Michael Denhoff

M i c h a e l  D e n h o f f


was born in Ahaus/Westphalia in 1955. He made his first attempts at composition at the age of ten and received decisive impulses from Günter Bialas. From 1973 he studied violoncello with Siegfried Palm and Erling Blöndal-Bengtsson, composition with Jürg Baur and Hans Werner Henze, and chamber music as member of the Denhoff Piano Trio with the Amadeus Quartet.

From 1976 to 1980 he was a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation.

1984-85 lectureship for composition at the University of Mainz. Today he lives in Bonn as a freelance composer and cellist. There he was director of the Bonn Academic Orchestra from 1985-1992 and a cellist in the Ludwig Quartett Bonn from 1992-2008. Since 1996 he has also worked closely with the pianist Birgitta Wollenweber as a duo.

In addition, he has held various teaching positions as a chamber musician and composer, including a guest professorship at the National Conservatory in Hanoi (Vietnam) in 1997/99 and a lectureship for chamber music at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf from 2008 to 2021.

He has received numerous prizes and awards for his compositional work (among others: 1st prizes at the Hitzacker and Bergisch-Gladbach composition competitions, promotional prizes from the cities of Stuttgart and Dortmund, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the state of Lower Saxony, the Bernd Alois Zimmermann Prize, the Annette von Droste Hülshoff Prize and most recently the Gerda and Günter Bialas Prize in 2013). In 1986-87, the Villa Massimo scholarship enabled him to spend 1 year studying in Rome. 1996 "Villa La Collina" working scholarship in Cadenabbia.

Numerous CDs document his extensive oeuvre.

Denhoff's works are performed worldwide. Premieres and first performances have taken place at the following festivals, among others: International Beethovenfest Bonn, Munich Biennale, Musik Triennale Cologne, Ruhr Piano Festival, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, Tage Neuer Musik Hannover, Ensemblia Mönchengladbach, Budapest Autumn Festival, Budapest Spring Festival, Epidaurus Festival Cavtat (Croatia), Festival International du Domaine Forget, Europamusicale, Festival Latinoamericano de Música, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, Festival di Nuova Consonanza Roma, Saptamana Muzicii Contemporane Bucureşti, Kulturwochen der BRD im Kaukasus.

In 2000, Michael Denhoff was the organiser of the Jahr100KlavierStücke series of 50 workshop concerts, which he conceived with the pianist Susanne Kessel and which took place in Bonn and offered a chronological review of 20th century piano music.

In 2008, he initiated the musical-literary series WORTKLANGRAUM, which presented eight evenings a year of predominantly contemporary music and literature in the "Dialograum Kreuzung an Sankt Helena" in Bonn, ending in 2022 with the 100th evening of the series.

For several years, Michael Denhoff has also published short poems, which appeared in various haiku anthologies, most recently with DTV. In addition, he was co-editor of the online journal for haiku and short poetry HAIKUSCOPE.







Michael Denhoff

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