Contemporary composers

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contemporary composers ( KDG ) is a music lexicon in German about composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is a loose-leaf reference work with information on currently around 900 composers.


Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer founded the Lexicon of Contemporary Composers (KDG) in 1992 and have been publishing it since then in edition text + kritik . The loose-leaf work now comprises around 12,740 pages in 10 folders (66th subsequent delivery, April 2020) and is updated and supplemented two to three times a year. It is available online for a fee.

Structure and focus

The sorting takes place according to the alphabetical order of the composers. The articles are divided into a biogram and an overview of the works. The biograms give an overview of the artists' lives and awards. In the representations of the works, aesthetics and compositional technique in particular are reflected historically as well as musically and analytically. In addition to catalogs of works, selection discographies and bibliographies, there are also detailed explanations with notation boards for over 200 composers.


»Even experts in new music should discover a wealth of unknown names.« Berliner Zeitung

The more than 200 international authors are recognized »specialists for the respective composers who know how to describe their subject straight away and in concise language.« New magazine for music

»Those interested in music and those who really love music cannot do without the lexicon› Composers of the Present ‹[...].« Art and culture


  • Hanns-Werner Heister, Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer (Hrsg.): Composers of the present (KDG) . edition text + kritik, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-86916-816-6 (basic work including the 66th subsequent delivery).

Web links