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Aloys Kontarsky

Aloys Kontarsky was born on 14 May 1931 in Iserlohn (Germany). He studied piano with Else Schmitz-Gohr and chamber music with Maurits Frank in Cologne. From 1950 he performed at the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music. In 1955 he was awarded the first prize for piano duo (together with his brother Alfons) of the ARD International Music Competition. Aloys Kontarsky then completed his studies with Eduard Erdmann in Hamburg.

Since 1957 Aloys Kontarsky worked as a concert pianist together with his brother Alfons. The Kontarsky duo was one of the finest and most renowned pianos duos of their time and famous for recordings of modern piano compositions. They premiered works by Luciano Berio, Mauricio Kagel or Karlheinz Stockhausen, composer like Bernd Alois Zimmermann or Earle Brown dedicated compositions to the them. The duo toured world wide with performances in South Africa, Japan, Australia or China. Since 1969 Aloys Kontarksy was also professor at the "Hochschule für Musik und Tanz" in Cologne. In 1983 Aloys Kontarsky fell seriously ill and had to quit his career as concert pianist.
Aloys Kontarksy died on 22 August 2017 in Cologne (Germany).


In my possession is an autograph manuscript of a "String quartet in D". I could not find information about compositional activities of Aloys Kontarsky, he is solely known as a world class performer. The string quartet dates from 1948 when Aloys Kontarsky was 17 years old. It is most likely that the young pianist tried his first steps as a composer with this work but later didn't pursue this path.

My autograph consists of only 6 pages. The complete first movement "Allegro impetuoso (straffes Zeitmaß)" with 155 measures and the beginning of the second movement "Andantino, quasi Allegretto". After 54 measures my manuscript breaks off with the further pages missing. Aloys Kontarsky told me personally that he (most likely, he couldn't recall for sure) completed the quartet. So hopefully the missing pages are still out there and will be unearthed some time.

PDF-Dokument [245.4 KB]

The sound snippet below is a computer realisation of the beginning of the work.

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