Hans Werner Henze

1926 (Gütersloh, Germany) – 2012 (Dresden)

Henze was after Stockhausen one of Germany’s most important 20th C composers. Walton was a neighbour when he moved to Italy, becoming a strong supporter and passing on an important commission from Ashton, with whom Henze worked closely. Visconti wrote a libretto (an unsuccessful collaboration); Auden and Bachmann (who wrote two each), Enzensberger (who similarly spent time in Cuba) and Bond proved happier collaborators. Henze dedicated a piece to Britten, a friend and supporter. Nono angrily overturned Henze’s table (he still went to Nono’s funeral). Henze and Lachenmann conducted a long public dispute, Henze eventually offering to make peace.

Hans Werner Henze knew…