Karlheinz Stockhausen emerged early on as one of the most influential and unique voices in the post-WWII European musical avant-garde and his prominence continued throughout the rest of the twentieth century and into the twenty first. Combining a keen sensitivity to the acoustical realities and possibilities of sound, rigorous and sophisticated compositional methods expanded from integral serialism, innovative theatricality, and a penchant for the mystical, Stockhausen remains one of the most innovative musical personalities to span the turn of this century.
Stockhausen was born in 1928 near Cologne. Orphaned as a teen, he immersed himself in artistic pursuits and showed promise both as a writer and a musician. He took classes at the new music school in Darmstadt with Adorno before moving to Paris, where he studied with Messiaen and met Boulez and Pierre Schaeffer. These encounters, as well as studies in phonetics and communication, proved a crucial influence on his subsequent… read more