Becker, Günther (Hugo)

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Becker, Günther (Hugo)

Becker, Günther (Hugo), German composer; b. Forbach, Baden, April 1, 1924. He studied conducting with G. Nestler at the Badische Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe (1946–49), composition with W. Former in Heidelberg, and at the North-West German Academy of Music (1948–56), where he also studied choral conducting with K. Thomas (1953–55). He taught music at the Greek National School Anavryta in Athens (1956–58), and also taught at the Goethe Inst. and the Dorpfeld Gymnasium there (1957–68). He then returned to Germany, where he founded the live electronic group Mega-Hertz (1969), and taught at the summer courses for new music in Darmstadt. He became a lecturer at the Musikhochschule Rheinland of the Robert Schumann Inst. in Dusseldorf (1973) and prof of composition and live electronics at the Dusseldorf Hochschule für Musik (1974). In 1989 he retired. Becker’s works, at first influenced by his sojourn in Greece, eventually gave way to a unique and uncompromising style utilizing all the resources of contemporary compositional processes.


ORCH.: stabil-instabil (1965; WDR, Cologne, Oct. 28, 1966); Correspondances I for Clarinet and Chamber Orch. (Donaueschingen, Oct. 22, 1966); Griechische Tanzsuite for Plucked String Orch. (Saarbrücken, Aug. 29, 1967); Caprices concertants for Mandolin, Mandola, Guitar, Percussion, and Plucked String Orch. (1968; Hannover, May 18, 1969); Transfor-mationen for Orch., Live Electronic Ensemble, and Tape (Warsaw, Sept. 24, 1970); Attitude (1972–73; Bonn, June 4, 1973); Konzert for Electronic Modulated Oboe and Orch. (1973–74; Munich, April 5, 1974); In Modo Greco for Guitar and Plucked String Orch. (1992). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets: No. 1 (1963; Darmstadt, July 17, 1964), No. 2 (Darmstadt, Aug. 31, 1967), and No. 3, Hommage à Joseph Haydn (Dusseldorf, May 28, 1988); Correspondances II for Guitar, Harp, Harpsichord, and String Quartet (1968–69); Ariosi for Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, and Marimbaphone (1982; Wit-ten, Jan. 26, 1983); Parenthesen for String Sextet (1982; Berlin, April 5, 1983); Un poco giocoso for Bass Tuba and Chamber Ensemble (1983; Witten, April 27, 1984); Doppelte Ebenen for Violin and Viola (1984–85; Dusseldorf, Nov. 9, 1985); Reverenz 1985 for 4 Players (Dusseldorf, Sept. 8, 1985); Zeitspuren for 2 Pianos (1987–88; Dusseldorf, May 21, 1988); trivalent for Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (Cincinnati, Nov. 11, 1988); Hard Times for Bassoon and Chamber Ensemble (1989–90; Dusseldorf, Jan. 19, 1990); Oh, Mr. Dolby, What a Terrible Noise for Bass Clarinet and Tape (1990; Linz, May 27, 1991); Psychogramme for Trombone, Accordion, and Percussion (Dusseldorf, Nov. 21, 1992); Interpolationen for Organ (Nuremberg, Oct. 1, 1993); Damal-s...nach dem Granen for Speaker and Large Chamber Ensemble (1994–95; Dusseldorf, March 29, 1995); Dedication for Bass Clarinet and Vibraphone (1995; Port Darwin, Australia, July 4, 1997); Befindlichkeiten for Alto Saxophone, Cello, and Piano (Wesel, Oct. 12, 1997). VOCAL: Nacht-und Traumgesange for Chorus and Orch. (1964; NDR, Hamburg, Feb. 16, 1965); Ihre Bosheit wird die ganze Erde zu einer Wuste machen, sacred concerto for Speaker, Alto, Chorus, Organ, Instrumental Ensemble, and Tape (1978; Düsseldorf, Feb. 14, 1979); Magnum Mysterium—Zeugenaussagen zur Auferstehung, scenic oratorio (1979–80; Dusseldorf, May 4, 1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire