Hans Werner Henze

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Henze, Hans Werner

(häns vĕr`nər hĕn`tsə), 1926–2012, German composer, b. Gütersloh. Henze was a pupil of Wolfgang Fortner and René Leibowitz. His early works were influenced by StravinskyStravinsky, Igor Fedorovich
, 1882–1971, Russian-American composer. Considered by many the greatest and most versatile composer of the 20th cent., Stravinsky helped to revolutionize modern music.

Stravinsky's father, an actor and singer in St.
..... Click the link for more information.
, HindemithHindemith, Paul
, 1895–1963, German-American composer and violist, b. Hanau, Germany. Hindemith combined experimental and traditional techniques into a distinctively modern style. After studying at the Frankfurt Conservatory, he began his career as a viola player.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and BartókBartók, Béla
, 1881–1945, Hungarian composer and collector of folk music. He studied (1899–1903) and later taught piano at the Royal Academy, Budapest.
..... Click the link for more information.
. In his first violin concerto (1947) he took up twelve-tone writing, but he did not confined himself to that method (see also serial musicserial music,
the body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a particular ordering (called series or row) of the twelve pitch classes—C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B—that constitute the equal-tempered scale.
..... Click the link for more information.
). In 1953 he moved to Italy, where his music became more openly emotional. He also founded a music festival in Montepulciano in 1976. Henze's leftist politics of the 1960s and 70s are manifested in works such as the oratorio The Raft of the Frigate "Medusa" (1968), the Essay on Pigs for baritone and chamber orchestra (1969), and the antiwar opera We Come to the River (1976), one of several collaborations with English playwright Edward Bond. He also wrote ten symphonies, the ninth of which (1997) is a choral work about Nazi terror based on Anna SeghersSeghers, Anna
, 1900–1983, German novelist, whose original name was Netty Reiling Rádvanyi. She won fame with her first novel of social protest, The Revolt of the Fishermen, (1929, tr. 1930), but in 1933 she was forced to leave Germany.
..... Click the link for more information.
's The Third Cross. Among his other compositions are concertos for various instruments and the operas Elegy for Young Lovers (1961) and The Bassarids (1965), both to texts by W. H. Auden, The English Cat (1983), and Phaedra (2007). His last major work was Elogium Musicum (2008), a requiem for choir and orchestra.


See his Music and Politics: Collected Writings, 1953–81 (1982) and autobiography, Bohemian Fifths (1995).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Henze, Hans Werner


Born July 7, 1926, in Gütersloh. German composer (Federal Republic of Germany).

Henze studied composition with W. Fortner in Heidelberg and with R. Leibowitz in Paris. He lived in Wiesbaden from 1950 to 1952 and took up residence in Italy in 1953. Henze’s numerous operas include King Stag (1956, West Berlin), The Prince of Homburg (1960, Heidelberg), Elegy for Young Lovers (1961, Schwetzingen), and The Young Lord (1965, West Berlin). His ballets include The Idiot (1952, West Berlin; based on the novel by Dostoevsky), The Dance Marathon (1957, West Berlin), and Ondine (1958, London). He has also composed symphonies and vocal and instrumental works.

Henze uses a variety of modern compositional techniques with out adhering to any particular school. In such works as the oratorio The Raft of the Medusa, the chamber cantata El Cimarrón, and The Long Road to the House of Natascha Ungeheuer (a vocal work for 17 performers) Henze touches on crucial social and political problems but does not arrive at an ideologically consistent solution for them.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Mit Hans Werner Henze steht eine weitere Kunstlerfreundschaft im Zentrum des Aufsatzes von Siegfried Mauser, der mit der Feststellung beginnt, dass das Image Hartmanns als bedeutender Forderer der Neuen Musik den Blick auf sein kompositorisches Werk verdecke und die Bedeutung und der Rang seiner Werke noch nicht ins rechte Bewusstsein geruckt sei--was die von Blumroder im vorausgehenden Aufsatz zitierten Komponistenantworten eindringlich belegen.
They invited her to audition and she made her Covent Garden debut the following year in the premiere of an opera called We Come to the River by the German composer, Hans Werner Henze.
(17) Hans Werner Henze uses molto vibrato and tremolo often, especially in El Cimarron and Wir kommen am Fluss.
True, Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring is always a draw, but to couple that with a long piece by Hans Werner Henze was a brave decision which proved to be a winner.
So pivoting either side of a sanguine Strauss waltz, Voices Of Spring, which inspired conductor Vasily Petrenko into virtual-reality Tower Ballroom mode, was one of the greatest works of all time ( Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring) pulling against a contender in the greatest waste of time category (the now 80- year-old German bad boy Hans Werner Henze's Ode To The West Wind, inspired by the Shelley poem of the same name).
Gay modernist composers include Pierre Boulez, the most "killer" serialist of all; the indeterminist John Cage; Henry Cowell, promulgator of the tone cluster; Hans Werner Henze, the superb eclectic; and many others.
Though Volpe's Met did stage the occasional new opera (not always by the best or most stage-savvy composers), masterworks by Michael Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Olivier Messiaen were ignored, and no stream was developed to encourage new American works.
It is disappointing that his copious writings in other genres--the books of poetry, his wide-ranging literary essays, his work as an editor, the many libretti for Hans Werner Henze and other composers--attract scarcely more than a sidelong glance.
His concert (January 27) contrasted two Germanic works--the Tenth Symphony (1999-2002) of Hans Werner Henze and the Second of Johannes Brahms.
A strong advocate of new music, Cortese has conducted more than 150 premieres and has worked in direct collaboration with composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Richard Danielpour, Peter Maxwell Davies, Lukas Foss, Hans Werner Henze and Ralph Shapey.
Also present were recipients Ellsworth Kelly, 77, who won in painting, Richard Rogers, 67, in architecture, and Hans Werner Henze, 74, in music.