Manfred Stahnke

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Manfred Stahnke was born in Kiel, 30 October 1951. In his childhood he began to learn violin, piano, and music theory. In 1966 he started to study piano and violin at "Lübecker Musikakademie", composition / music theory in Lübeck with the director of the Musikakademie, Prof. Dr. Jens Rohwer.

1970-74 he went to Freiburg to Prof. Wolfgang Fortner, later Prof. Klaus Huber and his then-assistant Brian Ferneyhough. He began a parallel study of musicology with Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Eggebrecht and others. He passed his exam in "composition&music theory" in 1973. From 1974 on he continued his studies in composition and musicology in Hamburg with Prof. György Ligeti and Prof. Dr. Constantin Floros, finishing with the PhD degree at the Hamburg University. The subject of his thesis was the Aesthetics of Pierre Boulez. 1979-80 he went to the U.S.A. to study microtonality and computermusic (first in Urbana/Champaign with Prof. Ben Johnston, Prof. John Melby and then in Stanford in a summer course with Prof. John Chowning).

Besides his work as a composer he worked from 1974 on as a piano teacher for children. Then from 1983 on he was a teacher at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, first in music theory, then also in composition, from 1995 on as a full-time professor.

Stahnke's works have a strong basis on microtonality and pulsative rhythms, also on improvisation. Among them are several operas: "The Fall of the House of Usher", "Henry the Fourth", "Orpheus Kristall", orchestra pieces and concertos: "Trace des sorciers", "Hinterhofmusick", "Danzbodnlock, Violin Symphony", "Scales of Ages, Saxophone Symphony", and a lot of chamber music.

He wrote numerous essays about many musical questions. He published several books: "Musik, nicht ohne Worte" 2000, "Mikrotöne und mehr - auf György Ligetis Hamburger Pfaden" 2005, "1001 Microtones" 2015 (together with Sarvenaz Safari), "Mein Blick auf Ligeti&Partch" 2017: a collection of his writings.

He was a lecturer and led master classes in many countries worldwide, among them in Chicago, Boston, Wellington (New Zealand), Buenos Aires, and lately Cluj, Romania 2016, Gainesville, Florida 2017, Oslo 2017. Currently he is working with aspects of a new tuning possibility for string players, in Just Intonation as well as in the "Bohlen/Pierce" scale, both as a composer and a viola player. Further he is starting a Just Intonation piano cycle.

Presently (2017) he is the chair of the music department at "Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg".

Featured Pieces

for two pianos tuned in quartertone distance

10 E
Instrumentation
Piezas ordenadas por año. Los trabajos mas recientes aparecen primero



Cuarteto de Cuerdas


5th String Quartet - TonArt Version semi-improvisational elements (2023)
5. Streichquartett mit reinen und merkwürdig-reinen Intervallen. Ben Johnston zugeeignet in just and sometimes strange-just intervals. Dedicated to Ben Johnston (2015)
4. Streichquartett Schrödingers Kristall (2000)

Música Instrumental


7. Streichquartett Für das TonArt String Quartet (2022)
Just Intonation Viola thinkable with free additional improvisations of strings, percussion and sampled sounds (2021)
Hobo Dance for alto saxophone and harp (2020)
Em 40 soprano sax or flute & string quartet (2020)
6. Streichquartett An Jakob Böhme (Naturphilosoph, Görlitz 1575-1624) (2020)
Cochlea Plantation for 14 solo strings (2017)
Studie für 19ton Trompete for 19tone trumpet (2016)
Ptitschki für Saxophon solo (Sopran oder Alt) gewidmet Asya Fateyeva (2016)
ImpansionExpansion für Tenorblockflöte / Altblockflöte und Computer realtime recording (2016)
Dunkle Materie for trombone and violoncello (2016)
Ciconietta 2015 für Violine und Klavier (2015)
2. Streichquartett Die Texte sind bisher (2015) unveröffentlichte Gedichte der US-Amerikanerin Marlene Benesch (2015)
5. Streichquartett mit reinen und merkwürdig-reinen Intervallen. Ben Johnston zugeeignet in just and sometimes strange-just intervals. Dedicated to Ben Johnston (2015)
Flute, Alto Flute & Koto
 Duo for flute and koto (2014)
Beating for three trombones (2013)
The Alps Blues Clone Violoncello und Zithern (2013)
Capra 4 Violin solo (2013)
Asymptotics for amplified flute, percussion elements & E-guitar(s) in scordatura (2012)
Due clavicordi per Olga for two clarichords (2012)
Cantus infirmus Piano and Keyboard in quarter tone distance (2011)
Asymmetrischer Holzschnitt for violin and violoncello (2010)
Drei Schwestern for three cithers (2010)
Skins&Strings für Rumi Ogawa (2009)
Diamantenpracht for solo harp (2009)
Flötenmaschine for two flutes (2nd prerecorded ad lib.) (2008)
HinterHofMusick for orchestra (2008)
Koto solo for koto (2008)
Die Vogelmenschen von St. Kilda Duo für die Bohlen-Pierce Klarinette (2007)
Street Music I Version für Bassflöte und Steeldrum (2007)
Streichtrio mit Goldrand für Violine Viola Violoncello (2007)
Danzbodnlock for solo violin and orchestra (2006)
Capra 3 für Violine solo (2006)
Amsel Trommel Lied und Zahl for two pianos tuned in quartertone distance (2006)
Partota 7 & 10 Lieder für die Mutter (2005)
Partota 9 for accordion and piano (2005)
Partota 10 for piano (2005)
Ana B Chronicles for violoncello solo (2005)
Stereo Partota für zwei Klaviere (2003)
4. Streichquartett Schrödingers Kristall (2000)
Drei Bilder für Klavier und Percussion (1999)
Ansichten eines Käfers For guitar in scordatura (1998)
Bratschensonate auf schwedische Volksweisen (1997)
Street Music V for flute (also alto flute) and percussion (1996)
Street Music IV Bassclarinette und Klavier (1996)
Capra 2 Violine solo (1996)
Street Music III Kontrabass solo (1995)
Harbor Town Love at Millennium's End for sax perc pno (1994)
Street Music II Hadmut Oelke zum Gedächtnis (1994)
Partota 3 for accordion solo (1994)
Saitenspiel für 14 Streicher in Skordatur (1993)
Partota II Disklavier solo (acoustic MIDI piano) - plus Computer dedicated to György Ligeti (1992)
3. Streichquartett Penthesilea (1992)
Centonage zum 10. Geburtstag dem ensemble modern herzlich zugedacht (1990)
KREISLIEDER for microtonal Chamber Ensemble (1990)
En cet hybride tamps for ensemble (1990)
Tanz, Almeida, tanze! for mixed ensemble (1989)
Malaita MIDI Guitar & Sampler & Computer (realtime sequencing and looping) for Seth Josel (1989)
Partch Harp Harp & Synthesizer in microtonal tuning (1989)
Leierlieder für vier B-Clarinetten (1988)
Capra 1 für Violine solo in Scordatura (1987)
Two Scales for two Bassoons (1986)
Partota 1 for piano (1985)

Grupo de Cámara ( 2 - 4 instrumentos )


5th String Quartet - TonArt Version semi-improvisational elements (2023)
Hobo Dance for alto saxophone and harp (2020)
Dunkle Materie for trombone and violoncello (2016)
5. Streichquartett mit reinen und merkwürdig-reinen Intervallen. Ben Johnston zugeeignet in just and sometimes strange-just intervals. Dedicated to Ben Johnston (2015)
Ciconietta 2015 für Violine und Klavier (2015)
Flute, Alto Flute & Koto
 Duo for flute and koto (2014)
Beating for three trombones (2013)
Due clavicordi per Olga for two clarichords (2012)
Asymptotics for amplified flute, percussion elements & E-guitar(s) in scordatura (2012)
Drei Schwestern for three cithers (2010)
Asymmetrischer Holzschnitt for violin and violoncello (2010)
Amsel Trommel Lied und Zahl for two pianos tuned in quartertone distance (2006)
Partota 9 for accordion and piano (2005)
4. Streichquartett Schrödingers Kristall (2000)
Harbor Town Love at Millennium's End for sax perc pno (1994)

Voz solo y acompañamiento


Wohlgestimmete gebärende Harmoney Annäherungen an Jacob Böhme (2018)
Three Songs for Soprano and Violin Thoreau - Baudelaire - Poe (2012)
Beat Boxer Percussion solo (extreme solution) or Percussion Duo or Trio: Player 1 Voice: amplified Players 2&3 at the Marimba etc. (2011)
Tonality Diamond für Sopran und Harfe - zum Gedenken an György Ligeti - und Partch ist auch dabei (2007)
Klagen der Eurydike Soprano & Ensemble (2007)
Musik für Daniil Charms II Trio für Sopran, Viola, mikrotonales Keyboard (Harmonium-Sound) (1998)

Ensamble (10 - 19 instrumentos)


Cochlea Plantation for 14 solo strings (2017)

Ensamble Coral


Missa Brevis with Meister Eckhart for mixed choir (2016)
Mensch und Zahl for mixed choir (2009)
Calling for boy's or children's or women's choir (2003)
Giordano Brunos Himmel for mixed choir (1999)

Instrumento Solo


Studie für 19ton Trompete for 19tone trumpet (2016)
Capra 4 Violin solo (2013)
Diamantenpracht for solo harp (2009)
Koto solo for koto (2008)
Capra 3 für Violine solo (2006)
Partota 10 for piano (2005)
Ana B Chronicles for violoncello solo (2005)
Ansichten eines Käfers For guitar in scordatura (1998)
Capra 2 Violine solo (1996)
Partota 3 for accordion solo (1994)
Capra 1 für Violine solo in Scordatura (1987)
Partota 1 for piano (1985)

Instrumento y Electrónica


Holzschnitt for quintet (2011)
Frankfurt Musicbox for ensemble (2003)
Lumpengalerie for ensemble (1998)

Música Orquestal


HinterHofMusick for orchestra (2008)
Danzbodnlock for solo violin and orchestra (2006)

Voces e Instrumentos


Orpheus Kristall Chamber Opera with Internet Musicians from 4 different locations (2002)

Ensamble de Cámara (5 - 9 instrumentos)


Holzschnitt for quintet (2011)
Frankfurt Musicbox for ensemble (2003)
Lumpengalerie for ensemble (1998)
KREISLIEDER for microtonal Chamber Ensemble (1990)
2. Streichquartett Die Texte sind bisher (2015) unveröffentlichte Gedichte der US-Amerikanerin Marlene Benesch (2015)
3. Streichquartett Penthesilea (1992)
4. Streichquartett Schrödingers Kristall (2000)
5. Streichquartett mit reinen und merkwürdig-reinen Intervallen. Ben Johnston zugeeignet in just and sometimes strange-just intervals. Dedicated to Ben Johnston (2015)
5th String Quartet - TonArt Version semi-improvisational elements (2023)
6. Streichquartett An Jakob Böhme (Naturphilosoph, Görlitz 1575-1624) (2020)
7. Streichquartett Für das TonArt String Quartet (2022)
Amsel Trommel Lied und Zahl for two pianos tuned in quartertone distance (2006)
Ana B Chronicles for violoncello solo (2005)
Ansichten eines Käfers For guitar in scordatura (1998)
Asymmetrischer Holzschnitt for violin and violoncello (2010)
Asymptotics for amplified flute, percussion elements & E-guitar(s) in scordatura (2012)
Beat Boxer Percussion solo (extreme solution) or Percussion Duo or Trio: Player 1 Voice: amplified Players 2&3 at the Marimba etc. (2011)
Beating for three trombones (2013)
Bratschensonate auf schwedische Volksweisen (1997)
Calling for boy's or children's or women's choir (2003)
Cantus infirmus Piano and Keyboard in quarter tone distance (2011)
Capra 1 für Violine solo in Scordatura (1987)
Capra 2 Violine solo (1996)
Capra 3 für Violine solo (2006)
Capra 4 Violin solo (2013)
Centonage zum 10. Geburtstag dem ensemble modern herzlich zugedacht (1990)
Ciconietta 2015 für Violine und Klavier (2015)
Cochlea Plantation for 14 solo strings (2017)
Danzbodnlock for solo violin and orchestra (2006)
Diamantenpracht for solo harp (2009)
Die Vogelmenschen von St. Kilda Duo für die Bohlen-Pierce Klarinette (2007)
Drei Bilder für Klavier und Percussion (1999)
Drei Schwestern for three cithers (2010)
Due clavicordi per Olga for two clarichords (2012)
Dunkle Materie for trombone and violoncello (2016)
Em 40 soprano sax or flute & string quartet (2020)
En cet hybride tamps for ensemble (1990)
Flötenmaschine for two flutes (2nd prerecorded ad lib.) (2008)
Flute, Alto Flute & Koto
 Duo for flute and koto (2014)
Frankfurt Musicbox for ensemble (2003)
Giordano Brunos Himmel for mixed choir (1999)
Harbor Town Love at Millennium's End for sax perc pno (1994)
HinterHofMusick for orchestra (2008)
Hobo Dance for alto saxophone and harp (2020)
Holzschnitt for quintet (2011)
ImpansionExpansion für Tenorblockflöte / Altblockflöte und Computer realtime recording (2016)
Just Intonation Viola thinkable with free additional improvisations of strings, percussion and sampled sounds (2021)
Klagen der Eurydike Soprano & Ensemble (2007)
Koto solo for koto (2008)
KREISLIEDER for microtonal Chamber Ensemble (1990)
Leierlieder für vier B-Clarinetten (1988)
Lumpengalerie for ensemble (1998)
Malaita MIDI Guitar & Sampler & Computer (realtime sequencing and looping) for Seth Josel (1989)
Mensch und Zahl for mixed choir (2009)
Missa Brevis with Meister Eckhart for mixed choir (2016)
Musik für Daniil Charms II Trio für Sopran, Viola, mikrotonales Keyboard (Harmonium-Sound) (1998)
Orpheus Kristall Chamber Opera with Internet Musicians from 4 different locations (2002)
Partch Harp Harp & Synthesizer in microtonal tuning (1989)
Partota 1 for piano (1985)
Partota 10 for piano (2005)
Partota 3 for accordion solo (1994)
Partota 7 & 10 Lieder für die Mutter (2005)
Partota 9 for accordion and piano (2005)
Partota II Disklavier solo (acoustic MIDI piano) - plus Computer dedicated to György Ligeti (1992)
Ptitschki für Saxophon solo (Sopran oder Alt) gewidmet Asya Fateyeva (2016)
Saitenspiel für 14 Streicher in Skordatur (1993)
SINGING ISLANDS for space oriented chamber ensemble (2023)
Skins&Strings für Rumi Ogawa (2009)
Stereo Partota für zwei Klaviere (2003)
Street Music I Version für Bassflöte und Steeldrum (2007)
Street Music II Hadmut Oelke zum Gedächtnis (1994)
Street Music III Kontrabass solo (1995)
Street Music IV Bassclarinette und Klavier (1996)
Street Music V for flute (also alto flute) and percussion (1996)
Streichtrio mit Goldrand für Violine Viola Violoncello (2007)
Studie für 19ton Trompete for 19tone trumpet (2016)
Tanz, Almeida, tanze! for mixed ensemble (1989)
The Alps Blues Clone Violoncello und Zithern (2013)
Three Songs for Soprano and Violin Thoreau - Baudelaire - Poe (2012)
Tonality Diamond für Sopran und Harfe - zum Gedenken an György Ligeti - und Partch ist auch dabei (2007)
Two Scales for two Bassoons (1986)
Wohlgestimmete gebärende Harmoney Annäherungen an Jacob Böhme (2018)