Lachenmann, Helmut, 1935–, German composer, b. Stuttgart. One of the most influential European composers of the late 20th and early 21st cents., he studied in Venice with Luigi Nono (1958–60) and at Cologne (1963). Beginning in the late 1960s, Lachenmann explored a new and innovative musical language. In works such as temA (1968), for flute, voice, and cello, and Air (1969), for orchestra and percussion soloist, he used instruments and voices unconventionally, producing new sounds and sound combinations in which all instruments were given equal weight. Lachenmann questions past musical assumptions in his many postserialist compositions and in his varied musical writings. Other works include the string quartet Gran Torso (1972), Mouvement (vor der Estarrung) (1984) for chamber orchestra, Serynade (2000) for piano, and the opera The Little Match Girl (2001). A well-known teacher, Lachenmann has been a mentor to many important younger composers.
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