Juerg Baur

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Jürg Baur in November 2008

Jürg Baur (born November 11, 1918 in Düsseldorf ; † January 31, 2010 there ) was a German composer .


Jürg Baur came into contact with a wide variety of musical styles at an early age . The sheet music available at home gave the young Jürg Baur, who at the age of eight received his first piano lessons from Adelheid Kroeber and later organ lessons from Albert Thate , the opportunity to intensively study piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach and piano pieces by Béla Bartók , Igor Stravinsky , Paul Hindemith , Ernst Krenek and Ernst Toch , who inspired him to compose. His String Quartet in D minor (1935), shortly before graduating from high school in 1937 at Dusseldorf Hindenburg-Gymnasium by Prisca quartet there partly premiered, paved Baur their way into the composition class Philipp Jarnachs at the Academy of Music and Dance in Cologne , where he began his studies in autumn 1937. He also studied the piano with Karl Hermann Pillney and the organ with Michael Schneider .

Because he was called up for military service in 1939, Jürg Baur had to interrupt his studies after four semesters, and took it after the war, during which he received Dr. med. Hilde Wolfstieg had married, and the return from Soviet captivity again and was already in the course of 1946 lecturer for music theory at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf. In the same year he passed his state examination for composition and piano; a year later he finished his composition studies with the completion of the artistic maturity examination. He graduated in 1951 from studying musicology with Karl-Gustav Fellerer at the University of Cologne , which he began in 1948 , but the dissertation he was working on fell victim to various extensive occupations: In addition to his teaching activities, he was cantor at the Pauluskirche in Düsseldorf-Unterrath (1952 –66) as well as incidental music writer for the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus of the Gustaf Gründgens era . The conclusion of his exams was the church music A exam in 1954. From 1959 to 1966, Baur was visiting lecturer at the Protestant regional church music school in the Rhineland.

In 1955 Baur received the Robert Schumann Prize of the City of Düsseldorf, in 1956 the Young Generation Recklinghausen Prize and a year later the Düsseldorf Robert Schumann Prize in recognition of his overall work. The most important and most important award was the Rome Scholarship of the Deutsche Akademie Villa Massimo in 1960. In 1965, Jürg Baur succeeded Joseph Neyses as director of the Düsseldorf Robert Schumann Conservatory and in 1969 was appointed professor. During this time he also made a trip to the USSR on behalf of the German Music Council , a second Villa Massimo scholarship (both in 1968) and the award of the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class (1969).

In 1971 Baur took over the composition class of Bernd Alois Zimmermann at the Cologne Music Academy , which he then headed until 1990 (after his retirement as a lecturer ); In 1975 he refused an appointment to the Munich Music Academy . A second trip to the USSR followed in 1979, before he stayed as a guest of honor at Villa Massimo a year later and in 1984 took part in the Moscow International Music Festival as a guest of honor . In 1990 Jürg Baur received the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia , and in 1994 the Music Prize of the City of Duisburg . Baur has been a member of GEMA's evaluation committee since 1973 , of which he has been a member since 1947; since 1977 he has been an individual and since 1988 an honorary member of the German Music Council . In addition, from 1971 to 1993 he was first chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalian state association VDMK (today: DTKV ) and from 1962 to 1997 first chairman of the VDMK district association in Düsseldorf, of which he is now honorary chairmen. In 1997, Jürg Baur received the Gerhard Maasz Foundation Music Prize for his complete works and the Ring of Honor from the German Schubert Society .


Jürg Baur has composed for all genres of music. However, he found music theater late: at the age of 87 he composed his first opera : The novel with the double bass , based on the novel of the same name by Anton Chekhov (libretto by Michael Leinert ). The world premiere took place on November 24, 2005 in Düsseldorf, as a commission from the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf.

The 90-year-old composer recently composed the Heine poem Mondenschein (Night lies on strange paths) for a Heine evening at the University of Memphis, Tennessee / USA : First performance on November 18, 2006 in the Harris Concert Hall with Susan Owen-Leinert , Soprano, accompanied by Dirk Wedmann on the piano.

Selection of the most important works

Baur's works are mainly published by Breitkopf & Härtel , and since 1990 mainly by Dohr Cologne.

Discography (selection)


  • Jürg Baur: Annotations on Music. Selected writings, essays and lectures , ed. by Oliver Drechsel, Cologne (Dohr) 2003.
  • Oliver Drechsel: Jürg Baur. Catalog raisonné , Cologne (Dohr) 2000.
  • Oliver Drechsel: Jürg Baur. The piano work , Cologne (Dohr) 1998.
  • Matthias Güdelhöfer: Jürg Baur. The late chamber music , Cologne (Dohr) 2002.
  • Ulrich Tadday (Ed.): Jürg Baur (= Music Concepts. Vol. 184/185), Munich (edition text + kritik) 2019, ISBN 978-3-86916-747-3 .
  • Lars Wallerang: The orchestral works by Jürg Baur as a dialogue between tradition and modernity , Cologne (Dohr) 2003.

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