Büchtger, Fritz, German composer; b. Munich, Feb. 14, 1903; d. in an automobile accident in Starnberg, Dec. 26, 1978. He was a student of Beer-Walbrunn and Waltershausen at the Munich Akadamie der Tonkunst (1923–26). He was active as a choral conductor and teacher, and also in the promotion of contemporary music until the advent of the Nazi regime, when he was compelled to change course. After the collapse of the Third Reich, he again embraced the cause of contemporary music, helping to found the Studio for New Music in Munich in 1948. In 1953 he became president of the Musikalischen Jugend Deutschlands, and was a prominent figure in music education. In 1953 he received the music prize of the City of Munich and in 1977 the Schwabinger Kunstpreis. In his music, Büchtger developed a dodecaphonic technique which he adroitly utilized even in his sacred music.
DRAMATIC: O Mensch, gib achtl, Kalenderspiel (1939); Der Spielhansl, musical play (1946). orch.:Muzik zu einer Feierov for Strings (1932); Musik for Little Orch. (1935); Kleines festliches Vorspiel (1939); Concerto for Strings (1952); Studien (1956); Concerto for Orchestra (1957); Concertino I for Oboe, Violin, Cello, and Strings (1960) and II for Piano, Winds, Strings, Vibraphone, and Percussion (1962); Concerto for Violin and Strings (1963); Stufen (1966); Musik for Strings (1967); Schichten-Bögen (1969); Ascensio (1973). chamber: 6 string quartets (1948, 1958, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973); Strukturen for Nonet (1968); Stuck for Oboe and String Quartet (1971); Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1972); Nyktodia for Wind Octet (1972); Piano Trio (1974); piano pieces; organ music. vocal: cantatas:Der Name des Menschen for Chorus and Orch. (1931); Flamme for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1932); Bergfahrt for Baritone, Men’s Chorus, Piano, and Small Orch. (1939); Es werden Zeichen geschehen for Chorus and Small Orch. (1969). oratorios:Der weisse Reiter for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1948); Das glaserne Meer for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1953); Die Auferstehung for Chorus and Orch. or Strings and Organ (1954); Die Verklarung for Baritone, Women’s Voices, and Strings (1956); Die Himmelfahrt Christi for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. or Strings and Organ (1957); Pfingsten for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1957); Das Weihnacht-soratoriutn for Voices, Flute, Oboe, and Strings (1959); Johannes der Taufer for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1961). other:Serenata im Walde for Men’s Chorus and Orch. (1935); Hymnen an das Licht for Baritone or Medium Woman’s Voice and Orch. (1938); Drusus for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1943); Das Gesicht des Hesekiel for Baritone, Women’s Voices, and 15 Instruments (1972); numerous choruses and solo songs.
L. Wismeyer, F. B.(Regensburg, 1963); A. Ott, ed., E B. 1973 (Munich, 1974; new ed., 1988, as E B. 1903–1978); K. Hübler, E B. und die neue Musik in München (Munich, 1983); K.-R. Danler et al, E B. (Tutzing, 1989).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire