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Tilo Medek

Born: 1940

Died: 2006

Nationality: German

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Rafael Ostgathe

Tilo Medek grew up in Thuringia, Germany. From 1959 Medek studied musicology in East Berlin. From 1968 onwards the composer became increasingly hindered by the state in his work until, in 1977, he was forced into exile in West Germany where he founded his own publishing house, Edition Tilo Medek, and co-founded the Independent Academy of Arts in Mannheim. He received various awards such as an invitation to the Villa Massimo in Rome in 1994, International Composers Award of the Gaudeamus Foundation (1967), and the 22eme Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs of UNESCO (1975). Medek’s output encompasses works of almost every genre. The list of Medek’s works published by Chester Music includes some of the composer’s most popular pieces: Die Betrunkene Sonne (The Drunken Sun) for narrator and orchestra is a concert piece intended for children, as are the twelve piano pieces, Jagdsignale, Zirkusszenen und Gassenhauer.

In the early years of his career, Medek was firmly rooted within a generation of avant garde composers. However, as his music matured and took on a neo-tonal quality, such categorisations became more difficult. Above all, clarity of structure and a thorough understanding of the instruments for which he was writing characterise Medek’s music. A list of his complete works can be found at

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