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Staff Report

BERLIN, 15 DECEMBER 2007 - The German avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen died on 5 December 2007 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg. He was 79. The controversial composer was buried in the Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery) on 13 December in Kuerten near Cologne.

Stockhausen was born in Moedrath, Germany on 22 August 1928. Orphaned in WWII, Stockhausen went on to study under composer Olivier Messiaen in Paris from 1952 to 1953. There he also met his French contemporary Pierre Boulez.

He composed 362 individually performable works. One of his best known works, and a good place to start for those unfamiliar with Stockhausen's music is Gruppen für drei Orchester (Groups, 1955 -1957). Claudio Abbado and the 109-member-Berlin Philharmonic's interpretation from the late 1990s on Deutsche Grammophon is highly recommended.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: 1928 - 2007

The works which were composed until 1969 are published by Universal Edition in Vienna, and all works since then are published by the Stockhausen-Verlag. Numerous texts by Stockhausen and about his works have been published by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music.

Extending his controversial nature into his public life, Karlheinz Stockhausen found himself embattled in 2001 when he stated that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York were "the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos." Although he later apologized for his comment, the previously confidential German composer of electronic music was instantly catapulted to planetary fame.

A commemorative concert will take place soon at the Salztalhalle in
Kuerten, his publisher said, but the programme, time and date were not announced.

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