Butting, Max, German composer; b. Berlin, Oct. 6, 1888; d. there, July 13, 1976. He studied organ in Berlin and composition in Munich. Returning to Berlin, he was a successful teacher, but in 1933 was deprived of his various positions for political reasons, being the former ed. of a socialist publication. He was able to return to his professional activities after the end of World War II. In 1948 he was appointed a lecturer in the music division of the East Berlin Radio; in 1968 he received an honorary doctor’s degree from Humboldt Univ. in East Berlin. His music is animated by polyphonic purposefulness and is marked by rhythmic vitality and lyric meditation. Since many of his works were destined for amateur performances, Butting shunned modernistic involvements; however, in his ninth and tenth syms. he applied dodecaphonic structures.
opera:Plautus im Nonnenkloster (Leipzig, Oct. 3, 1959).orch.: 10 syms. (1922–63); Sinfonietta, with Banjo (1929); Flute Concerto (1950); Symphonic Variations (1953); Sinfonietta (1960); Piano Concerto (1965); Legende (1966); Trip-tychon (1967); Concert Overture (1973). chamber: 10 string quartets (1914–71); String Quintet (1916); Quintet for Violin, Viola, Cello, Oboe, and Clarinet (1921); Wind Quintet (1925); Piano Trio (1947); String Trio (1952); many piano pieces. vocal: Choruses; songs.
D. Brennecke, Das Lebenswerk M. B.s (Leipzig, 1973).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire