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Karl Amadeus Hartmann (8/02/1905 - 12/05/1963)

Karl Amadeus Hartmann was born in Munich on 2nd August 1905. He studied at the Academy of Music in Munich with Josef Haas, then became a student of Hermann Scherchen, and later of Anton Webern in Vienna. His first international success dates from 1935, when his symphony “Miserae” received its première at the Prague International Music Festival. A year later his first string quartet won first prize in the Carillon-Genf competition, and in 1939 audiences heard his Symphony “L’Oeuvre”.

During the years of World War II, little was heard of Hartmann outside Germany, but he continued to compose extensively. He was one of the first German artists to profess his pacifist creed and with a small group of his friends engaged in an underground resistance against the oppressive Nazi regime. His First Symphony (revised twice after the war) uses poems by the American, Walt Whitman. After the war, he cofounded a series of contemporary music concerts under the name of Musica Viva, in order to promote the music of composers who had suffered censorship during the Hitler regime.


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