Georg Katzer was born on 10 January 1935 in Habelschwerdt (at that time Germany, now Poland). From 1954 to 1960 he studied piano, music theory, and composition with Rudolf Wagner-Régeny and Ruth Zechlin at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in East Berlin. From 1957 to 1958 he studied in Prague with Karel Janáček. From 1961 to 1963 Georg Katzer was a postgraduate student of Hanns Eisler and Leo Spies at the German Academy of the Arts in Berlin.
Georg Katzer worked in electronic-music studios in Bratislava and Paris from 1976 to 1977. In 1978 he was elected to membership in the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin. In 1982 he founded the Studio for Electroacoustical Music affiliated with the Music Department of the Academy of the Arts (the first studio of this kind in the GDR), whose artistic director he remained until 2005. Georg Katzer was appointed Professor in 1987 and subsequently taught a masterclass in composition at the Academy of the Arts. From 1988 to 1991 he was President of the German Section of the C.I.M.E. (International Council for Electroacoustical Music) and from 1990 to 2001 was a presiding member of the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council, a member of the International Music Council).
Katzer’s compositions include works for chamber ensembles, orchestral works, solo concertos, operas, ballets, puppet plays, and oratorios. His work also encompasses electroacoustical pieces, music for radio dramas, multimedia projects, and projects involving improvised music.
In my possession are the autograph parts of the String quartet No.1 (1965).
This set of parts was in possession of Friedrich-Carl Erben, the first violinist of the Erben Quartet. The sets have several corrections and comments in pencil, most likely from the composer himself. The sets are heavily damaged at the margins, which shows the sets were used several times for performance. The part of the first violin has a note about the performances: 05.06.1967 was a recording session for the "Berliner Rundfunk" followed by two performances in the Apollosaal of the Staatsoper Unter Den Linden in Berlin (30.09.1967 and 17.11.1969).
The autograph came along with a copy of the published parts, each inscribed by the composer and dedicated to the corresponding member of the Erben Quartett (violin 1: Friedrich-Carl Erben, violin 2: Ralf-Rainer Haase, viola: Armin Orlamünde and cello: Wolfgang Bernhardt)
The string quartet No.1 is one of the earliest compositions by Georg Katzer. The score was published in 1971 by Deutscher Verlag für Musik, which now belongs to Breitkopf & Härtel.