Biography

Reinhard David Flender, born 1953 in Bergneustadt, studied piano, composition and musicology in Hamburg, Münster und Jerusalem. Since 1983 he has been teaching at the Academy for Music and Theater in Hamburg.

After studies as a composer and concert pianist, which he completed with the final exam, Reinhard David Flender’s compositional work was influenced by a four-year sojourn in Israel (1977-1981). His music ethnological research initially concentrated on the liturgical music of the synagogue. His composition teacher, Josef Tal, who had met Schönberg in Berlin, introduced him to the compositional technique of the Second Viennese School. In addition, Flender worked in Tal’s studio for electronic music where he composed the solo oratorio “Bavoh le tishre” for soprano, piano, cello and electronic tape that was premiered in Jerusalem in 1980. “Pirkei Tehillim” for soprano and piano, which was created in 1988, worked with the oral traditions of Hebrew psalmody. Flender recorded and transcribed hundreds of Jewish melodies. In this way, he considers himself to be in the tradition of Bela Bartok who was able to significantly enrich the musical vocabulary of the 20th century through the insights of his music-ethnological research. Flender’s compositions incorporate the rhythmic and melodic richness of non-European music traditions. In the 80s, Flender became especially involved with the music of György Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke with whom he maintained friendly contacts in Hamburg. From 1987 – 1997, together with Elmar Lampson, he directed the festival “Sound Worlds – Hamburg Encounters in Contemporary Music”.
Flender’s work “Threnos II” was awarded a prize at the Vienna International Composition Competition in 1991 and premiered by Friedrich Cerha with the ensemble “Die Reihe”. Other important works include the “Trio in One Movement”, written for the Trio Fontenay, and the chamber opera “My Dear Blue Rider”, based on texts by Else-Lasker Schüler. Since 2001, together with French composer Henry Fourès, he has directed the International Summer Academy for Contemporary Music “opus XXI”. He was invited as composer in residence at the University of Witten-Herdecke for one semester in 2000 and as composer in residence at the Cité de la Musique in Marseille in September 2000.

Since the 90s, Flender has worked closely with the Quator Danel. Two string quartets resulted from this collaboration: “Eurcharisto” in 1999 and the 2nd String Quartet in 2003. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Yad va Shem, in 2004 he composed the work “Lacrimae” for clarinet and string orchestra, which was performed by Giora Feidman and the German Symphony Orchestra at the Staatsoper Berlin.


CD Releases: AURORA, THRENOS IV, PIRKEI TEHILLIM, MEMORARE, col legno WWE 1CD 20007

back