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Volker David Kirchner

Volker David Kirchner

Country of origin: Germany
Birthday: June 25, 1942
Date of death: February 4, 2020

About Volker David Kirchner

Volker David Kirchner, born in Mainz on 25 June 1942, comes from a family with a long musical tradition. He studied at the Peter Cornelius Conservatory of Mainz from 1956-1959 with Günter Kehr (violin) and Günter Raphael (composition) and at the Cologne Musikhochschule from 1959-1963 where he also attended master classes of Bernd Alois Zimmermann. He was solo violist of the Cologne Rheinisches Kammerorchester (1962-1964), and after further studies with Tibor Varga in Detmold, he was taken on as violist in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. As violist of the Kehr Trio, he toured South America, North Africa and the Near East, studying thoroughly non-European music.

In parallel to his work as orchestra musician, he founded the Ensemble 70 in Wiesbaden in 1970 and worked as composer of incidental music at the Wiesbaden Hessisches Staatstheater from 1972-1974. Since 1988 Volker David Kirchner has worked as freelance composer; his work covers all genres, including numerous works for the music theatre and in particular chamber music and orchestral works. His opera Gilgamesh, commissioned by the Niedersächsische Staatsoper of Hanover on the occasion of the EXPO 2000, was premiered in May 2000, his latest opera Ahasver, commissioned by the Bielefeld Theatre, was firstly given in Bielefeld in May 2001.

Volker David Kirchner has been awarded numerous prizes and honours, including the Award of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate for Young Composers, for his first opera Die Trauung (1974), the Arts Award of the Rhineland-Palatinate (1977), the Gutenberg Medal of the City of Mainz (1992), the Music Award of the Rheingau Music Festival (first prize, 1994) and, in 1995, the Composition Award of the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung and the Kreissparkasse of Hanover. In 1992 he became a member of the advisory board of the Villa Musica Foundation in Mainz.



Born on 25th June in Mainz; Begins to study the violin at the age of five; first attempts at composition at the age of eight
Studies at the Peter-Cornelius-Konservatorium in Mainz with Günter Kehr (violin) and Günther Raphael (composition)
Studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne; Courses with Bernd Alois Zimmermann; Performs as a clarinettist and pianist in jazz groups
Solo violist of the Rheinisches Kammerorchester Cologne
Member of the Kehr-Trios; tours South Amerika, North Africa ans the Near East; Explores Indian Music
Member of the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester-Frankfurt
Co-founder of the Ensemble 70 Wiesbaden
up to 1974
Composes incidental music for more than 20 stage plays
Förderpreis (musical award for further studies) of the Land Rheinland Pfalz; "Die Trauung", opera after Gombrowicz, world première April 1975 in Wiesbaden
String Sextet "Orphischer Gesang"
Kunstpreis of the Land Rheinland-Pfalz
"Die fünf Minuten des Isaak Babel", world première April 1980 in Wuppertal; "Golgatha", Piano Trio
"Das kalte Herz" (1st version),1st symphony "Totentanz"
"Bildnisse I und II" for orchestra; Violin Concerto; "Nachtstück"; String Quartet; "Mysterion"; "Belshazar"; Songs on texts by Goethe; Piano Sonata
World première of "Belshazar" at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich; "Orfeo" Cycle, after poems by Rilke
"Das kalte Herz", new version, world première in October 1988, Munich Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz; Requiem "Messa di pace" for soloists, mixed-voice choir and orchestra, world première in Moscow in June 1990 as a part of the festival "Music Culture of Today"; "Erinys", world première in Wuppertal in April 1990; "Schibboleth"
Member of the advisory board of the Villa Musica Foundation, Mainz; Received the Gutenberg Medal of the City of Mainz; Symphony No.2 "Mythen", world première in Wiesbaden in July as part of the Rheingau Musik Festival; "Bildnisse III"
"Missa Moguntina", world première in Mainz Cathedral in November
Rheingau Musikpreis; "Hortus magicus"; String Sextet "Gethsemani"
Composition Award of the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung and the Kreissparkasse Hannover; "Inferno d'amore", first staged performance in March, Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover; Clarinet Quartet "Exil"
"Concerto for horn and orchestra", world première at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival; "Labyrinthos", chamber opera, written for the opening of the small theatre of the Mainz Staatstheater in October 1997; "Der Leiermann"
"Aus den 53 Tagen", Passion music for the 93rd Catholics' Day; "Concerto for Oboe"; "Gesang im Feuer"; Sextets "Il canto della notte" and "Gesang im Feuer"
"Memento"; "Menuha", part 2 of the Ghetto trilogy with "Der Leiermann" and "Gesang im Feuer"
Opera "Gilgamesh", world première at the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover as part of the EXPO 2000 in May; Volker David Kirchner lives near to Mainz
"Ahasver oder die Besichtigung eines Zeitalters", premiere at Stadttheater Bielefeld