On the death of Hans Zender

In the midst of rehearsals for Hans Zender's interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, 33 changes upon 33 changes for large ensemble, which Klangforum Wien performed at the Vienna Konzerthaus on October 26, 2019 as part of its HAPPINESS MACHINE project, news of the composer's death reached us.

Hans Zender * 22. November 1936 † 22. October 2019

Hans Zender was not only one of the most important composers of his generation, he was also one of the outstanding conductors and orchestra leaders and probably the most prolific and profound music thinker and writer of his time. His two most recently published books Waches Hören. Über Musik (2014) and Denken hören - Hören denken (2016) especially show the author in the extraordinary philosophical condensation of his knowledge at the peak of his universalistic world view.

The special philosophical quality of Hans Zender's work and activity was illuminated and honored by the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Vienna through two multi-day symposia hosted by Univ.-Prof. Violetta Waibel in 2014 and 2017.

Since its founding in 1985, the Klangforum Wien has been in deep friendship with Hans Zender; numerous works by the composer are an integral part of the ensemble's repertoire and have been documented by the musicians on CD. The most recent work written for the Klangforum Wien is the composition ¿Adónde? Wohin?, which Hans Zender wrote for the ensemble on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

The Klangforum Wien pays tribute to Hans Zender as an extraordinary person who throughout his life made restless efforts to bring his many talents to blossom and fruit with great openness and tireless dedication. We share in the grief of our friend and will honor and cherish his memory.

On behalf of the ensemble

Sven Hartberger

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