Anton Heiller’s Variations: Posthumous Discoveries

Mark Steinbach

Tuesday, June 21, 10 AM
Meeting Room 335.B-C

Anton Heiller (1923-1979) was a consummate musician: master teacher, virtuoso organist, recording artist, improviser and conductor. He was also one of the most compelling composers for organ and church music of the 20th century, although his works remain unjustly neglected.Many organists know Heiller’s Tanz-Toccata, but his other compositions are not part of the standard repertoire, at least in the United States. Partially because of Heiller’s untimely death at age 55, numerous scores were not even known to exist until after his death. Thanks to scholars, many of these have now been published posthumously. In this workshop Mark Steinbach will explore some of these compositions, including the youthful Passacaglia of 1940 (not published until 1995), the late Kleine Partita “Den klare sol går ned” (1977) and preludes from the so-called “Danish Chorales” (1977-78). Biographical details relevant to the compositions will be discussed. Steinbach studied Heiller’s music in Vienna on a Fulbright Grant and most recently recorded a CD The Organ Music of Anton Heiller on the ideal “period instrument” for this mid-century music: the 1962 von Beckerath organ of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh (LOFT recordings).

MARK STEINBACH, DMA,is University Organist, Curator of Instruments, and Lecturer in Music at Brown University, where he teaches organ and music theory. Mr. Steinbach concertizes and teaches frequently throughout the United States and Europe. A passionate advocate of new music, he has premiered works by Pinkham and Muhly and will premiere compositions of Eric Nathan and Wang Lu in Paris and Germany in 2016. He has studied with James Higdon, David Craighead, and as a Fulbright scholar, with Peter Planyavsky. His critically acclaimed CD Organ Works of Anton Heiller (Loft)has been featured on Pipedreams and The Organ Loft.