recieved at the Canadian Eletroacoustic mail-list:

The composer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away on December 5th 2007 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg and will be buried in the Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery) in Kuerten.

He composed 362 individually performable works. The works which were composed until 1969 are published by Universal Edition in Vienna, and all works since then are published by the Stockhausen-Verlag. Numerous texts by Stockhausen and about his works have been published by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music.

Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer, who have performed many of his works and, together with him, have taken care of the scores, compact discs, books, films, flowers, shrubs, and trees will continue to disseminate his work throughout the world, as prescribed in the statutes of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, of which they are executive board members.

Stockhausen always said that GOD gave birth to him and calls him home.


for love is stronger than death.

IN FRIENDSHIP and gratitude for everything that he has given to us personally and to humanity through his love and his music, we bid FAREWELL to Karlheinz Stockhausen, who lived to bring celestial music to humans, and human music to the celestial beings, so that Man may listen to GOD and GOD may hear His children.

On December 5th he ascended with JOY through HEAVEN’S DOOR, in order to continue to compose in PARADISE with COSMIC PULSES in eternal HARMONY, as he had always hoped to do: You, who summon me to Heaven, Eva, Mikael and Maria, let me eternally compose music for Heaven’s Father-Mother, GOD creator of Cosmic Music.

May Saint Michael, together with Heaven’s musicians in ANGEL PROCESSIONS and INVISIBLE CHOIRS welcome him with a fitting musical GREETING.

On behalf of him and following his example, we will endeavor to continue to protect the music.

Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer
in the name of the world-wide family of musicians who love him, together with everyone who loves his music.


On Thursday, December 13th 2007, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. it will be possible to personally say farewell to Karlheinz Stockhausen in the chapel of the Waldfriedhof in Kuerten (Kastanienstrasse).

A commemorative concert will take place soon at the Sülztalhalle in Kuerten. Programme, time and date will be specially announced.


The Stockhausen foundation has already published a PDF memorial booklet, which you can download and print for free. And, thirty-five years ago:

16 Responses to “Karlheinz Stockhausen, 1928-2007”
  1. […] yet fully assess the achievement of the last 30 years of his career. I first read the news at Sequenza21, which has reader comments and some prime Stockhausen video. The Rest Is Noise has more links, […]

  2. Steve Layton says:

    The official memorial page is now up:

    Everyone is invited to leave a memento.

  3. I was crazy for Stockhausen in my youth – spent a now-astonishing number of hours glued to Mikrophonie I and II. In later years, I realized his path, his aspirations, were not for me. At that point he joined the list of composers for whom I feel respect and gratitude, though their goals lie far from mine.

    RIP, Herr Stockhausen. You’ve left quite a legacy.

  4. Yes: a shock. A sweet man and a fascinating composer. My feelings are on my blog; beyond that only fond memories, of the man and the sounds he caught…

  5. What a shock. Even from the suburbs, he cast a large shadow over Köln, where I lived for a couple of years. Der Speigel has an interesting headline “Der konservative Revolutionär.” “Gesangs der Jünglinges” has a special place for me, as well as “Hymnen” and “Stimmung,” especially since an old friend of mine was one of the original singers in it.

  6. Ann Millikan says:

    A very sad day indeed. I keep finding myself saying, where is everybody going? So many great voices are passing. This memorium to Andrew Imbrie from SF Classical Voice.

  7. Karlheinz Stockhausen was actually the initial inspiration for my long hair. Today is indeed a very sad day. I learned about Wiley Hitchcock this morning on Musical America, then Stockhausen from these pages. And less than an hour ago, I also learned of the death of Andrew Imbrie which I’ve just posted something very brief about on NewMusicBox (until I learn more).

  8. Daniel G. says:

    My source (a close friend of KS) tells me that indeed this was VERY unexpected.

  9. Steve Layton says:

    Incidentally, there were a lot of performance plans afoot for next year, which would have been his 80th. No doubt there will be even more, so keep an ear to the ground.

  10. I realized after hearing this, that Boulez is the last of the 50s Darmstadt crowd. Berio, Nono, now Stockhausen, all gone. If you look further, Cage, Feldman, Tudor. It’s truly the close of an era.

    Now it’s up to us to continue.

  11. Everette Minchew says:

    I couldn’t believe this at first. I hadn’t heard of any ill health like we did before Berio or Xenakis passed. Wow. I will miss him.

    I will probably drive my wife crazy listening to Gruppen tonight.

  12. david toub says:

    While I have a number of his works for piano on recording, my favorite piece remains Stimmung, which is a bit of minimalist piece in many ways. I remember following the score of Kontra-Punkte many years ago, which I liked, but have never found a recording of it that was both available and affordable. I’m otherwise not terribly fond of his music, although a lot of his more recent works remain unknown to me , largely because of his restrictive policies and fees. Nonetheless, he was a significant figure in 20th-century music, and his passing at only 79 is a shame. For an interesting take on KS, one could refer to some of Feldman’s writings.

  13. jodru says:

    He’d written to us just a few months ago to answer our query about the future of music, and he answered that, in five years, he expected to have produced five more years of writings and recordings.

    There was no outward indication that anything was wrong.

    This is just a total shock.

  14. Terrible news. Stockhausen was one and is still a major influence. Though he could be callous, egocentric, and infuriating his music was always brilliant, innovative,and full of vision. The first time I heard Stockhausen was on that Columbia Odyssey album with Boulez on side one. Like you Steve, Momente plus Ceylon/Bird of Paradise really turned my head around. Funny, part of Bird of Paradise sounded like the Cecil Taylor Unit. We all drink from the same cosmic well of inspiration. Even though he was really close to 80, he always (like Cecil Taylor) seemed young, vital, and still on top of his game. He will be missed. Many are called…few are chosen.

  15. Steve Layton says:

    One of the very first “classical” records I bought oh-so long ago (in the same moment as Bruckner & Tchaikovsky, since I knew absolutely NADA about any of this stuff — I’d been listening to Jeff Beck and the Beatles before that), was the old Nonesuch LP of Momente. i didn’t have any clue what was what: Is that the audience making all that racket?… I hear some notes, but where’s the music?… And yet it never left my ear, and I knew right from the get-go that there was another way to think about classical music.

  16. Samuel Vriezen says:

    What a shock. I had never expected this! He was, for me, easily the most interesting composer of the Darmstadt bunch, and together with Xenakis the most interesting European composer of that generation. It’s a sad thought that in Amsterdam, where he used to visit quite regularly, we won’t see him any more, presenting his latest crazy monster-project with that childlike happiness of his…