Siegfried Matthus

Siegfried Matthus ( born April 13, 1934 in Mallenuppen, East Prussia ) is a German composer and playwright.


The parents of Siegfried Matthus were farmers with a farm. The mother worked with some tailoring to the father played on in the tavern to dance, at the weekend over the country. With nine years Matthus Siegfried was sent to piano lessons. On 22 October 1944 he and his family fled from the advancing troops of the Red Army in the West. After a serious transition period, the parents were new farmers in Läsikow in the district of Ruppin. His father taught him violin and trumpet playing so far that he could one night with the usual repertoire making music while also improvise.

Studies and career

After primary school he attended until graduation from high school in Rheinberg, where he headed the school choir took place in the twelfth grade, for which he also composed. From 1952 to 1958 Matthus studied at the German Academy of Music in East Berlin choir and ensemble conducting, since 1956 also composition with Rudolf Wagner- Régeny. From 1958 to 1960 he was a master student of Hanns Eisler and then to 1964 freelance composer.

Walter Felsenstein brought him in 1964 to the Berlin Komische Oper, where Matthus worked in collaboration with Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer long as consultant ( dramaturg ) for contemporary music and composer. In 1972, he took a master class at the Academy of Arts of the GDR. With the series of chamber music in an interview he was from 1966 to 1988 the pioneer of modern classical music in the GDR. In 1985 he was appointed professor. His students include Bernd Franke, Thomas Hertel, Walter Thomas Heyn and Reinhard Pfundt.

In 1969 he became a member of the German Academy of Arts in Berlin (East), where from 1972 he conducted a master class this academy and secretary in the music section was. In 1976 he was also a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin (West ) and 1978 member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

In 1990, he initiated the establishment of the Chamber Opera Schloss Rheinberg with opera workshop and performances, which he is artistic director since its founding. In 2007, the new event hall in the port town of Rheinberg the name Siegfried Matthus arena.


He is married to singer Helga Matthus since 1957 and lives in Stolzenhagen - Wandlitz and in Berlin. His son Frank (born 1964 ) is an actor and theater director.


Works (selection)

Matthus composed some 600 musical works that have made him one of the most famous composers of the GDR. He dealt with twelve-tone, serial music and historical methods of composition from Bach to Strauss, but now feels an obligation free atonality and works with seven-to eleven -tone rows. He enjoys high performance numbers and is also accepted by the audience.


Other compositions

  • Numerous songs, overtures, radio plays and television music
  • 1963: Small Orchestra Concert
  • 1968: Violin Concerto
  • 1970: Piano Concerto
  • 1975: Cello Concerto
  • 1977: Orchestra concert Responso
  • 1982: Concerto for Trumpet, Timpani and Orchestra ( for the 100 - year celebration of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 1984: The forest, timpani concert
  • 1985: Divertimento for orchestra ( for the Salzburg Festival )
  • 1985: Bride of the Wind ( for the Munich Philharmonic)
  • 1989: The lake Harp Concerto
  • 1994: Manhattan Concerto (for the Manhattan School in New York)
  • 2002: Concerto for Two for trumpet and trombone
  • 2005: De vacuo spatio (musical metaphors based on texts by Otto von Guericke to the 1200th anniversary of the city of Magdeburg)
  • 2005: Fantastic magic dreams - a fairy tale saxofonisches ( for Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 2005: Te Deum ( for the consecration of the rebuilt Frauenkirche in Dresden )
  • 2007: Lamento ( commissioned by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra )
  • 2008: Fire Music for String Orchestra
  • 2009: Concerto for Five for wind quintet and orchestra ( commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation; premiered on May 28, 2009 in Berlin ).
  • 2009: Nine symphonic interludes to Schiller's Ode to Joy ( commissioned by the Academic Orchestra of Leipzig, UA November 9, 2009, Gewandhaus Leipzig)
  • 2010: Grete Minde by Theodor Fontane for soloists, chorus and orchestra ( UA may 22, 2010 Neuruppin )
  • 2011: Concerto for Trombone Quartet and Orchestra "Four boars destroy the paradise " (UA March 9, 2012, Saalfeld )
  • 2012 " Concerto for Violin and Orchestra ' Dream of a Summer Night ' ", dedicated to the violinist Viviane Hagner ( commissioned by the Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, UA on August 26, 2012 Ulrichshusen )
  • 2013: " Schwerin Concert", commissioned by the Mecklenburg State Orchestra on the occasion of its 450th anniversary. UA May 21, 2013, Schwerin