Wolfgang von Schweinitz

Wolfgang von Schweinitz ( born February 7, 1953 in Hamburg ) is a German composer.


Wolfgang von Schweinitz received in Washington, DC 1965-1969 instruction in composition, and counterpoint at Esther Balou. After high school he studied at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg Composition, 1971-1973 Gernot Klussmann and 1973-1975 with György Ligeti. It went on to study and work stays at Stanford University with John Chowning, Mexico and Guatemala. From 1976 to 1978 he lived in Munich, from 1978 to 1979 on a scholarship at the Villa Massimo in Rome; the same time as Sarah Kirsch, whose poem cycle paper stars he 1980/81 set to music. In 1980 he was a lecturer at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. After a few years in Bothel and Heide ( Holstein), he moved to Berlin in 1993, before he held until 1996, a visiting professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar in 1994. He then lived in Berlin again, until he was appointed in 2007 as the successor of James Tenney at the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition at the California Institute of the Arts in Lancaster.

1986 Award of Schweinitz with the Schneider-Schott Music Prize Mainz and in 1992 with the Paul Hindemith Prize.


His breakthrough as a composer had Schweinitz with his Mozart Variations op 12 (1967 /77). This is based on eight bars of Mozart's Moorish funeral music orchestral piece shaped the image of the composer who deliberately resorted in other early works on traditional forms or compositions known composers, in order to process tonality in a " polluted " by the cluster. Therefore, the criticism along with the at this time similar to working composer Wolfgang Rihm, Hans- Jürgen von Bose, Hans- Christian von Dadelsen, Detlev Müller -Siemens and Manfred Trojahn it sided with the embossed by Aribert Reimann label 'New Simplicity, opposite the at this time in the Western European avant-garde taught Serial preferred music. In the 90s, Schweinitz turned to composition in the pure tuning. For these works he developed in collaboration with Marc Sabat and using works of Hermann von Helmholtz and Alexander John Ellis the extended Helmholtz -Ellis notation.


  • Variations on a Theme by Mozart. Harmonia Mundi Germany in 1027 ( record ).
  • Mass for soloists, chorus and orchestra, Op 21 Wergo 60504-50 (CD).