An Interview with Karlheinz Stockhausen: By Norma Beecroft


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Karlheinz Stockhausen
b. Burg Mödrath, Germany, August 22, 1928 –d. Kürten, Germany, December 5, 2007

Interviewed by Norma Beecroft as part of her ebook, Conversations With Post World War II Pioneers of Electronic Music.
Recorded on audio cassette.
Digital transfer and editing: William Van Ree

A major figure in music of the latter 20th Century, and one whose influence was worldwide, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music caused heated discussion from the moment he appeared on the world stage until the end of his life. His pioneering work in electronic music in the 1950s had a powerful effect on composers working in the field and on the development of this new musical resource in electronic studios around the world. His investigations into electronic sound material led him into the exploration of the minutae of instrumental and vocal music, musical notation, and stimulated his concerns about the spatial presentation of music.

Extensive biographical material on Karlheinz Stockhausen is readily available the internet. He gave to the world a view which was futuristic at the time, optimistic, and possibly unattainable or even desirable, but certainly highly controversial. His visions were significant for the period following World War II, and his tenacity to develop and carry through his then radical concepts to a new kind of musical experience, in spite of constant criticism, is exceptional and historically notable.

You can read the transcript of the interview, along with interviews of 22 other electroacoustic composers, by purchasing the ebook here.