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Orff, Carl (1895-1982): The Complete Music Autographs in the Bavarian State Library

Carl Orff's life and work is closely connected with his native Munich. He left the Wittelsbacher Gymnasium prematurely to study music at the Akademie der Tonkunst. His private tutor Hermann Zilcher arranged for him to become conductor at the Munich Kammerspiele (1916/17). From 1919 Orff worked as a freelance composer in Munich. Previously only perceived by the general public as a music teacher and specialist for early music, Orff only achieved his breakthrough as a composer with the premiere of 'Carmina Burana' in Frankfurt am Main in 1937. From 1950 to 1960, Orff directed a master class for composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich. In 1948 the first Schulwerk broadcasts began on Bavarian Radio. World premieres in Munich were 'Astutuli' (1953) and 'Comoedia de Christi Resurrectione' (1956). Carl Orff had extraordinarily long and friendly relations with the BSB. In a speech at the opening of the exhibition 'Carl Orff: Das Bühnenwerk' on 9 June 1970, the seventy-five-year-old reported on his self-study at the BSB as a young musician: 'The wonderful complete editions have driven me crazy. Wonderful! [...] From then on the library did not leave me out! It was almost 10 years that I worked in it for many, many days, many weeks, and that I carried the books in my backpack by the hundredweight, because I had to work on them at night. In 1988 Orff's widow Liselotte Orff, as Chairwoman of the Orff Foundation, gave her husband's autograph music manuscripts as a deposit to the BSB. The highlight of the extensive collection is without doubt the large-format autograph score of 'Carmina Burana'. Further autographs were acquired by the BSB. The works of Carl Orff are protected by copyright. For this reason, the digitized material can only be viewed at the designated workstation in the Reading Room for Music/Maps/Images.