Konrad Boehmer

Konrad Boehmer (24 May 1941 – 4 October 2014) was a German-Dutch composer, educator, and writer.


Boehmer was born in Berlin. A self-declared member of the Darmstadt School (Boehmer 1987), he studied composition in Cologne with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig, and philosophy, sociology, and musicology at the University of Cologne, where he received a PhD in 1966 (Sabbe 2001). After receiving his doctorate, he settled in Amsterdam, working until 1968 at the Institute for Sonology, Utrecht University. In 1972, he was appointed professor of music history and theory at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Sabbe 2001).

Musical style

His compositions characteristically employ serial organization or montage, sometimes with elements of jazz and rock music (as in his opera Doktor Faustus and the electronic Apocalipsis cum figuris). In other works, such as Canciones del camino and Lied uit de vert, Marxist songs serve as basic material (Sabbe 2001).

In 2001, the Holland Festival commissioned Boehmer to write a composition for the rock band Sonic Youth, which they performed at both concerts during that festival in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (Sanders 2001). It was the band in its "Goodbye 20th Century" period.


On 10 August 2014, while on holiday in the south of France, he suffered a cerebral infarction. He was taken to Amsterdam, where he died on 4 October 2014 (Anon. 2014).

Selected compositions

  • Variation for chamber orchestra (1959–61)
  • Position for electronic sounds, vocal sounds, and orchestra (1960–61)
  • Zeitläufte for eight instruments (1962)
  • Information (1964–65)
  • Aspekt electronic music (1964–66)
  • Canciones del camino for orchestra (1973–74)
  • Schrei dieser Erde for percussion and tape, (1979)
  • Doktor Faustus opera (1980–83)
  • Apocalipsis cum figuris, electronic music (1984)
  • Woutertje Pieterse for nine vocalists and orchestra (1985–1987)
  • Il combattimento for violin, cello, and orchestra (1989–90)
  • Et in Arcadia ego for string quartet (1992)
  • Kronos protos for 14 instruments (1995)
  • Nuba for flute, viola and harp (1998)
  • Orpheus Unplugged (1999–2000) piano and tape
  • Ouroboros for piano (2002)
  • Doktor Fausti Höllenfahrt for orchestra (2006)


  • Anon. 2014. "Componist Konrad Boehmer (73) overleden". Elsevier.nl (5 October, accessed 5 October 2014).
  • Boehmer, Konrad. 1967. Zur Theorie der offenen Form in der neuen Musik. Darmstadt: Edition Tonos. (Second edition 1988.)
  • Boehmer, Konrad. 1970. Zwischen Reihe und Pop: Musik und Klassengesellschaft. J & V Musik. Vienna and Munich: Jugend und Volk.
  • Boehmer, Konrad. 1987. “The Sanctification of Misapprehension into a Doctrine: Darmstadt Epigones and Xenophobes”, English translation by Sonia Prescod Jokel. Key Notes 24:43–47.
  • Boehmer, Konrad. 2009. Doppelschläge: Texte zur Musik, vol. 1: 1958–1967. Quellentexte zur Musik des 20. /21. Jahrhunderts 12.1, edited by Stefan Fricke and Christian Grün. Saarbrücken: Pfau. ISBN 978-3-89727-407-5.
  • Boehmer, Konrad. 2014. Doppelschläge: Texte zur Musik, vol. 2: 1968–1970. Quellentexte zur Musik des 20. /21. Jahrhunderts 12.2, edited by Stefan Fricke and Christian Grün. Saarbrücken: Pfau. ISBN 978-3-89727-467-9.
  • Sabbe, Herman. 2001. "Boehmer, Konrad", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, vol. 2. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Sanders, Rik. 2001. "Konrad Boehmer: 'Computer kan componist niet vervangen'". Computable (8 June). Accessed 20 December 2009.
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