Rudolf Kelterborn at 80
The Swiss Rudolf Kelterborn celebrates his 80th birthday on 3 September: a versatile composer, music communicator, teacher and mentor of new music. His output encompasses all genres – from solo works to full-length operas – and his career reflects his achievements in many areas of musical life and his commitment to communicating a wide range of music.
Kelterborn was born in 1931 in Basel. Alongside early successes as a composer, he became a teacher and professor in Detmold, Karlsruhe, Zurich and Basel, teaching throughout the world from the USA to the Far East. Later he became head of the Music Department at Deutsches Radio der Schweiz, chief editor of the Schweizerische Musikzeitung, director of the Musik-Akademie Basel and co-founder of the innovative concert series of the Basler Musik Forum. With these diverse activities, Kelterborn has had a decisive influence on Swiss musical life.
A continual rethinking of musical structures defines his undimished creative output as a composer. A richly varied, multi-layered, dynamic musical language, which immediately captivates and involves the listener, characterises his compositions. “The ‘content’ of my music”, says Rudolf Kelterborn, “is defined by the often almost unbearable tension between the beauty of this world, the incredible possibilities of life on the one hand and on the other, the anxieties, shocks and anguishes of our time.” A constant progression, an unrestrained curiosity, a reflecting and passionate new creativity continue to distinguish the work of the octagenarian.
Numerous concerts are being given in celebration of Kelterborn’s birthday. These include a concert by the Sinfonieorchester Basel conducted by Dennis Russell Davies on 26 and 27 October 2011, performing Espansioni – Sinfonie III für grosses Orchester, Bariton und Tonband in Basel. The Basel Sinfonietta is devoting concerts to the Swiss composer on 4 and 7 May 2012: under the direction of Kasper De Roo, Changements pour grand orchestre and the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra will be performed in Basel and Rotterdam. The soloist is Geneviève Strosser (viola).