H.E. Erwin Walther

100th Birthday – “The Next Generation”

On April 1st, 2020, the 100th birthday of H.E. Erwin Walther, composer, and music teacher from Amberg, could be celebrated. For that reason, the city of Amberg paid homage to its cultural laureate by organizing a year of versatile concert events.

“We should not stop at remembrance”, says Michaela Grammer, the artist’s daughter, and administrator, and puts the anniversary under the motto “Walther and the Next Generation”. Following that, the two graduates from ‘Max-Reger-Gymnasium’ in Amberg and awardees of the ‘Kulturförderpreis’ (youth cultural award) of the city of Amberg, Katrin Klose and Christof Johannes Weiß, dealt with Walther’s compositions and ignite a creative spark within two concerts. This would have totally been to the composer’s delight since he always valued the conveyance of music to the young generation as indispensable.

Kartin Klose und Christof Weiß are outstanding musicians who not only follow the beaten tracks in reproducing but strike the unknown and often difficult path of a career as a composer in a courageous and highly motivated way. It is a special gift of two young composers to Erwin Walther since they represent the next generation of artists, who – as Walther – are deeply connected to their homeland but also reach out far over its borders.

Katrin Klose and Christof Weiß perfectly personify the vision of the motto “Next Generation” but without the “broad minded”, the “doer”, the great interpreter of Walther’s versatile opus, the colourful anniversary would not be complete.

Already since 2004 pianist Frank Gutschmidt analyses and interprets Walther’s musical graphics, named ‘Audiogramme’ and produces together with soprano Yvonne Friedli, tenor Joachim Vogt, and clarinettist Ib Hausmann an extraordinary studio concert.

Jelena Lichtman (piano) and Michael Rupprecht (cello), who already shortly after Walther’s death had the courage to include his challenging scores into their repertoire, place them into a contemporary context during their concert ‘Seelenverwandschaft’ (congeniality of souls) in the town hall of Sulzbach-Rosenberg.

Heinz Grobmeier, “multi-instrumentalist”, jack-of-all-trades, and creative powerhouse together with three musicians interprets graphical music in Air Museum Amberg.

All these artists are completely acting according to Walther’s words in his acceptance speech for ‘Kulturpreis’ (cultural award), which he addressed to the representatives of the city of Amberg: “Do not forget your artists – they make [the city] glow from within, they vivify the reconstructed, mollify the broken, and elevate the banality, … for the province not to sink into provinciality!”