Walter Zimmermann Recordings

Walter Zimmermann (b. 1949) is a key figure in German new music; a prolific composer and a tireless advocate of the work of other artists.His music covers every genre, from opera, music-theatre and multimedia to orchestral music, chamber and solo works, with commissions and performances by most of the leading European new music ensembles. Hi groundbreaking collection of interviews with American experimental composers, Desert Plants, offered a panoramic survey of this hitherto little understood musical landscape,and his edition of the writings of Morton Feldman, Morton Feldman: Essays, played a crucial role in the re-assessment of Feldman’s significance. In his Beginner Studio concert series in Cologne in the 1970s and 80s, and as a professor at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin since the 1990s, Zimmermann has also promoted the work of an extraordinarily broad array of musicians.

His own music has consistently evolved – always original, never following fashion – true to its own highly individual aesthetic principles. In the 1970s his epic cycle of orchestral, chamber and solo works based on the folk tunes of his native Franconia in teh south-west of Germany, Lokale Musik, was a controversial highpoint of the so-called “New Simplicity”.  Characteristic of all Zimmermann’s work is its grounding in the mostprofound questions for humanity: how can we live harmoniously, both within society and in the world? As a result many of his works are based on philosophical and spritual writings, for example Zen Buddhist texts in Beginner’s Mind.  References to other music – from Schubert to the Beatles  – also abound, transformed to reveal how this music might sound in a differently-ordered world.

Ian Pace’s Metier CDs featuring Beginner”s Mind and other major works is the first recording of Zimmermann’s piano music.