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Siegfried Geißler

Siegfried Rudolf Geißler was born on 26 March 1929 in Dresden (Germany). He studied music at the Conservatory in Dresden from 1943 to 1946 and graduated as an orchestral musician for piano and horn. His first positions were those as the principal hornist in the orchestras of Cottbus, Speyer and finally Sonneberg. Since his days in Speyer he also worked as a conductor and in 1953 Siegfried Geißler was appointed prinicipal conductor of the "Erzgebirgsphilharmonie" in Aue. In the next years he directed the "Thüringische Kreiskulturorchester Mühlhausen", was assistant conductor under Heinz Bongartz of the Dresdner Philharmonie from 1958 to 1962, and assistant conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra in Gotha. In 1965 he finally became the music director of the State Symphony Orchestra in Suhl. Siegfried Geißler used this position to form an outstanding, internationally renowned symphony orchestra offside the central cities in the German Democratic Republic and also founded the choral society and the boys' choir in Suhl. These activities brought him the appreciation of the governance and some kind of freedom to do whatever he wanted. Siegfried Geißler used this freedom to perform with his orchestra compositions that were not true to the party lines of the GDR regime, commissioned dissident artists to design concert programs and always took a critical stand to the situation and the activities of the GDR. In 1980 the executive was fed up with this behaviour of Siegfried Geißler and he was released from his position as music director of the orchestra in Suhl. Since then he worked as a composer.
In 1989 the activities of Siegfried Geißler took a new direction when he was an active part of the peaceful revolution in the GDR. In that year he was co-founder of the New Forum Suhl, a political movement of this time and one of the persons who occupied the building of the Ministry of State Security in Suhl to prevent the elimination of the Stasi files. His activities finally led to a mandate in the state parliament of Thuringia where he became the chairman by seniority. After one election period Siegfried Geißler retired from his political positions in 1993. Siegfried Geißler died on 10 July 2014 in Suhl (Germany).


Siegfried Geißler composed a total of 52 compositions among them are 8 symphonies, 2 violin concertos, a horn concerto, a trumpet concerto, a double concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano, songs for voice and orchestra, works for choir as well as chamber and electronical music. His autograph music manuscripts are archived at the "Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden".


Siegfried Geißler composed three compositions for violin and orchestra:

  • Concerto for violin and orchestra No.1 "Studie I" (1977)
  • 3 Impressionen, for violin and chamber orchestra (1980)
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra No.2 (1981)

I am honoured to have the permission to publish scores of these compositions and would like to point the attention especially to the second violin concerto by Siegfried Geißler which is a true and brilliant, but unfortunately neglected master piece. The work is part of my personal recommendation list and one of the most important German violin concertos in the 20th century.

Concerto for violin and orchestra No.2


The second violin concerto by Siegfried Geißler was composed in 1981, one year after his deposition as conductor in Suhl. Therefore it is no surprise that the composition in my understanding reflects the situation in the GDR with its restrictions, suppression and spying. The result is a powerful and impressive composition that stands pari passu to Karl Amadeus Hartmann's "Concerto funebre", the other great German violin concerto about an authoritarian regime. I am pleased to present here the full score of this eminent violin concerto for the first time:

PDF-Dokument [1.4 MB]

I wrote a detailed review about this composition (in German) which can be found below:

PDF-Dokument [39.0 KB]

The Concerto for violin and orchestra No.2 by Siegfried Geißler was premiered on 13 May 1987 by  Jürgen Fleischhauer (violin), the Thüringische Philharmonie Suhl and Siegfried Geißler (conductor). The beginning of this performance can be heard in the sound snippet below:

Studie I, for violin and large orchestra


The "first violin concerto" by Siegfried Geißler - his "Studie I, for violin and large orchestra" - was composed in 1977. The work is dedicated to the eminent Czech violinist Nora Grumlikova. The world premiere took place on 15 February 1978 with the Staatliches Sinfonieorchester Suhl under the direction of Siegfried Geißler and soloist Nora Grumlikova.

I am pleased to have the permission to present here also the full score of Siegfried Geißler's first violin concerto "Studie I":

PDF-Dokument [1.4 MB]
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© Tobias Broeker