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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


Open Letter to the Editors of All Media

by Karlheinz Stockhausen

August 12, 2000


     From May 1953 until January 1990, I constantly worked at the Studio for Electronic Music of the West German Radio in Cologne. From 1963 until 1977 I was the artistic director, and from 1977 until 1990 the permanent artistic advisor of this studio.

     From 1990 until 2000, the composer York Hoeller was the so-called "representative" of the Studio for Electronic Music. In the period from January 1990 until March 1998, every two years I was allowed to work in the studio for 3 months, and in this time I realised three large works of electronic music , having a total duration of 261 minutes of music.

     Today, on August 10th 2000, I was informed by an internal notice that the building in which the studio is housed has been sold, that the equipment will be transferred to the Conservatory in Cologne or another institution in the state of North Rhine Westfalia, and that the studio must be vacated by 2001.

     According to this notice, the technical director of the WDR had said "that the studio would not continue the way it was ", "because it was not programmatically relevant", "it is certain that the shop will be shut up", "we do not want such a handicap", etc.

     The last technician in the studio was told to make a "list of the equipment in the studio and to indicate what could be scrapped and what could, for example, be stored at a warehouse".

     I, Stockhausen, wrote two letters, one on April 3rd and a second one on April 29th 2000 to the general director of the WDR, Mr. Fritz Pleitgen, requesting that all of the material tapes and original tapes of my compositions which I have produced at the studio since 1953 be handed over in trust to the Stockhausen Foundation for Music for safe-keeping.General director Pleitgen refused my requests. My letters are enclosed together with his refusals.

     The public is herewith urged to help the Stockhausen Foundation for Music procure my production tapes from the studio and further, to help me to be able to continue to realise electronic music at the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR.

     Ka Stockhausen

Address of General Director Pleitgen:
WDR, Appellhofplatz 1, 50600 Cologne, Germany
Tel. 0049-(0) 221-220-2100 / 01 / 02 / 03; Fax: 0049-(0) 221-220-20 00.
Address of the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR, sound technician
Volker Mueller: Annostr. 86, 50678 Cologne, Germany.
Tel. 0049 - (0) 221-220 - 3881 (or 2689); Fax: 0049- (0) 221 - 220 - 6292.