Blankenburg, Walter

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Blankenburg, Walter

Blankenburg, Walter, German theologian and musicologist; b. Emleben, near Gotha, July 31, 1903; d. Schlüchtern, March 10, 1986. He was born into a family of Lutheran ministers. He received a classical education in Gotha and Altenburg (1914–22), and then pursued training in theology (1922–29) with Büchsel and Althaus in Rostock, Heim in Tübingen, and Barth and Hirsch in Göttingen. He also studied musicology and history with Ludwig and Brandi in Göttingen, with Gurlitt, Besseler, and Ritter in Freiburg im Breisgau, and with Schering and Blume in Berlin before completing his education with Zenck at the Univ. of Gòttingen (Ph.D., 1940, with the diss. Die innere Einheit Bachs Werke). From 1930 to 1933 he was a music teacher in Rotenburg am Fulda and Kassel, and then was a pastor in Vaake from 1930 to 1937. He also was director of the Kasseler Singgemeinde Music in Schlüchtern, and then was music director of the Evangelische Landeskirche of Kurhessen-Waldeck. He was ed. of the Zeitschrift für Hausmusik (1933–41), co-ed, of Kirchenchordienst (1935–42), and an ed. (1941–52) and ed.-in-chief (from 1952) of Musik und Kirche. In 1962 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology by the Univ. of Marburg. He was the author of the study Einführung in Bachs h-moll Messe (Kassel, 1950; 3rd ed., rev., 1974). With A. Dürr, he ed. Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium for the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (2nd series, VI, Kassel, 1960). He contributed many articles to journals and other publications, including the vols. Geschichte der evangelischen Kirchenmusik (Kassel, 2nd éd., rev., 1965; Eng. tr., 1974, as Protestant Church Music: A History) and Kirchenmusik im Spannungsfeld der Gegen-wart (Kassel, 1968). Blankenburg’s study Johann Walter: Lebun und Werk was ed. by F. Brusniak and publ. posthumously (Tutzing, 1991).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire