Siegfried Köhler (composer)

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Siegfried Köhler (born March 2, 1927 in Meißen ; † July 14, 1984 in East Berlin ) was a German composer in the GDR .


During the Second World War he was musically involved in a group of the Hitler Youth . The Soviet secret police of the NKVD arrested him after the end of the war on the charge of being a " werewolf " in special camp No. 4 in Bautzen . In March 1946 he came to special camp No. 1 in Mühlberg and was handed over to the NKVD operational group in Dresden on June 21, 1946. There he was released with TBC . Köhler then studied composition in Dresden and then musicology and art history in Leipzig .

From 1963 to 1968 he was artistic director of the VEB Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin (East). In 1968 he went back to Dresden and became rector of the Dresden Music Academy "Carl Maria von Weber" . In 1983 he was appointed artistic director of the Saxon State Opera in Dresden . However , he did not live to see the reopening of the Semperoper in 1985. Köhler died on July 14, 1984 in East Berlin . From 1982 until his death he was President of the Association of Composers and Musicologists .

Siegfried Köhler's best-known works are the songs Today is a wonderful day (1942) and the Christmas carol Thousand Stars Are a Cathedral . His Symphony No. 5 "Pro Pace" (premiered in 1984) is a warning reminder of the destruction of the city of Dresden . For the record Peter Schreier sings Christmas carols (1975), Köhler arranged all the songs for solo tenor, boys' choir and orchestra.

His estate is kept in the Saxon State Library - Dresden State and University Library.


  • Song of Life , cantata Text: Siegfried Köhler op.1 (1947)
  • For the New Year happiness and salvation. Happy music based on a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for mixed choir and small orchestra op.2 (1954)
  • Six simple songs op.3 (1950)
  • Germany , also a German motet based on a poem by Cuba for six-part youth choir a cappella, text: KuBa ( Kurt Barthel ) op.4
  • Reflection and Departure Cantata for soprano (or tenor), mixed choir and small orchestra based on poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe op.5 (1951)
  • House music in 5 movements for piano op.6 (1952)
  • Germany, you, our home ( today is also a wonderful day ). Cantata for choir and instruments, text: Siegfried Köhler op.7 (1952)
  • Christmas cantata Tausend Sterne are a cathedral for choir and instruments, text: Siegfried Köhler op.8 (1951)
  • The judge from Hohenburg . Scenes from the Great German Peasants' War in 1525, A dramatic play for music theater, Text: Siegfried Köhler, op.10 (1954/1963)
  • Happy suite for orchestra, text: Siegfried Köhler op.11 (1956)
  • Ten lyrical songs based on texts by various authors, Op. 12 (1956)
  • Cheerful Prelude for Orchestra Op. 13 (1956)
  • Three gallows songs based on poems by Christian Morgenstern op.14 (1956)
  • Song of youth. A cantata for youth consecration and other festive occasions for solo, choir and instruments ad lib., Text: Louis Fürnberg op.15 (1956)
  • Spanish Visions: The Victory of Guernica Cantata a capella based on a poem by Paul Éluard op.16 (1957)
  • Sonatina in F for piano op.17 (1958)
  • Small festival music for string orchestra (or string quartet with double bass) op.18 (1958)
  • Sonatina in C for piano op.19
  • Prologue for orchestra op.20 (1959)
  • Music for Kathrin . Twelve Children's Pieces for piano for two hands op.21 (1961)
  • Four songs based on poems by Mao Tse-tung , text: Mao Zedong / German: Rolf Schneider op. 22 (1961)
  • Realm of man , poem for soprano, alto and baritone, acc. Choir and orchestra, text: Johannes R. Becher op.23 (1961/62)
  • Greif zu den Sternen, Kind der Zeit Cantata for the opening of the IV German Gymnastics and Sports Festival 1963 in Leipzig, Text: Max Zimmering op. 24 (1963)
  • Symphony of the Young, Op. 25 (1964)
  • The marriage school . A musical, text: Gerhard Branstner op.27 (1964)
  • Cambodian Festival Music op.28 (1964)
  • Of Love and Death for high-pitched voice and piano, text: Johannes R. Becher op.29 (1965)
  • Earth, fertile and beautiful . Cantata for soprano, mixed choir and string orchestra op.30
  • The Struwwelpeter or funny stories and funny pictures , cheerful and serious stories to sing, dance and tell, text: Heinrich Hoffmann op.31 (1966)
  • Sketches for Der Struwwelpeter, new version of the piano pieces op.31a (1966)
  • Rotterdam May 14, 1940 Sonata for horn and piano op.32 (1966)
  • Max and Moritz. A boy’s story in seven pranks For speaker and chamber orchestra, text: Wilhelm Busch op.33 (1967)
  • Fipps the monkey. Entertaining and inappropriate , text: Wilhelm Busch op.34 (1964)
  • Aspects. Sketches for nonet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass) and a high voice or speaker ad lib., Text: Siegfried Köhler op.36 (1968)
  • Bernauer Lied sequence: The work is growing in a wide circle on the 20th anniversary of the GDR, text: Willi Layh op. 37 (1968)
  • Concertino for clarinet and string orchestra op.38 (1969)
  • Land of my love , poem for soprano and orchestra, text: Siegfried Köhler op.39 (1969)
  • Festive Overture for Large Orchestra, Op. 40 (1969)
  • That our love has a home , choir cycle in ten parts, text: Günther Deicke op.41 (1968)
  • Report on Lenin based on a ballad by Wolfgang Tilgner and poems by Wladimir Majakowski , Louis Fürnberg , KuBa ( Kurt Barthel ), Johannes R. Becher and Max Zimmering for a speaker and three instrumentalists op.42 (1970)
  • Choral songs to sing love songs on the spinet , text: Bertolt Brecht , Paul Fleming , Johannes R. Becher op.43 (1970)
  • We - our time , choral symphony based on poems by Johannes R. Becher in six movements op.44 (1972)
  • Sinfonietta for orchestra in three movements (also 2nd symphony ) op.45 (1971)
  • Concerto for piano and orchestra op.46 (1972)
  • Four structures for piano op.46a (1973)
  • Ode for tenor solo, horn and string orchestra in four movements, text: Helmut Reibig op.47 (1971)
  • Diagram , 12 variations for organ op.49a (1973)
  • Johannes Bobrowski Choir Book Part I and II. Five Madrigals for mixed choir a cappella, text: Johannes Bobrowski op.50 (1975)
  • Of trees, buds and nightingales , cycle for women's or children's choir a cappella, text: Georg Maurer op.51 (1973)
  • Ours the land and the time . Cycle for mixed choir a cappella, text: Günther Deicke op.52 (1973, premiere 1977)
  • Concert music for orchestra in three movements op.53 (1975)
  • Matamorphoses for organ on the ode to the future by Pablo Neruda op.54 (1972)
  • Anja and Peter . A musical fairy tale for children (homage to Sergei Prokofiev ) op.55 (1974)
  • Canticum catulli for solos and instruments op.56 (1974/75)
  • 3rd Symphony op.57 (1975)
  • Seven microscenes for clarinet, violoncello and piano op.58 (1975)
  • Concerto for harpsichord and chamber orchestra op.59 (1976)
  • Orpheus bound , essay for orchestra op. 60 (1976)
  • Homage to JS Bach . Dialogue for two violins op.61 (1977)
  • 4th symphony, new version as epitaph for Antigone op.62 (1977/78, rev. 1979)
  • Commentaries on three Venetian madrigals by Heinrich Schütz from 1611, Op. 63 (1978)
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra op.64 (1979/80)
  • Syntheses . 1st string quartet op.65 (1977)
  • Sayings , also celebratory and memorial sayings for eight-part a cappella choir op.66 (1980)
  • Festive inventions . Dresden Renaissance Music for three-section symphony orchestra op.70 (1981)
  • Sinfonietta for orchestra op.71 (1981)
  • Music for cello solo No. 1 op.72 (1980)
  • Contrasts . 2nd string quartet op.73 (1981)
  • Ode to Solidarity for eight-part mixed a cappella choir, text: Pablo Neruda op.74 (1981)
  • Temperaments . Configuration for four flute instruments (for Jürgen Brüggebors) op.75 (1981)
  • Epigrams for mixed choir a capella based on poems by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Klein , Hans Assmann von Abschatz and Angelus Silesius by Franz Liszt (op.76 1982)
  • Attitudes for clarinet solo op.77 (1980)
  • 5th Symphony Pro Pace (also Resurrection ) for solos, speaker, mixed choir and large orchestra op.78, text: Ulrich Grasnick op.78 (1983)



  • Siegfried Köhler and Johannes Weyrauch : Our most beautiful Christmas carols. 27 popular songs at Christmas time , Leipzig [1970]
  • Max Gerd Schönfelder: Siegfried Köhler portrayed for you . Leipzig, 1984 (with catalog raisonné, pp. 65–70).
  • About Köhler performances by the Dresden Kreuzchor, in: Matthias Herrmann (Ed.): Dresdner Kreuzchor and contemporary choral music. World premieres between Richter and Kreile , Marburg 2017, pp. 28–29, 97, 116–117, 130, 248–250, 317–318, 320–321 (Schriften des Dresdner Kreuzchor, Vol. 2)
  • Torsten Musial, Bernd-Rainer BarthKöhler, Siegfried . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Siegfried Köhler file in the archive of the Mühlberg camps initiative group
  2. Andreas Weigelt: Chronicle of the Initiativgruppe Lager Mühlberg eV IG Lager Mühlberg, Mühlberg / Elbe, 2010, p. 139 ( limited preview in the Google book search), with reference to: Dieter Härtwig: He dreamed of a "human kingdom". In: Dresdner Latest News from March 2, 2002
  3. ^ Ma-shops: bronze cast medal, (1971) Dresden Martin-Anderson-Nexö art price, freshly cast. Accessed July 30, 2020 .