Universal Edition - Rolf Liebermann

Rolf Liebermann

Rolf Liebermann

The Composer

Rolf Liebermann was born on 14th September 1910 in Zurich, studied law at the university of his home town from 1929-1933, and music at José Berr's private conservatory. His first compositions (chansons) date from 1933-1936; at the time Liebermann was studying conducting with Hermann Scherchen. He worked as Scherchen's private secretary in Budapest and Vienna in 1937-1938, where Scherchen had founded the Musica Viva orchestra (mainly with Jewish musicians who had fled into exile from Germany). In Switzerland Liebermann gave tuition to refugee children, and wrote music criticism. He did his military service in Ascona. There he also studied composition from 1940 on with Vladimir Vogel.

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About the Music

Liebermann's development as a composer is reflected in a piece of contemporary history: the rebellious law student's first compositions – chansons, music for the theatre and marching songs – were performed by Liselott Wilker (= Lale Andersen) in 1933 in the Studio Fluntern in Zurich, a meeting place for emigrants. From 1940 on Vladimir Vogel taught Liebermann the necessary craftsmanship to bolster his talent as a composer, showing him the principles of dodecaphony, without trying to turn him into an adherent of a particular system of aesthetics. The first result was the Five Polyphonic Studies for chamber orchestra (première: Bern 1943). A year later Liebermann presented the public ...


10 of 25 Works

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Future Performances

Suite über 6 schweizerische Volkslieder
21.01.2018, Arbon (CH), Sinfonisches Orchester Arbon