(b Brunswick, 16 Feb 1826; d Leipzig, 22 May 1878). German composer. The son of an officer, he studied music with Robert Griepenkerl while serving as a cadet in the army, and composed a two-act opera in Singspiel manner, Zwei Nächte in Venedig (1844–5). During a term as adjutant in Seesen he continued composing, and in 1853 was able to show an opera, Die Gastfreunde, to Moritz Hauptmann, who thereupon encouraged him to leave the army and take up a musical career. Holstein then studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Moscheles, Richter and Hauptmann (1853–6), and later visited Rome (1856–7), Berlin (1858) and Paris (1859). He settled in Leipzig and on Hauptmann’s death in 1868 became chairman of the Bachgesellschaft there, and he was also one of the founders of the Leipzig Bach-Verein. Also in 1868 he produced his most successful opera, based on Hoffmann, Der Haideschacht, in Dresden; this was taken up by some 46 other German theatres. Further operas were Der Erbe von Morley (1872) and Die Hochländer (1876); he also wrote a Byron opera, Marino Faliero (incomplete), orchestral works, choruses, many songs, chamber music and piano pieces. A large number of his works were published in Leipzig; most of his unpublished manuscripts are in the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut of Leipzig University. He also wrote for the Allgemeine Zeitung and the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. He endowed a foundation for the benefit of poor students.
Holstein, who wrote the texts for his own operas, was a gifted and many-sided figure. His childhood attraction to Scott found practical expression in Der Erbe von Morley, and he made an attempt to incorporate folktunes in his operas not merely as local colour but as part of the more continuous structure for which he strove. However, he was essentially a traditionalist, a follower of Weber and Marschner, later of Mendelssohn, who failed to appreciate the value for his purposes of Wagner’s development and handling of leitmotif.
MGG1 (W. Kahl) [incl. list of works]
H. von Vesque, ed.: Eine Glückliche: Hedwig von Holstein in ihren Briefen und Tagebuchblättern (Leipzig, 1901, 3/1907)
G. Glaser: Franz von Holstein: ein Dichterkomponist des 19. Jahrhunderts (diss., U. of Leipzig, 1930)
(b Bucharest, 30 June 1953). Romanian composer of Austrian-German parentage. Her parents were scientists. She began to study the piano with Olga Rosca-Berdan at the Bucharest music school in 1959 and to compose in 1961. She studied composition with Ştefan Niculescu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1972–5) and in 1976, when the family moved to Germany, continued her studies with Milko Kelemen, Günter Louegk and Erhard Karkoschka (electronic music). She attended the summer academy at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1977, 1978), and the Accademia Chigiana, Siena (1980), with Franco Donatoni. She was the pianist of the Lipatti Trio, 1977–80 and taught at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule, 1980–89. Her awards include many prizes for composition: the Valentino Bucchi, Rome (1979); Gaudeamus (1981); Max Deutsch, Paris (1982); Stamitz, Mannheim (1985); German record critics’ prize (1988–9); GEDOK, Mannheim (1985, 1989); the women composers’ prize, Heidelberg (1990); and others. She has taught at the Darmstadt summer courses and the Musikhochschule, Rostock (1997–) and been a member of international juries.
In her compositions Hölszky strives for originality, distancing herself, however, from the mainstream of the avant garde to an extent comparable to the gulf between Indian and Western thought: geometric forms, chemical processes and dramatic situations determine structural ideas, and the principles of mathematical ordering are set against ‘chaotic’ inspiration. In her opera Bremer Freiheit the main character, a murderess who kills with poison, can be seen as a female counterpart to Bartók’s Bluebeard.
Ops: Bremer Freiheit (T. Körner, after R.W. Fassbinder), 1987, Staatsoper, Stuttgart, 4 June 1988; Die Wände (Körner, after J. Genet), 1993–4, Vienna, 20 May 1995; Tragödia, Bonn, 1997
Orch: Constellation, orch, 1975–6; Space, 4 orch groups, 1979–80; Lichtflug, vn, fl, orch, 1990; An die Nacht, 1994
Chbr and solo inst: Pf Sonata, 1975; Str Qt, 1975; Flux-re-Flux, a sax, 1981–3; Innere Welten I, str trio, 1981; Innere Welten II, str qt, 1981–2; Arkaden, 2 fl, str qt, 1982; Intarsien I, fl, vn, pf, 1982; Decorum, hpd, 1982–3; Intarsien II, fl, vn, hpd, pf, 1982–3; Intarsien III, fl, vn, 2 pf, 1982–3; Controversia, 2 fl, 2 ob, vn, 1983; Erewhon, 14 insts, 1984; Klangwerfer, 12 str, 1984–5; New Erewhon, chbr ens, 1984–5, rev. 1990; Requisiten, 9 insts, 1985; … und wieder Dunkel I, timp, pf, 1985, rev. 1990; … und wieder Dunkel II, timp, org, 1986; Hörfenster für Franz Liszt, pf, 1986–7; Fragmente aus ‘Bremer Freiheit’, accdn, cymbal, timp, 1988; Hängebrücken, str qt ‘an Schubert’, 1989–90; Jagt die Wölfe zurück, 6 timp, 1989–90; Karawane ‘Reflexion über den Wanderklang’, 12 timp, 1989–90; Miserere, accdn, 1992; Segmente 1, pic, euphonium, db, pf, accdn, perc, cymbal, 1992; Segmente II, pf, perc, 1992; Segmente III, ob, db, accdn, 1992; Klangwaben 1, vn, 1993; WeltenEnden, brass, 1993; A due, 2 E cl, 1993
Vocal: Monolog, female v, timp, 1977; … es kamen schwarze Vögel, 5 female vv, perc, 1978; Il était un homme rouge, 12 solo vv, 1978; Kommentar für Lauren, S, 8 wind insts, timp, 1978; Questions I, S, Bar, vn, vc, pf, 1980; Questions II, S, Bar, vn, vc, pic, gui, pf, 1981; Immer schweigender, 4 mixed choruses [each chorus 8vv], 1986; Flöten des Lichts, ‘Flächenspiel’, female v, 5 wind insts, other insts ad lib, 1989–90; Message (E. Ionesco), Mez, Bar, spkr, sounds, elecs, 1990; Gemälde eines Erschlagenen (J.M.R. Lenz), 72vv, 1993
Other: OMION, tape, 1980
Principal publishers: Astoria, Breitkopf & Härtel
‘Bremer Freiheit’, Neues Musik Theater, no.1 (1988), 83–94
‘Zur Komposition von Schwinungsvogängen: Gyorgy Ligetis “Continuum” für Cembalo’, Tonkünstlerfest, Baden-Württemberg, 1989–90, pp.68–77 [programme book]
‘Elastisch verfremden und kultivieren: einige Kompositorische Aspekte im Umgang mit der Stimme’, MusikTexte, no.65 (1996), 53–9
B. Sonntag: ‘Wir haben unser Land und unsere Freiheit verloren, aber noch haben wir unsere Art zu denken und zu leben bewahrt’, Annäherungen an sieben Komponistinnen, ii, ed. B. Sonntag and R. Matthei (Kassel, 1987), 20–25 [interview]
R. Sperber: ‘Es war ein sehr schönes Arbeiten: Werkstattgespräch mit der Komponistin der “Bremer Freiheit”’, Komponistinen Gestern-Heute: Heidelberg 1987, 221–30
M. Emigholz: ‘Die Freiheit, mit Raum und Zeit zu spielen’, NZM, Jg.150, no.9 (1989), 18–23
G.R. Koch: ‘Und es kamen schwarze Vögel: Laudation auf die Komponistin Adriana Hölszky’, NZM, Jg.151, no.12 (1990), 9–13
B. Borchard: Adriana Hölszky (Berlin, 1991)
G. Gronemeyer: ‘Du musst das Geheimnis bauen’, Neue Musik Theater, no.1 (1988), 79–82; repr. in MusikTexte, no.65 (1996), 34–8