No results

Goebbels, Heiner

(Aug 17, 1952 - Neustadt, Weinstraße)

Born on the 17th August 1952 in Neustadt/Weinstraße
Childhood and school in Landau/Pfalz from 1955 until the "Abitur" (University entrance) in 1971
1972 he moved to Frankfurt am Main
1975 degree in sociology, 1978 degree in Music and State Teacher’s Certificates
Lives as freelance composer (orchestra and chamber music, music theatre, audio plays, theatre-film-ballet music), theatre producer and designer together with Barbara Rendtorff and their children Jakob and Rosa in Frankfurt/Main
1976 co-founder of the "Sogenanntes Linksradikales Blasorchester" (So-Called Left-Radical Wind Orchestra", till 1981) and the Duo Heiner Goebbels / Alfred Harth (till 1988)
1978-1980 musical director at the Frankfurt Schauspiel (Palitzsch era)
1982 he founded the experimental rock group Cassiber
Numerous record publishings, concerts and tours in Europe, Soviet Union, North and South America with all kinds of groups
Composer and director of his own music theatre and audio plays (often to scripts by Heiner Müller) and of scenic concerts; various concert projects with musicians belonging to the international improvisation scene; German record awards in 1981 and 1984
1988 he was awarded the Goldene Ehrennadel der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Golden Needle of Honour, German recordings critics’ prize)
1984, 1990 and 1992 Karl-Sczuka-Hörspielpreis des SWF Baden-Baden (Karl Sczuka prize for radio plays of the SWF Baden-Baden)
1985 Hörspielpreis der Kriegsblinden (radio play prize of the war-blind)
1986, 1992 and 1996 Prix Italia
1989 Berliner Hörspielpreis der Publikumsjury (Berlin radio play prize awarded by public jury)
1991 Prix Futura
1993 Hessischer Kulturpreis
1996 Radio Ostankino Prize (Moscow) for Der Horatier (radio plays)
1997/98 guest professor for composition at Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe
1999 professor at the University of Giessen (Angewandte Theaterwissenschaften)
2001 / 2004 Grammy Nominations for Surrogate Cities / Eislermaterial
2001 European Theatre Award „New Theatrical Realities"
2002 Goethe-Plakette of the City of Frankfurt
2003 German Critics' Award in the category „music" 2006 Theatre Award for the WORLD THEATRE DAY by the German centre of the ITI (International Theatre Institute)
2007/2008 Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin
2008 Binding Kulturpreis

Heiner Goebbels is a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin and the Academy of Performing Arts, Frankfurt. Since 2006 Heiner Goebbels is President of the Theater Academy Hessen.

Heiner Goebbels

A portrait by Bernd Leukert

Amongst the composers for contemporary music Heiner Goebbels is a singular figure. After early experience with rock music, his artistic career is shaped by the student movement. In his dissertation for his sociology degree ("The Question of the Progressiveness of Musical Material. The Social Relationship between Compositions Produced During the Pre-Classical Period and by Hanns Eisler") he finds his way to the categorical imperative that is still valid for him today: always compose in such a way, that your music does not deprive the listener of his right to form his own opinion. Music reflects social reality, its position and attitude have to be continually redefined. For his purpose Goebbels uses many different genres and casts ranging from theatre, film and ballet music to radio plays and experimental music theatre.

Heiner Goebbels composes – never without a non-musical reason – in close co-operation with writers and musicians utilizing the power of their instrumental expression. His music always aims below the surface of his subjects and creates a tension between them and other remote levels of meaning. Montage and collage with inbuilt free spaces: the composition, no longer describable, reassembles itself in the listener’s head. In his work on texts (especially Heiner Müller’s), he deciphers the subtexts whose meaning is conveyed by means of tectonics and speech rhythms. Often he uses patterns taken from popular music; these are functionalised with avant-garde techniques and brought to a final and radical form in the experimental rock group "Cassiber" founded in 1982. Although unusually productive and innovative, the critical standards he sets himself lead him away from a personal style. His instinct for attractive and shocking effects ensure his extraordinary success with his audiences.