Henze, Hans Werner

Hans Werner Henze, German composer, 1926-2012

Henze’s large oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition. Although he did study atonalism early in his career, after his move to Italy in 1953, Henze’s music became considerably more Neapolitan in style. His opera "König Hirsch" ("The Stag King") contains lush, rich textures. An avowed Marxist and member of the Communist Party of Italy, Henze produced compositions honoring Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. He also spent a year teaching in Cuba, though he later became disillusioned with Castro.