Heiner Goebbels

Director/Designer/Composer/Sound Artist
TTT08 “Engineer of the Imagination “
HEINER GOEBBELS, born on August 17, 1952 in Neustadt/Weinstrasse, lives since 1972 in Frankfurt/Main. He studied sociology and music.

While doing several record productions and  many concerts with the Sogenanntes Linksradikales Blasorchester (76-81), the Goebbels/Harth-Duo (76-88) and the art-rock-trio Cassiber (82-92), he wrote at the same time theatre music (for Hans Neuenfels, Claus Peymann, Matthias Langhoff, Ruth Berghaus and others), film music (for Helke Sander, Dubini, and others) and ballet music (for the Ballet Frankfurt).

In the middle of the 80s he began composing and directing audio plays of his own, most of them based on texts by Heiner Mueller Verkommenes Ufer (Waste Shore), Die Befreiung des Prometheus (The liberation of Prometheus), Wolokolamsker Chaussee (Volokolamsk Highway), Schliemanns Radio, Der Horatier/Roman Dogs/Chiens Romains and others).

After the staged concerts Der Mann im Fahrstuhl (Man in the Elevator) 1987, Die Befreiung des Prometheus (The liberation of Prometheus), 1991 and on and the concert for dancer Thraenen des Vaterlands (Tears of the fatherland), together with Christoph Nel/Ballet Frankfurt, 1986, he created together with Michael Simon the music theatre pieces Newton's Casino in 1990 and Roemische Hunde (Roman Dogs) in 1991 at the TAT in Frankfurt.

Since 1988 Heiner Goebbels composes chamber music for the Ensemble Modern (Red Run, Befreiung, La Jalousie) and the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Herakles 2).

In 1994 followed Surrogate Cities, a 90 minutes composition for big orchestra commissioned by the Alte Oper Frankfurt and performed of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, conductor: Peter Rundel. 1996, as a commision for Donaueschingen, he composed Industry & Idleness (premiere by Radiokamerorkest Hilversum, conductor: Peter Eotvos). Walden for extended orchestra was created in 1998 for the first tour of the newly founded Ensemble Modern Orchestra (conductor: Peter Eotvos).

Invitations to nearly all major theatre, new music, jazz and performing arts festivals and tours with all his ensembles, the productions for stage and the portrait concerts of the Ensemble Modern got him to more than 30 countries in the last 15 years. Lately about 10 CD productions were published.

In 1993 the music theatre piece Ou bien la débarquement désastreux (Or the hapless landing) was directed by him in Paris. In 1995 his music theatre piece Die Wiederholung (The Repetition, La Reprise - based upon motifs by Kierkegaard, Robbe-Grillet and Prince) was created in Frankfurt (Theater am Turm). His music theatre piece Schwarz auf Weiss (Black on White) was created at the TAT Frankfurt in 1996 for 18 musicians of the Ensemble Modern. It was filmed for Arte, recorded for BMG and the SWF and is still being shown in Europe and overseas.

In 1997 he participated in the Documenta X in Kassel with his musical theatre sketch Landscape with man being killed by a snake (September 97) and he created the music theatre piece Schliemann's Scaffolding in Athens and Volos (September/October 97). His music theatre piece Max Black with Andre Wilms premiered in April 1998 in Lausanne, and together with the Ensemble Modern he created a tribute to Hanns Eislers' 100th anniversary called Eislermaterial - a staged concert which was first shown in Munich in May 1998.

In 2000 Heiner Goebbels created the sound installations timeios and fin de soleil at the centre Pompidou in Paris, the music theatre piece Hashirigaki in Theatre Vidy and the staged concert ...même soir.- with Les Percussions de Strasbourg.

Nearly all of his music theatre works have been performed more than 50 times on the major music and theatre festivals in europe as well as in the USA, Japan, Australia and Singapur.

1994/95 guest professor at "Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft" University Giessen.
1997/98 guest professor at "Musikhochschule Karlsruhe - Kompositionsklasse".

From April 1999 on, Heiner Goebbels works as a professor at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies which is situated in the Justus Liebig University in Giessen (Germany). He will be in charge of several seminars and artistic projects. The institute inhabits a professional rehearsal stage and is well equipped with a brand-new audio and video studio. The institute is as well dedicated to scientific research as to artistic practice (contemporary theatre and performance) and especially to the possibilities of linking both. (For further information please visit its homepage.)

In 2002 Heiner Goebbels premiered his first opera Landschaft mit entfernten Verwandten / Paysage avec parents éloignés / Landscape with distant relatives. In the context of his 50th birthday Heiner Goebbels released his first book "Komposition als Inszenierung". Also ECM released a CD of Eislermaterial.

In 2003 Heiner Goebbels premiered his orchestra piece From A Diary as a comission of the Berlin Philharmonics / conductor Sir Simon Rattle.The Berlin Philharmonics performed ten concerts with the music of Heiner Goebbels: two performances of Surrogate Cities in Lausanne and Berlin and many following concerts of From A Diary in Salzburg, London, New York, San Francisco and others.

In 2004 he premiered his latest music theatre piece called Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases after words by Elias Canetti with the actor André Wilms and the Mondriaan String Quartett at the theatre vidy in lausanne.

1981 Deutscher Schallplattenpreis
1983 Brüder Grimm Preis des Landes Berlin für "Kiebich und Dutz" zusammen mit F.K. Waechter u.a.
1984 Karl-Sczuka-Preis des SWF (Donaueschinger Musiktage) for Verkommenes Ufer/Wasteland Waterfront
1985 Deutscher Schallplattenpreis
1985 Hoerspielpreis der Kriegsblinden for Die Befreiung des Prometheus /The Liberation of Prometheus
1986 Prix Italia for Die Befreiung des Prometheus/The Liberation of Prometheus
1988 Goldene Ehrennadel der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik
1989 Berliner Hörspielpreis /Akademie der Künste for Wolokolamsker Chaussee/Volokolamsk Highway
1990 Karl-Sczuka-Preis des SWF (Donaueschinger Musiktage) for Wolokolamsker Chaussee/Volokolamsk Highway
1991 Prix Futura for Wolokolamsker Chaussee/Volokolamsk Highway - Part V
1992 Karl-Sczuka-Preis des SWF (Donaueschinger Musiktage) for Schliemanns Radio
1992 Prix Italia for Schliemanns Radio
1993 Hessischer Kulturpreis
1996 Prix Italia for Roman Dogs
1996 Radio-Ostakino-Prize, Moskow for Der Horatier
1997 Hörspiel des Jahres der Akademie der darstellenden Künste for Die Wiederholung / The Repetition
1998/99 Priize of the spanish theatre critics 'Best foreign production' for Black on White
2001 European Theater Prize - New Theatrical Realities (Taormina)
2001 Grammy nomination in the category "Best classical contemporary composition" for Surrogate Cities
2001 Herald Angel Award of the Edinburgh International Festival for Hashirigaki.
2002 Goethe-Plakette der Stadt Frankfurt / Goethe Medal of the City Frankfurt
2002 Prix Marulic for Oder die glücklose Landung / Or the hapless landing
2002 World Silvermedal of the New York Festivals for Oder die glücklose Landung / Or the hapless landing
2003 Deutscher Kritikerpreis, Sparte "Musik" (price of the german critics in "music")
2004 Grammy Nomination for Eislermaterial.
2004 Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival for Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases.
2005 OPUS Stage Price for Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases in the category directing.
2005 GRAND PRIX DE LA CRITIQUE for Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases in the category best foreign performance (France/Paris).
2005 GRAND PRIX "Mira Trailovic" for Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases at the BITEF FESTIVAL (Belgrade).
2005 Price in the category "Best Director" for Eraritjaritjaka - museé des phrases by the newspaper POLITIKA (Belgrade).
2006 Theatre Prize for the WORLD THEATRE DAY (March 27th) by the german centre of the ITI (International Theatre Institute)


member of the "Akademie der darstellenden Kuenste" (academy of the performing arts) in Frankfurt
member of the "Akademie der Kuenste" (academy of the arts) in Berlin

awarded in 1999 "in recognition to his outstanding contribution to the arts" with the fellowship honoris causa
at the dartingtion college of the arts.