Dominik Blum

Hermann Meier

Hermann Meier, dodecaphonist, serialist, avantgardist, was born on May 29, 1906 in Selzach SO, raised in Solothurn. Trained as a primary school teacher, he spent his entire career as a school teacher in Zullwil SO. In addition, between 1935 and 1948, he studied piano (with Ms. Leisinger), and organ and composition (with Ernst Müller) at the Basel Music Academy. He also taught piano and conducted several choirs. In the years 1948 and 49 he joined the private composition class of Vladimir Vogel in Orselina TI. In 1950 he studied with René Leibowitz in Paris. He composed in a dodecaphonic style until 1952 (Piano Sonata), and then moved on, at the same time as the Darmstadt composers, to serialism (Piano variations, pieces 1956 and 1957). He never took part in the «Darmstädter Ferienkurse», but one might have heard about him there ...

Beginning in around 1950 he started to work towards the performance and broadcast of his work. There were two orchestral readings, one with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich directed by Volkmar Andreae, and a second with the Radio Orchestra Beromünster directed by his friend Erich Schmid, but they were not performed. In 1952 he got a rejection from the «Südwestfunk», and from that time on he had no concern for publicity.

He wrote pieces for orchestra (ten of them!), chamber ensembles, one or more pianos, and also for Hammond organ. In the early sixties he began to work with cluster fields, putting them together like collages. He designed graphic scores (there are about 200) as a basis for pieces which would then be written out (Klavierstück, 1968), and which also like look very much like «Konkrete Kunst». In 1968 he visited Hermann Heiss at his electronic studio in Darmstadt.

In 1975 he was introduced to the newer technology of the Südwestfunk experimental studio (Heinrich Strobel foundation) in Freiburg i. Br., where he composed his electronic study for two track tape. For this he received the ( «Werkpreis») of the state of Solothurn in 1976. He continued composing until the end of the eighties (Klavierstück, 1987, woodwind quintet, 1989), and continued designing graphic scores until the early nineties, when he had to give up this work because of old age. By means of stenography he has, throughout his life, written his sketches, visions, comments and a diary.

Hermann Meier died 19. august 2002




listen to one of the extracts
from the CD «works for piano solo»
written by Hermann Meier

Klavierstück 1956

Klavierstück 1968

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