Irmin Schmidt

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Irmin Schmidt (born May 29, 1937 in Berlin ) is a German musician and composer who became internationally known as a member of Can .


Schmidt founded a school orchestra at the age of 16, which he conducted. In 1956 he organized a jazz concert in the auditorium of his high school. Then he graduated from the Dortmund Conservatory with honors as a piano teacher and thus had the prerequisite to go to a music college to study conducting and composition. First he studied at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen , where György Ligeti made him aware of timbres , then at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Cologne University of Music . In Cologne, he studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1964 to 1966 . Schmidt initially worked mainly as a conductor and directed the Bochum Symphony Orchestra , the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Dortmund Ensemble for New Music he founded in 1962 . He has received several conducting awards. He also worked as Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater Aachen and was also a lecturer for musicals and chansons at the Bochum Drama School. He also performed as a pianist.

In 1968 he founded the band Can together with Holger Czukay , Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit . He then released a number of solo albums again and again with the participation of former Can members. Irmin Schmidt is also a sought-after film and television music composer. He was responsible for the music of more than 40 film and television productions, such as B. for the TV series Rote Erde .

After the Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake , Schmidt composed the opera Gormenghast (premiered in Wuppertal on November 15, 1998), which was also staged elsewhere. He was commissioned by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf to compose the ballet La Fermosa by Youri Vámos (world premiere in 2008).


Discography (selection)

Discography with Can see under Can

  • 1980: film music
  • 1981 Toy Planet (with Bruno Spoerri )
  • 1981: Film music Vol.2
  • 1987: Musk At Dusk
  • 1989: Film music Vol.5
  • 1991: Impossible Holidays
  • 1999: Gormenghast
  • 2001: Masters Of Confusion (with Kumo)
  • 2008: Axolotl Eyes (with Kumo)
  • 2009: Film Music Anthology Vol. 4 & 5



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Can -Mastermind Irmin Schmidt: "There was just a fight, all the time" , profil , December 11, 2013
  2. Thomas Mießgang: Whipped cream, mad song, fairground ghosts. Karlheinz Stockhausen tests Krautrock . In: Die Zeit , No. 17/1997
  3. Irmin Schmidt: Make madness out of nothing , Interview Christoph Dallach on Zeit-online from May 23, 2017.
  4. Can: Irmin Schmidt receives accolade
  5. City of Cologne press release of September 11, 2019: Holger Czukay Prize for Pop Music of the City of Cologne 2019 , accessed on September 11, 2019