Wolfgang Rihm turns 65 today. He is being lionised in German media and ignored in all others.
Rihm is by far the busiest of living German composers, rushing from one rich commission to the next. He has been composer in residence at the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals and is a favourite of Anne-Sophie Mutter, who in 2010 premiered his violin concerto at Carnegie Hall.
Rihm gets a fair hearing, but audiences outside his language zone simply don’t respond as they do back home.
It’s a fact of life that some fine composers, like some fine wines, don’t travel.
Max Reger one way, Vaughan Williams the other. Beloved at home, unheard abroad.
Happy birthday, Wolfgang Rihm.