Eulenspiegel (1975), Paul Dessau (1974), The Airship (1983), Flea in the Ear (1986))

His work can be roughly divided into three creative phases. The official work begins around 1963 and developed until the early 1970s mainly in numerous stage music as well as chamber music works and several “essays” for orchestra. At first he mainly worked with serialism and clustering techniques . Around 1969 Goldmann began a phase of composing on the basis of separately handled layers of musical material, in particular apropriated traditional form models (sonata, symphony), which he "exploded from within" with new sound material and thus reinterpreted the layers are just as important as the expansion of the material. Important examples here include a. the sonata for wind quintet and piano (1969) and the 1st symphony (1971).

From the end of the 1970s, there was a tendency that was to determine his third creative phase, but which was not fully developed until the 1990s: an autonomous, " absolute " composition that made use of all the possibilities of new music and, instead of contradictions, for example in the sense of a polystyle , seeks interactions and integrations of the techniques and the material - for example on the basis of continuums between noise and tone or chromatic tone supply and microtonality . As part of uniform shapes, supposedly rigid material boundaries dissolve, so that both the conventional concept of material no longer applies and the sound phenomena described with it are given a comprehensive new interpretation. Important examples include a. the trio (4 pieces) for viola, violoncello and double bass (1986), the string quartet No. 2 (1997), the quartet for oboe, violin, viola and violoncello (2000) and quasi una sinfonia (2008).


Honors (selection)


  • Corinna Ruth Hesse: Musical space and utopia in instrumental works by Friedrich Goldmann from the late 1980s, master's thesis , University of Hamburg, 1995 (with bibliography)
  • Reiner Kontressowitz : Five Approaches - to the solo concerts by Friedrich Goldmann , Altenburg: Kamprad 2014
  • Reiner Kontressowitz: Approaches II - On the biography and symphonies of Friedrich Goldmann , Altenburg: Kamprad 2020
  • Matthias Krüger: Friedrich Goldmann's 1st Symphony , University of Music and Dance, Cologne 2014
  • Hermann Neef : The contribution of the composers Friedrich Goldmann, Friedrich Schenker , Paul-Heinz Dittrich and Thomas Heyn to the aesthetic discussion of the opera genre in the GDR since 1977 , dissertation, Halle 1989
  • Dörte Schmidt: Lenz in contemporary music theater. Literature opera as a compositional project with Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Friedrich Goldmann, Wolfgang Rihm and Michèle Reverdy , Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler 1997
Individual studies, essays, edited volumes
  • Stefan Amzoll : Sisyphus. Aspects of Friedrich Goldmann's late work. In: MusikTexte 124, 2/2010
  • Ulrich Dibelius : Modern Music II 1965 - 1985 , Piper series, Munich 1988, 286-289
  • Friedrich Dieckmann : In memoriam Friedrich Goldmann On the death of the composer Friedrich Goldmann (1941–2009). In: Theater der Zeit 10/2009
  • Evelyn Hansen: Friedrich Goldmann: 4th Symphony. In: Positions 2, 1989
  • Evelyn Hansen: Friedrich Goldmann: fragile floating. Ensemble piece for 8 players. In: positions 6-7 / 1991
  • Evelyn Hansen: Present 50: Excursion per musica con Federico Goldmanno. In: Positions 8, 1992
  • Fritz Hennenberg : The middle generation - attempt on 6 composers from the GDR. In: German Studies Review. III (1980), No. 2.
  • Hartmut Lück: “Singable Rest” - Friedrich Goldmann's “Fifth”: quasi una sinfonia. In: NZfM 01/2010
  • Albrecht von Massow : Aesthetics of Autonomy in Socialist Realism. In: Michael Berg / Albrecht von Massow / Nina Noeske (eds.): Between power and freedom. New music in the GDR. Böhlau, Cologne 2004
  • Clemens Nachtmann : Friedrich Goldmann . In: Contemporary Composers (KDG). Edition Text & Criticism, Munich 1996, ISBN 978-3-86916-164-8 .
  • Sigrid Neef : Aspects of an Opera Fantasy - to »R. Hot «by Körner / Goldmann (with an impression of the piece). In: Theater der Zeit 08/1976
  • Sigrid Neef: From the rejuvenation of old materials, perspectives to reality and challenges to production in Goldmann's opera fantasy Hot and Dessau's Leonce and Lena. In: Sigrid Wiesmann: For and against the literary opera, Laaber, 1982
  • Christiane Niklew:  Goldmann, Friedrich . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Nina Noeske: Musical deconstruction. Böhlau, Cologne 2007
  • Max Nyffeler: Fake dialogues - comments on Friedrich Goldmann's double trio. In: Wolfgang Gratzer (Ed.): Proximity and Distance. Reflected music of the present II. Hoffenheim 1997
  • Reinhard Oehlschlägel : Friedrich Goldmann - the professional individualist . In: MusikTexte 122 (2009), pp. 77–78
  • Enno Poppe : In memory of Friedrich Goldmann , Sinn and Form 6/2009
  • Gerd Rienäcker : In over a hundred poses - thoughts on »R. Hot «by Goldmann / Körner at the German State Opera Berlin. In: Theater der Zeit 05/1977
  • Gerd Rienäcker: R. Hot von Friedrich Goldmann - dealing with problem areas of the genre? In: Manfred Vetter: Function of chamber music today. Greifswald 1990
  • Utz Riese: Postmodern Culture: Symptom, Critique, or Solution to the Crisis of Modernity? An East German Perspective , New German Critique No. 57, Autumn 1992
  • Frank Schneider : Friedrich Goldmann . In: Dietrich Brennecke, Hannelore Gerlach, Mathias Hansen (eds.): Musicians in our time. Members of the music section of the GDR Academy of the Arts . Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1979, p. 284 ff.
  • Frank Schneider: Snapshot - Notes on music and musicians in the GDR , Reclam, Leipzig 1979
  • Frank Schneider: Analysis: Ensemble concert by Friedrich Goldmann. In: Musiktexte 2, 1983
  • Frank Schneider: “The ensemble is central”: Friedrich Goldmann, a portrait. In: NMZ 147, 1986
  • Frank Schneider: New building at risk of collapse: Analytical reflections on Symphony 3 by Friedrich Goldmann. In: Melos 50, 02/1988
  • Frank Schneider: Analysis: Ensemble Concert 2 by Friedrich Goldmann. In: Musiktexte 23, 1988
  • Frank Schneider: Dialogue without Compromise: The Piano Concerto by Friedrich Goldmann. In: BzMw 31, 1989
  • Frank Schneider: From Friedrich Goldmann's school. In: MusikTexte 33/34, 1990
  • Frank Schneider: Appropriate reactions: Friedrich Goldmann's “Ensemble Concert 2” , MusikTexte, 23, 1998
  • Frank Schneider: Friedrich Goldmann in memoriam. In: Positions 81, 2009
  • Alastair Williams: Functionalism, Modernism and Tradition: The music of Friedrich Goldmann. In: Tempo No. 193, Cambridge University Press, 1995
Document collections
  • Ulrich Dibelius / Frank Schneider (ed.): New music in divided Germany. Vol. 2 to 4. Henschel Verlag, Berlin 1993
  • Foundation Archive of the Academy of the Arts (ed.): Documents on the history of the Academy of the Arts 1945 / 50-1993 , Vol. 1 and 2. Henschel Verlag, Berlin 1993
Interviews, conversations
  • Ursula Stürzbecher: Composers in the GDR. 17 conversations. Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 1979
  • Matthias Hansen (Hrsg.): Problems of the composition technique. Conversation with Friedrich Goldmann and Frank Schneider. In: Composing at the moment. Reclam, Leipzig, 1988
  • Bernd Feuchtner : Conjectures about music in the GDR. In conversation with Friedrich Goldmann and Kurt Masur . In: NZfM 06, 1990
  • Helga de la Motte-Haber : “... restlessness almost frozen” - in conversation with Friedrich Goldmann. In: Positions 11/1992
  • Friedrich Goldmann, Friedrich Schenker , Karl Mickel et al .: Paul Dessau on his 100th birthday on December 19, 1994 Round table - rediscoveries and reassessments of the composer. In: Theater der Zeit 01/1995
  • Christoph Metzger / Roland Pfrengle: In conversation with Friedrich Goldmann, Helmut Lachenmann and Gottfried Michael Koenig . In: Christoph Metzger / Ralf Hoyer : Music in Dialogue II. Pfau Verlag, Saarbrücken 1998
  • Albrecht von Massow / Friedrich Goldmann: Conversation . In: Michael Berg / Albrecht von Massow / Nina Noeske (eds.): Between power and freedom. New music in the GDR. Böhlau, Cologne 2004
  • Armin Köhler: Interview with Friedrich Goldmann . In: Armin Köhler / Rolf W. Stoll (ed.): Experienced history. New beginnings, retrospectives, time lapses - programs and texts. Schott, Mainz 2005

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Karlheinz Stockhausen, Dieter Schnebel (Ed.): Texts on Music 3. Introductions and projects, courses, programs, standpoints, secondary notes. DuMont Schauberg, Cologne 1971, p. 124. ISBN 3-7701-0493-5 .
  2. ^ Semperoper Dresden (Ed.): Program booklet R. Hot or Die Wärme . Dresden 2015.
  3. Norbert Beleke , Karin Di Felice (ed.): Who is who? The German Who's Who. Schmidt-Römhild , Lübeck 2006, ISBN 3-7950-2040-9 , p. 427.
  4. Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 2014/01 Ad text p. 2.
  5. Ursula Stürzbecher: Interview with Friedrich Goldmann. In: Composers in the GDR, 17 Talks, page 58 , Gerstenberg Verlag , Hildesheim, 1979.
  6. Ulrich Dibelius : Modern Music II 1965 - 1985. Piper Verlag , Munich, 1988, Piper series, p. 286 ff.