Erbse, Heimo, German-born Austrian composer; b. Rudolstadt, Feb. 27, 1924. He received training in piano and composition at the Weimar Hochschule für Musik (1941–42; 1945–47) and studied composition with Blacher at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1950–52). He was an opera producer in Jena and Sondershausen (1947–50), and then devoted himself fully to composition. In 1957 he settled in Austria and in 1964 became a naturalized Austrian citizen. Erbse received the Wurdigungspreis für Musik in 1973, and in 1985 the Austrian president bestowed on him the title of Prof. His music is constructed upon classical principles with an infusion of chromatic harmonies.
DRAMATIC Fabel in C, chamber opera (1952); Julietta, opera semi-seria after Kleist (1957; Salzburg, Aug. 17, 1959); Ruth, ballet (1958); Der Hen in Grau, comic opera (1965–66); Der deserteur, opera (1983). ORCH.:6 Miniatures for Small String Orch., Piano, and Percussion (1951); Capriccio for Piano, Strings, and Percussion (1952); Impression (1954); Praeludium (1954); Dialog for Piano and Orch. (1955); Sinfonietta giocosa (1955); Tango-Variationen (1958); Pavimento (1960); 2 piano concertos (1962,1991); 5 syms. (1963–64; 1969–70; 1990; 1992; 1993); 7 Skizzen in Form einer alien Suite for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1974–75; also for Cello and Piano, 1976); Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano, and Orch. (1975); Chamber Concerto (1978); Concerto for 2 Pianos and Small Orch. (1996). CHAMBERS string quartets (1951, 1987); Piano Trio (1953); 12 Aphorismen for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1954); Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1961); Flute Sonata (1966); For String and Wind Players for Nonet (1971); 7 Skizzen in Form einer alien Suite for Cello and Piano (1976; also for Violin and Chamber Orch., 1974–75); Trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1977); Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1978); Divertimento for String Trio (1987–88); Trumpet Sonata (1991); 3 Pieces for Trombone and Piano (1991); Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano (1991); Clarinet Sonata (1993); Concerto for Violin and String Quintet (1996). Piano : Sonata for 2 Pianos (1951); Sonata (1952); Ekstato (1953); 4 Rhapsodies (1979); Scherzo for 2 Pianos (1996). VOCAL: Das hohe Lied Salomos for Soprano, Baritone, Piano, and Orch. (1968; also for Soprano, Baritone, and Piano); 5 Orchestergesange nach Georg Trakl for Baritone and Orch. (1969); 3 Chore nach Texten von Nelly Sachs for Chorus (1971); 4 Gesange aus den “Anakreontischen Liedern” for High Voice, Flute, and Harpsichord (1976).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire