Biography

 

Multi-award winning composer Dieter Einfeldt was born April 11, 1935 in Hamburg. He began studies as a high school student in 1949 at the State Academy for Music in Hamburg where, from 1950 to 1962, he studied composition and conducting with professors Ernst Gernot Klußmann, Walter Martin and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, and piano with Prof. Erik Schönsee. Dieter Einfeldt was among the graduates of the school’s first degree course after the war.
 
During his studies Einfeldt was concert accompanist at the summer academy of the Salzburg Mozarteum and assisted Ilona Steingruber-Wildgans with the International Courses for contemporary song. From 1958 to 1961, he directed the Hamburg University Orchestra as well as the International Orchestra Courses of the Jeunesses Musicales. In addition, he was active as a journalist for various music magazines. From 1966 to 1971, he worked as a freelancer at the television station NDR 3 and was program advisor for the NDR Radio series “das neue werk”. From 1972 until he retired in 2000, Dieter Einfeldt was professor of music theory, theory of form, and composition at the Academy of Music and Theater in Hamburg.
His compositional oeuvre is characterized by a high degree of craftsmanship, a keen sense of form, and an effective dramaturgical structure. Away from the provocative avant-garde, Dieter Einfeldt never gave up the connection to tonality in his composing. Giving the listener the possibility of retaining tonal shapes and being able to recognize them again was more important to him that following the fashionable zeitgeist. In the use of symmetrical all-interval rows, his intervals and chords are subject to a clear hierarchy in the interplay of consonance and dissonance.
Dieter Einfeldt’s wide-ranging, award-winning works include operas, childrens’ musicals, a ballet, an oratorio, symphonies, works for orchestra, concertos, and chamber music works.  He has received important composition commissions. Through numerous radio productions as well as performances in Great Britain, the USA, Austria, Sweden, and the Netherlands, his work has become known to an international audience.
Dieter Einfeldt’s major works include “Rotation” (1971) for percussion ensemble, based on the rhythms from Rolf Liebermann’s "Symphonie Les Echanges"; "Somniloquie" - Notturno per Orchestra (1974/1989); and "Gomorrha" - A Requiem for Hamburg (1983/85), for speaker, mezzo soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra commissioned by the Patriotic Society of 1765 in Hamburg. The work is dedicated to the memory of Operation Gomorrha, under whose name the Allies began their destructive bombardment of Hamburg. In this composition as in many others, Dieter Einfeldt makes reference to history and admonishes listeners to learn from it and to meet the challenges of the future with a deep sense of responsibility. Among his most important recent works are the “Metamorphoses” for viola and percussion ensemble (1995), “Signals” for piano and percussion ensemble (1995) and the “Sinfonia Sacra” for string orchestra (1995/96). On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 2005, “Trumpet Pictures”, a concerto for trumpet and percussion ensemble was premiered.
As a long-time member of the department of composition, music theory, musicology, and conducting, and as representative of the president of the Music Academy for the development of new forms of presentation in music, he played an important role in determining the future direction of the Academy. The Studio for New Music, which he directed, offered composition students of the Academy a forum for presenting their works for the first time. The development of new forms of expression and presentation, such as a more considered programming concept and providing audiences with an introduction to the works being presented, proved to be extremely successful.
Alongside composing and teaching, Einfeldt is active in the national committee of the Jeunesses Musicales Germany and in the Hamburg section of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music). He is a member of the Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg and founding member of the Association of German Composers (IDK). In the Patriotic Society he founded and curated the concert series “New Music in Conversation”. From 1982 to 1985, Dieter Einfeldt was alternate supervisory board member of the GEMA.

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