Aribert Reimann

Aribert Reimann
Aribert Reimann.jpg
Reimann in 2010
Born (1936-03-04) 4 March 1936 (age 86)
Berlin, Germany
  • Concert pianist
  • Composer
  • Academic teacher

Aribert Reimann (born 4 March 1936) is a German composer, pianist and accompanist, known especially for his literary operas. His version of Shakespeare's King Lear, the opera Lear, was written at the suggestion of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who sang the title role. His opera Medea after Grillparzer's play premiered in 2010 at the Vienna State Opera. He was a professor of contemporary Lied in Hamburg and Berlin. In 2011, he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for his life's work.

Life and career

Reimann was born in Berlin. He studied composition, counterpoint and piano at the Musikhochschule Berlin with Boris Blacher and Ernst Pepping, among others. During his studies, he worked as a repetiteur at the Städtische Oper. His first appearances as a pianist and accompanist were in 1957. In the early 1970s, he became a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. He was professor of contemporary Lied at the Musikhochschule Hamburg from 1974 to 1983, then at Berlin's Hochschule der Künste from 1983 to 1998.

Besides his work as composer and music teacher, Reimann is co-editor and pianist of the Edition Zeitgenössisches Lied (contemporary song) CD series of the record laber Orfeo, edition, together with Axel Bauni.

Reimann's reputation as a composer has increased greatly with several great literary operas, including Lear and Das Schloß. Besides these, he has written chamber music, orchestral works and songs. He has been honoured repeatedly, including the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Order of Merit of Berlin.

Invited by Walter Fink, he was the seventh composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 1997, in songs and chamber music with the Auryn Quartet, playing the piano himself.

His commissioned work, Cantus for Clarinet and Orchestra, dedicated to the clarinetist and composer Jörg Widmann, was premiered on 13 January 2006, in the WDR's Large Broadcasting Hall in Cologne, Germany, in the presence of the composer, who claims the work was inspired by Claude Debussy's compositions for clarinet.

His opera Medea, after Franz Grillparzer, was premiered at the Vienna State Opera in 2010, conducted by Michael Boder, with Marlis Petersen in the title role.

In 2011 he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize "for his life's work".


Reimann received many awards:




  • Variations for Orchestra
  • Nahe Ferne (Near Distance)
  • Cantus für Klarinette und Orchester (Cantus for Clarinet and Orchestra)
  • Sieben Fragmente für Orchester in memoriam Robert Schumann (Seven Fragments for Orchestra, in memoriam Robert Schumann) (1988)
  • Violin Concerto (1996)

Vocal music

  • Zyklus nach Gedichten von Paul Celan für Bariton und Klavier (Cycle based on the poetry of Paul Celan for baritone and piano) (1956)
  • Wolkenloses Christfest Requiem nach Gedichten von Otfried Büthe, dedicated to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Siegfried Palm (1974)
  • Nachtstück II für Baryton und Klavier (1978)
  • Unrevealed, Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh für Bariton und Streichquartett (1981)
  • Requiem für Sopran, Mezzosopran, Bariton, gemischten Chor und Orchester unter Verwendung des lateinischen Requiemtextes und von Versen aus dem Buch Hiob (1982)
  • Shine and Dark für Bariton und Klavier (left hand) (1989)
  • Entsorgt für Bariton-Solo (1989)
  • Eingedunkelt für Alt-Solo (Eingedunkelt for Alto Solo) (1992)
  • Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Paul Celan für Countertenor und Klavier (Five Songs based on the poetry of Paul Celan for countertenor and piano) (1994/2001)
  • An Hermann für Tenor und Klavier (2008)

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