The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Manfred Stahnke


Manfred Stahnke, born October 1951 in Kiel, Germany, studied composition with Wolfgang Fortner 1970-73, Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough 1973-74, György Ligeti 1974-79. Besides he studied piano with Edith Picht-Axenfeld, and violin. After his studies in composition he finished his dissertation in musicology on Pierre Boulez’ Third Piano Sonata (1979), under Constantin Floros in Hamburg. 1979-80 he went to the USA to study with the microtonalist Ben Johnston in Urbana, Illinois, and with the computermusic scientist and composer John Chowning in Stanford, California. In 2001, Stahnke wrote ORPHEUS KRISTALL, opera in two media (stage and internet, with Georg Hajdu), for Muenchener Biennale, premiered 3 May 2002 (for details, and before that two microtonal operas, premiered in 1981 (THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER after E.A.Poe, published by Ricordi ) and 1987 (HEINRICH IV, after Pirandello). He wrote several orchestra pieces, like DER MANDELBROTBAUM, played by the Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks Baden-Baden 1992, TRACE DES SORCIERS, Festival Donaueschinger Musiktage 1997, and DANZBODNLOCK – Violin Symphony, Festival Donaueschinger Musiktage 2006. There is a long list of chamber music, played by outstanding ensembles like the Stockholm Woodwind Quintet, ensemble 13 Baden-Baden, ensemble avance Stuttgart, Clementi-Trio Köln, ensemble modern Frankfurt, Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam, Accanto Trio Stuttgart, ensemble chaosma Hamburg, Wolpe Trio Köln, ensemble Est!Est!!Est!!! Saarbrücken, ensemble Intégrales Hamburg, ensemble wireworks Hamburg etc. Most of the musical works are privately published and available under the private address There are many publications of his, e.g. about general aesthetics, or Harry Partch, György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Gérard Grisey, also on his own work. Since some of the writings are difficult to find, they are privately published and available under the private address. Example in English: [ Hybrid Thinking in Meloharmony] Lecture University of Montreal 2007 He is professor for composition and music theory at the Hamburg Musikhochschule. Recently (2007) he worked together with le nouvel ensemble modern in Montréal and gave lectures and a masterclass at McGill University and Université de Montréal.