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Wolfgang Steffen

Wolfgang Steffen was born on 28 April 1923 in Neuhaldensleben (Germany). His mother was a professional pianist and so he was musically educated from an early age. After his graduation from school and military service in World War II, Wolfgang Steffen began to study music at the conservatory in Hamburg under Theodor Kaufmann, but moved to Berlin already in 1946 to study composition under Heinz Tiessen as well as conducting and drama and theatre arts.
After his studies Wolfgang Steffen first worked as a conductor for several choirs and orchestras in Berlin. Later he became professor for music theory and taught at the Universität der Künste. For many years Wolfgang Steffen worked for the GEMA, the German Composers Rights Society and was foreign correspondent for the Germany Composers Association.
Wolfgang Steffen died on 4 December 1993 in Berlin.


Wolfgang Steffen composed mainly orchestral and chamber music as well as choral works. For his compositions he received the Johann-Wenzel-Stamitz-Award in 1979 and the German Federal Cross of Merit in 1981.

In my possession is the autograph working manuscript of the "Concerto for piano and orchestra op.16" which is dated "August 1956" at the end. This piano concerto was first composed in 1956, but the score and sketches got lost in 1957. Wolfgang Steffen then composed a second version in 1960, which now is the common one. So my manuscrpt is the "lost" original version of the piano concerto. It is interesting to mention that in my manuscript the work got the opus 26!

The archive for most of the manuscripts by Wolfgang Steffen is the "Akademie der Künste" in Berlin. They do not hold any documents about this first original version of the piano concerto op.16.

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