Mourning in the music world: the musician Udo Zimmermann passed away at the age of 78. In his last years Zimmermann could only listen to music due to an illness – but not create it himself.
Zimmermann, one of the leading contemporary composers in Europe, is dead. He died on Friday night at the age of 78 in Dresden, as his widow announced to the German press agency.
The artist had suffered from a rare neurodegenerative disease for years. She had restricted his passion for composing until he had to give up. In the end, the maestro, who always fought for the culture to be adequately furnished, could only hear music.
Opera director in Leipzig for eleven years
Zimmermann was born on October 6, 1943 in Dresden, sang as a crucian in the famous Dresden Kreuzchor. He studied composition and singing in his hometown, and later worked as an assistant to the Berlin master director Walter Felsenstein. In 1970 he became dramaturge at the Dresden State Opera, in 1974 he founded the “Studio Neue Musik”, from which in 1986 the center for contemporary music emerged.
From 1990 to 2001 Zimmermann was the artistic director of the Leipzig Opera, which under him was the premiere theater and received several awards. From 1997 to 2011 the artist was also responsible for the musica viva series at Bayerischer Rundfunk, where he premiered numerous contemporary works. He composed five operas, vocal symphonies and works for chamber ensembles, and conducted well-known orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Dresden State Orchestra.