Keeping the secret

The death of the composer Klaus Huber

The Swiss composer Klaus Huber died on 2 October at the age of 92 in Perugia. He was one of the most important composers of his generation. In recent years he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize and the Salzburg Music Prize. With professorships in Basel and Freiburg im Breisgau, he was also influential as a teacher. His pupils included numerous leading composers such as Wolfgang Rihm, Brian Ferneyhough, Toshio Hosokawa, Kaija Saariaho and his future wife, Younghi Pagh-Paan. Most recently Klaus Huber lived in Bremen and Panicale (Italy).

Bärenreiter remembers the composer with great respect. His works were published by the Kassel-based company in the 1950s and 1960s. His major oratorio “Soliloquia” should be mentioned in particular, a work in which he shaped themes which were to feature in his later output with tremendous visionary and conceptional power. Referring to this work, Huber expressed a fundamental principle of his composing: “I do not want my music to break down the secret which it meditates upon, but rather that it preserves the whole, that it indeed illuminates this enigma, resounds from it (or then remains silent), but that it never dissolves the numinous ...” (photo: Stefan Forster)