Swiss composer Kelterborn passes away

During his distinguished career, Kelterborn composed, taught and wrote about music. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Inspirational Swiss composer Rudolf Kelterborn has died at the age of 89. In addition to his compositions, Kelterborn was a conductor, taught music in Switzerland and abroad and helped form an influential academy.

This content was published on April 8, 2021 - 17:27

Born in Basel in 1931, Kelterborn combined these activities with being editor-in-chief of the Schweizerische Musikzeitung journal and was head of the music department at Swiss Radio DRS, which was part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Together with Heinz Hilliger and Jürg Wyttenbach, he founded the Basel Music Academy in 1987.

Kelterborn achieved international recognition with his opera “Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon" (An Angel Comes to Babylon), which premiered at the Zurich Opera House in 1977. His opera “Der Kirschgarten” (The Cherry Orchard), based on Anton Chekhov, made its debut at the same venue in 1984. He is also known for a range of other compositions encompassing numerous musical styles.

“I want my music to be an expression of the fullness of life. It includes terrible, terrible fears and hardships, but also wonderful things - happiness, ecstasy. I hope that this is expressed in my music,” he told Swiss public broadcaster SRF in 2017.

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