Press release / 12 December 2023

Aribert Reimann to receive German Music Authors' Award for his lifetime achievement

The Deutscher Musikautor*innenpreis (German Music Authors’ Award) has been awarded to one of the most renowned composers of our time for his lifetime achievement: Aribert Reimann. His opera Lear is one of the most important operatic works of the 20th century and has been performed in more than 40 opera houses around the world. He will receive the award in person in Berlin on 8 February 2024.

Aribert Reimann is one of the most remarkable composers of our time, and he is one of the most important internationally established opera composers. 

“Aribert Reimann has uncompromisingly developed his own musical language, which, with its combination of expressiveness and clarity, reaches the audience on an emotional and intellectual level. His closeness to the human voice places vocal music and music theatre at the centre of his extensive oeuvre. In and with it, Aribert Reimann confronts us with the conditions of human existence and its threats, thus opening up a space for empathy," the jury said in explaining its choice. "Not only has he passed on his know-how as a teacher of contemporary song to his students over the decades, but he also supports young composers with the Busoni Composition Prize, which he endowed.”

“I am incredibly happy and grateful that a jury of music authors selected me for the lifetime achievement award. After all, I know how difficult that is – the award means a great deal to me. Each composer should find their own voice. I managed to do this to a certain degree”, Aribert Reimann takes stock. “I have been a part of GEMA since 1958.  My first orchestral piece in 1957 was ‘Elegie’ and I had submitted the full score to GEMA back then. Without GEMA, all of us composers would be nothing since this is our livelihood, whether we are composers, lyricists, or creators of serious or entertainment music.”

Aribert Reimann, born on 4 March 1936 in Berlin, has earned himself a permanent place in the world of classical music as a pioneering composer and outstanding artist. His creation spans several decades and comprises an enormous scope of works, among them operas, orchestra pieces, chamber music and songs. The opera “Lear” marked his international breakthrough in 1978. Since then, it has been performed at more than 40 opera houses all over the world and has a firm play in the performance programmes today.
Reimann developed unique song compositions for literary templates by authors such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan and James Joyce as well as opera compositions which are influencing us to this day, for example “Medea”, “Das Schloss”, “Troades” and “Die Gespenstersonate”. The multi-award-winning music author lives and works in Berlin.

Follow us on our social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram und TikTok) and meet all members of the jury, the nominees and first award winners. 

Info for the editors

Press photos of Aribert Reimann are attached to this press release. You can arrange interviews by reaching out to press contacts below.

About the Deutsche Musikautor*innenpreis (German Music Authors' Award)

The Deutsche Musikautor*innenpreis was launched by GEMA in 2009, to honour composers and lyricists from the German music sector for their outstanding achievements. With the slogan “Authors honour authors”, music creators, who rather often do not enjoy the limelight of the stage but stand in the shadows of the artists, come to the fore. All Award nominees are accepted as members of the Akademie Deutscher Musikautor*innen (Academy of German Music Authors). The jury of experts is elected each year by ADMA. In the Academy, all previously nominated creators and award winners of the German Music Authors’ Award are joined together.

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