Mauricio Kagel celebrated his 75th birthday on December 24th 2006, which was the occasion for Winter & Winter to bring out a special edition with important works for film and radio, created in the sixties and seventies in collaboration with the WDR.
Music, film, set design, theatre and literature are some of the creative realms for this artist whose great significance extends way beyond post-war Germany, and who, at the turn of the century, was distinguished with the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. Mauricio Kagel, whose origins are German-Russian-Jewish, is born on the 24th December 1931 in Buenos Aires. Although he gets private music lessons, he ultimately remains self-taught, since he is denied admission to the Conservatory. Alongside musical studies, he also turns to literary and philosophical subjects. At the age of 18, Kagel, who in his youth starts as correpetiteur at the Teatro Colón, where Erich Kleiber too is active, becomes artistic director to the avant-garde group "Agrupación Nueva Música", and makes preliminary electro-acoustic experiments. In 1950 he co-founds the Argentinean Cinematheque, and in 1955 Kagel becomes a tutor at the Chamber Opera, and conductor at the Teatro Colón, while teaching at the University in Buenos Aires.
In 1957 Kagel comes 'back' to Germany on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Cologne becomes his home. Close and extraordinarily successful collaboration with the WDR begins. Up to 1961 he directs the Rheinland Chamber Orchestra, from 1960 to 1966 he teaches at the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt, from 1967 he is guest lecturer at the Film and Television Academy in Berlin, and in 1969 and following years he directs the Institute for New Music at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne, the Cologne New Music Courses, and the Cologne New Music Ensemble.
During these years Kagel collaborates with Joseph Beuys, Stefan Wewerka, Schuldt and other outstanding artists, and »Ludwig van« is created. Kagel makes films, writes libretti, hörspiels and books, and composes. He chooses music as the main medium for his creativity, but this doesn’t mean that his films or even his texts can be seen as secondary works. In 1975 he is appointed professor of "New Music Theatre" at the Cologne Musikhoschule. In 1981, for his fiftieth birthday, the Hebbel Theatre in Berlin puts on a Varieté by and with Mauricio Kagel, directed by Werner Herzog, and later shown in Paris, Strasbourg and Geneva.
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