H.E. Erwin Walther

In his youth Erwin Walther experienced first success as composer as well as conductor. Next to this he worked out in self-studies any modern piano work that was accessible to him, as scarce as they were available. By his intensive work with the music of the composers Strawinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, and Hindemith he scandalized in those years. He, who was according to that time’s views a “degenerated” composer, especially loved the music of Mahler and Schoenberg.

To characterize his musical language was difficult for him. However, this is understandable after recognizing the dazzling versatility of his way of working.

As a composer as well as a teacher he always treated any kind of music with complete openness and freedom. H. E. Erwin Walther was an avant-gardist, though in discussions he always labelled the world ‘avant-garde’ as unsuitable and reacted with parrying scepticism when it was mentioned in connection with his work. But after all he was an avant-gardist, because after the sentence “Somehow, as a composer I am a ‘colourful bird’” he continued: ”Many of you might know some feathers of my coat, the colour scale however varies from late romanticism over excursions into impressionism and expressionism to dodecaphonism, from artistic song to chanson and to children song, from music for documentary films to music for great movies, from Bavarian folklore to seemingly chaos. But whatever I have composed: I always had fun doing it.”


  • HAFFNER, Oberpfälzischer Komponisten-Nachwuchs: Erwin Walther, Amberg, in: Die Oberpfalz 40, 1952, pg. 118-119

  • [G. WINKLER], Gerd Winklers "Mike Blaubart", Frankfurt a.M. 1968

  • Zehn Jahre Kulturpreis Ostbayern, ed. by Energieversorgung Ostbayern AG., Regensburg 1969, pg. 32-33

  • EMMERIG, H. E. Erwin Walther zum 60. Geburtstag, in: Die Oberpfalz 68, 1980, pg. 147-148

  • EMMERIG, H. E. Erwin Walther zum 70. Geburtstag. Laudatio anlässlich der Verleihung des Kulturpreises der Stadt Amberg, in: Musik in Bayern 43, 1991, pg. 87-97

  • BIELER/EMMERIG/KRAUS/SIMON, H. E. Erwin Walther, Tutzing 1998 (Komponisten in Bayern Vol. 36)