Paul-Heinz Dittrich

From Unearthing The Music

Paul-Heinz Dittrich (born December 4, 1930 in Gornsdorf) is a German composer.


Dittrich studied composition from 1951 to 1956 with Fidelio F. Finke and conducting with Günther Ramin at the University of Music in Leipzig and was the choir conductor at the FDGB -Ensemble in Weimar until 1958. From 1958 to 1960 he studied as a masters student with Rudolf Wagner-Régeny, and then directed the Ernst Moritz Arndt Ensemble in Berlin until 1963. From 1960 to 1976 he was an assistant at the "Hanns Eisler" Academy of Music, after which he worked freelance.

In 1979 he became a professor of composition in Berlin. In 1981 he was Scholar-in-Residence at the Bellagio Center in Italy. In 1984 he stayed at the IRCAM and the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1983 to 1991 he taught at the Academy of Arts of the GDR, and his pupils include Klaus Martin Kopitz (1985-1987), Hannes Zerbe (1985-1987), Annette Schlünz (1988-1991) and Péter Kőszeghy (1993-1999).

In 1990 Dittrich returned to the "Hanns Eisler" Academy of Music in Berlin, this time as a professor. In 1991 he founded the Brandenburg Colloquium for New Music at the Music Academy in Rheinsberg, of which he was artistic director.

Dittrich has composed several pieces of orchestral and chamber music, cantatas and songs. His chamber music pieces number I (with tape), III (with vocals), V (with live electronics), VII "Die Blinden" (with 5 speakers) and XI "Journal de poemes" were commissioned by the Bläservereinigung Berlin.

Dittrich is a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin and the Saxon Academy of Arts in Dresden. He is regarded as one of the most influential and well-known composers of academic contemporary music in Germany and is in contact with such personalities as Carlfriedrich Claus, Burkhard Glaetzner, Vinko Globokar, Sofia Gubaidulina, Hans Peter Haller, Hans Werner Henze, Heinz Holliger, Herbert Kegel, Marek Kopelent, Aurèle Nicolet, Luigi Nono, Heinrich Schiff and Karlheinz Stockhausen. A comprehensive archive of his works is located at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.


  • 1963: Prize for artistic folk art
  • 1972: Prize for composition of Künstlerhaus Boswil, Switzerland
  • 1975: Honorary prize at the Composition Competition of the Italian Society for New Music
  • 1976: Composition Prize at the International Competition in Trieste
  • 1976: Prize of the Tribune international of the compositeurs of the UNESCO in Paris
  • 1978: Hanns Eisler Prize of the broadcasting of the GDR
  • 1981: Art Prize of the GDR
  • 1988: National Prize of the GDR III. Class for art and literature
  • 1990: Prize of the Berlin Music Critic

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