Orff Carl 1895 - 1982 (87)


Carl Orff (1895 - 1982) was a German composer and music educator, with his best known work being the cantata Carmina Burana (1937) for soloists, choirs and a large orchestra. Carl was born on July 10, 1895 in Munich and was the son of an officer and a pianist, who gave him his first impulses in music. From the age of five he learned to play the piano, cello and church instrument; as a student he played and sang in the school orchestra, while he also sang in the church choir. In 1911 he composed music for poems by Helderlin and Heine and two years later began his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Munich. Along with composition, he engaged in music pedagogy, creating innovative methods which he implemented in a school he founded with Dorothea Ginder in 1924, combining, in a new teaching model, music with movement, dance and improvisation (Orff method). ).

Carl Orff occupied the audience with both his music and his political stance, as he displayed opportunism during the Nazi era, gaining the favor of the Nazi regime. He consciously tried to adapt his music-pedagogical ideas to the Hitler Youth program, and underlined his devotion to traditional German music appreciated by the Nazis.

His alliance with the Nazis led Orff to be blacklisted after the war and questioned by a US commission investigating Nazi crimes; eventually, with the help of an American student who had taken over his file, escaped any consequences.

He continued his post-war career as a composer, but also as a leading figure in music institutions, culminating in the founding of the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria in 1961. At the 1972 Munich Olympics, for the opening ceremony, he presented one of his last works He died on March 29, 1982.