The composer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away on December 5th 2007 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg and will be buried in the Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery) in Kuerten.... Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer, who have performed many of his works and, together with him, have taken care of the scores, compact discs, books, films, flowers, shrubs, and trees will continue to disseminate his work throughout the world, as prescribed in the statutes of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, of which they are executive board members.
Stockhausen always said that GOD gave birth to him and calls him home.
…for love is stronger than death.
IN FRIENDSHIP and gratitude for everything that he has given to us personally and to humanity through his love and his music, we bid FAREWELL to Karlheinz Stockhausen, who lived to bring celestial music to humans, and human music to the celestial beings, so that Man may listen to GOD and GOD may hear His children. On December 5th he ascended with JOY through HEAVEN’S DOOR, in order to continue to compose in PARADISE with COSMIC PULSES in eternal HARMONY, as he had always hoped to do: You, who summon me to Heaven, Eva, Mikael and Maria, let me eternally compose music for Heaven’s Father-Mother, GOD creator of Cosmic Music. May Saint Michael, together with Heaven’s musicians in ANGEL PROCESSIONS and INVISIBLE CHOIRS welcome him with a fitting musical GREETING. On behalf of him and following his example, we will endeavor to continue to protect the music.
— Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer
At his greatest, in works such as Gruppen, Kontakte, and Momente, Stockhausen released sounds of mind-opening and mind-bending power. Exerting an influence that extended from the recondite circles of the postwar avant-garde to the Beatles and Björk, he was, for all his bewildering eccentricities, a giant of late-twentieth-century music. As Tim Rutherford-Johnson says, it's deeply sad that he never got to hear his mammoth opera cycle Licht complete. (It had been announced for the Festspielhaus Hellerau in Dresden in 2008, but according to this article the plans came to naught. There may be a performance in Essen in 2010.) Listen here to the epoch-making electronic work Gesang der Jünglinge. Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices have a superb new CD of the gently transporting Stimmung. New Yorkers can hear ICE play the Donnerstag-Abschied tonight.
Obituaries are rolling in: Ivan Hewett, Andrew Clements, Pierre Gervasoni (in French, with a tribute from Boulez), Reinhard Brembeck and Andrian Kreye (in German), The Times, Paul Griffiths, and Mark Swed, the last of whom quotes Esa-Pekka Salonen calling Stockhausen "the rock star of my youth." ANABlog has a massive collection of links. Chris DeLaurenti of The Stranger has an excellent primer on the composer. Ljova drew my attention to a poignant aside on a Stockhausen.org page anticipating the composer's eightieth birthday next August: "A commission for another Hour would be very nice!" Meanwhile, Kyle Gann reports another lamentable piece of news: the death of the pioneering American-music scholar H. Wiley Hitchcock. And the distinguished American composer Andrew Imbrie has passed away in Berkeley.