January 19, 2022
Herman Rechberger (14 February 1947 in Linz, Austria - 11 January 2022) was a Finnish composer. Born in Austria, Rechberger has lived in Finland since 1970 and acquired Finnish citizenship in 1974. Rechberger studied graphic art and guitar playing in Linz before continuing his guitar studies in Zurich and Brussels. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy with Aulis Sallinen, who graduated in 1976, as well as electronic music and playing the guitar, recorder, and oboe. In 1995, he studied piece playing and Arabic rhythm in Tunisia, among other things, for which he wrote The Rhythm in Arabian Music in 2003. He later studied djembe playing and African rhythm in Benin, Togo and Finland with several African master drummers. Rechberger composed five operas as well as more than 200 works for choir, orchestra, solo performers and chamber music ensembles. In addition to composing, he was a producer of contemporary music and the director of the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation's experimental studio from 1979 to 1984. Rechbergen received state artist grants in 1985–1990, 1990–1995 and 1995–2010. Rechberger has won numerous national and international awards or recognitions for his works: RAI Prize (Rise of Pekka Mikkonen), 2nd Prize at the Cologne Children's Opera Competition (Opera Ship), Bergamo Organ Competition (Clausulas), Vantaa Cultural Prize (1990), 2nd Prize (Garden of Lust) In St. Pölten (Austria) 3rd prize and audience prize (Toba Hánye), Helsinki, 2nd prize of the Cras-Ensemble and special prize “for an Inventive piece” (Musica di montagna). In 2009 he won the 1st prize at the international Andreas Drekis competition (with the Greek composer Tania Sikelianou) for his opera Helike Athanatos (Ελίκη Αθάνατος or Immortal Helike). From 2010 to 2013, he and his wife Soile ran the Hellenikon Idyllion artist residency in Selianitsa in the Peloponnese. In Greece, Rechberger wrote numerous works inspired by Greek mythology. These include Knossos, Ikaros, Diros, Sisyphus, Thalassa, Staton for two pianos, Gears (after a mechanical device, found in Antikyra), Pegasos, Styx, The death of Orpheus, Stymphalos, Lament, piano concert Ta panda rhei, concert Tartaros kontrafortelle , Aeolos, kantele concerto Dromoi.