Manfred Trojahn was born in Cremlingen near Braunschweig in 1949. He studied orchestral music in Braunschweig and composition with Diether de la Motte in Hamburg.
With his works he has received numerous scholarships and prizes for his work, including the Study Foundation of the German People (1971), the Stuttgart Award for Young Composers (1972), International Rostrum of Composers, Paris (1978), the Academia Tedesca Villa Massimo in Rome (1979/80), Sprengel Music Prize, Hannover (1980), Deutscher Musikautorenpreis by GEMA (2009).
In 1979-80 Trojahn spent a one-year residence at Villa Massimo, Rome. He was Professor of Composition at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf until 2017 and is a member of the Academies of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich.
He lives in Düsseldorf and Paris.
The work list of Manfred Trojahn includes almost every genre. His works are performed internationally by leading orchestras and composers and renowned soloists.
Since the premiere of “Enrico” at Schwetzingen and Munich 1991 music theatre has occupied an important position in Trojahn’s oeuvre: his operas “Was ihr wollt” [Twelfth Night], (Munich, 1998), “La grande magia” (Dresden 2008) and “Orest” (Amsterdam 2011) have received new productions at many international theatres as well as the new composition of the recitatives of Mozart’s “La clemenza di Tito” was premiered at many theatres.
In recent years Trojahn has intensified composing for ensemble. Since 2012 his cycle “Quitter” appears on texts by René Char for 2 sopranoes, vocal ensembe and 18 instrumenalists, 2017 the 6th movement “Les dentelles de Montmirail” have been premiered by Ensemble Modern at the Festival Acht Brücken in Cologne.
2013 Trojahn has composed “Le Ceneri di Gramsci” on a text by Pier Paolo Pasolini for MusikFabrik, and in 2015/16 the first part of “Nocturne - Minotauromachie”has been premiered by Ensemble Intercontemporain.
In 2017 the melodram “Verpasste Gelegenheiten” (Missed Chances) in cooperation with the poet Michael Krüger has been composed for the Klavier Festival Ruhr as well as the song cycle “Die Sonne sinkt” (The setting sun) for soprano and piano after Friedrich Nietzsche for the song workshop of the festival Kissinger Sommer.
Projects of the season 2017/18 include a new production of “Enrico” at the Frankfurt opera an the revival of the ballet production “une campagne noire de soleil” by Reinhild Hoffmann at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen.
Presently Manfred Trojahn is a Fowler Hamilton Research Fellow at the Christ-Church-College in Oxford.