No takers for Henze’s legacy

No takers for Henze’s legacy


norman lebrecht

April 16, 2021

The composer Hans Werner Henze, who died in 2012, set up a foundation for his villa in Marino, near Rome, to serve as a residence for young composers while developing their craft.

The project needed extra funds. But both the German and Italian governments have refused to back it.

Unless money is forthcoming by the end of 2021, the villa will have to be sold.





  • Tony.Sanderson says:

    Is it time to assess his legacy? Was he too traditional for the avant-garde and too avant-garde for traditionalists? Did he write a stand-out work?

    I can’t give an answer to these questions, but would be interested to hear what people think?

  • Scott says:

    How sad….such little respect for a great composer.

  • Novagerio says:

    Typical. Besides, no way one can blame Covid for that.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Henze has a more important legacy.

  • Rob Keeley says:

    La Leprara: ”The hare farm”. It’s a beautiful place, designed largely, I gather, by his life partner Fausto Moroni, a delightful, resourceful man in his own right.
    When I visited briefly in 1989, there were peacocks and greyhounds.
    Sophia Loren was a neighbour.
    Sadly, it’s currently a bad time for such luxury projects. I do hope that a sympathetic owner can be found.

  • Bruno Michel says:

    THIS IS SHAMEFUL. One of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. No-one comes forward? How much can it possibly cost? Certainly less than it takes to keep one minister or 3 MPs in place for a year… Can we please give this as much publicity as possible? Thank you so much, Norman, for bringing this to our attention.

    • Saxon says:

      Such a great gift that he didn’t actually have the funds for his generous gift and expects someone else to cough up the money.

  • HugoPreuss says:

    Henze went to Italy not bc of its beauty or its cultural and musical heritage. He viewed himself as a political refugee, fleeing the repression of the terrible Adenauer dictatorship. And he never relented. Everyone is entitled to his political opinions, but I fail to see why the German taxpayer has a duty to subsidize someone like Henze.

  • RW2013 says:

    Maybe a concentrated flat in Gütersloh would be better (and cheaper) than the distractions of Marino.

  • jansumi says:

    A beautiful gift provided for composers to come & work, ignored & now probably unattainable due to covid – disheartening…

  • J Barcelo says:

    A great composer? One of the 20th c greatest? I don’t know about that, but I’m quite certain the average concert goer, even the average orchestral musician has never heard a note of his music. His music is too disagreeable for most people. He only lives on because of recordings. There are many music lovers who blame Henze, Stockhausen, and Boulez for ruining music. Why would they have any interest in supporting this venture? People who read SD might be familiar with the man and his music and even enjoy some of it, but then, we’re not the average music listener.