Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen started composing in the early 1950s and over the course of his lifetime he wrote over 350 works. The first compositions of "Point Music" such as KREUZSPIEL (CROSS-PLAY) in 1951, SPIEL (PLAY) for orchestra in 1952, and KONTRA-PUNKTE (COUNTER-POINTS) in 1952/53, brought Stockhausen international fame. Fundamental achievements in music since 1950 are indelibly imprinted through his compositions.

Stockhausen's entire oeuvre can be classified as "Spiritual Music"; this becomes more and more evident not only in the compositions with spiritual texts, but also in the other works of "Overtone Music", "Intuitive Music", "Mantric Music", reaching "Cosmic Music" such as STIMMUNG (TUNING), AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN (FROM THE SEVEN DAYS), MANTRA, STERNKLANG (STAR SOUND), INORI, ATMEN GIBT DAS LEBEN (BREATHING GIVES LIFE), SIRIUS, LICHT (LIGHT), KLANG (SOUND).

At nearly all world premières and in innumerable exemplary performances and recordings of his works world-wide, Stockhausen either personally conducted, or performed in or directed the performance as sound projectionist.

In a spherical auditorium conceived by Stockhausen, most of his works composed until 1970 were performed at the Expo '70 world fair in Osaka, Japan, for 5½ hours daily for 183 days by twenty instrumentalists and singers, there by reaching an audience of over a million listeners.

In addition to numerous guest professorships in Switzerland, the United States, Finland, Holland, and Denmark, Stockhausen was appointed Professor for Composition at the Hochschule fí¼r Musik in Cologne in 1971. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Freie Unversität Berlin, and in 2004 received an honorary doctorate from the Queen's University in Belfast. He is a member of 12 international Academies for the Arts and Sciences, was named Honorary Citizen of Kuerten in 1988, became Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, received many gramophone prizes and, among other honours, the Federal Medal of Merit, 1st class, the Siemens Music Prize, the UNESCO Picasso Medal, the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine Westfalia, many prizes from the German Music Publisher's Society for his score publications, the Hamburg BACH Prize, the Cologne Culture Prize and, the Polar Music Prize with the laudation: "Karlheinz Stockhausen is being awarded thePolar Music Prize for 2001 for a career as a composer that has been characterized by impeccable integrity and never-ceasing creativity, and for having stood at the fore front of musical development for fifty years."