With deep sadness we regret to announce that Hans Werner Henze passed away on Saturday 27 October. Henze was undoubtedly one of the most important European composers of the postwar era. From neoclassical beginnings (such as his Symphony No 1 of 1947), his music progressed through the rigours of Darmstadt, an angular, highly politicized phase inspired by his disgust of Nazi Germany where he spent his formative years, and his adoption of a communist ideal. In recent years his musical language moved towards a sensuous lyricism, reminiscent perhaps of the relaxed environment of his beloved Italy which has been his home since 1953.
Henze passed away in Dresden where he recently attended a performance of his orchestral work Sebastian im Traum conducted by Christian Thielemann with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden.