Gerd Kühr

(b. 1952, Maria Luggau, Lesachtal).

Austrian composer of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout Europe and elsewhere; he is also active as a conductor.

Prof. Kühr studied composition with Josef Friedrich Doppelbauer and conducting with Gerhard Wimberger at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg from 1972–79 and composition with Hans Werner Henze at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne from 1980–83. He also attended masterclasses in conducting with Sergiu Celibidache and Hans Swarowsky.

Among his honours are the Staatsstipendium in composition from the government of Austria (1984, 1988, 1993), the Förderungspreis für Musik from the Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur of Austria (1990), the Rolf-Liebermann-Opernstipendium (1993), the Förderpreis der Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in Munich (1995), the Würdigungspreis from the state of Carinthia (1996), the Ernst-Krenek-Preis from the city of Vienna (2004, for Three Shakespeare Sonnets), and the Österreichischer Kunstpreis für Musik (2011).

As a conductor, he has worked in Austria, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, and Russia. He served as a répétiteur for Oper Köln from 1981–84 and for the Opernhaus Graz from 1984–86.

He is also active in other positions. He served as artistic director of the Jugendmusikfest Deutschlandsberg of the festival steirischer herbst in Styria from 1987–89 and of its workshop in composition from 1987–91. In addition, he served as artistic director of the workshop in composition of the Münchener Biennale from 1990–92.

He taught at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz from 1985–2019, where he was Professor für Komposition und Musiktheorie. He taught counterpoint and harmony at the Universität Graz from 1988–90 and composition as a visiting professor at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg from 1992–94.





Stallerhof (opera in 3 acts, libretto by Franz Xaver Kroetz), 3 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, character tenor, baritone, small orchestra, 1986–87 (a concert suite was arranged by David Paul Graham as Szenen aus einem Alpental)

Tod und Teufel (opera in 10 scenes, libretto by Peter Turrini), soprano, mezzo-soprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 bass-baritones, bass, children's chorus, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1997–99

Agleia Federweiss (opera for children in 10 scenes, libretto by Petra Ernst), youth soprano/mezzo-soprano, 9 children's voices–speakers, children's chorus in groups (minimum 40 voices), variable rock band, small orchestra, 2000–01


Fünf Aphorismen, large orchestra, 1979–82 (version of chamber work)

Lamento e Conforto, large orchestra, 1983

Musik zum Feuermysterium (suite after Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Johann Joseph Fux), symphonic band, 1985

Szenen aus einem Alpental, symphonic band, 1988 (concert suite by David Paul Graham from Stallerhof)

Eso Es, 1989

Concertare, clarinet (+ E-flat clarinet, basset horn), orchestra, 1990–91

Si Naturale, small orchestra (12 players), 1991

Vierzehn mal eins, small orchestra (14 players), 1991–92

Mundo Perdido, small orchestra, 1992

Streifton, small orchestra (16 players), 1993

Zwei mal sieben, small orchestra (14 players), 1993–94

Streichholz und Schlagblech, youth orchestra, 1994

...à la recherche..., piano, orchestra, 1995–96

stop and go and black and white (and sometimes blue), small orchestra (17 players), 1999–2000

Ricordarsi, piano 4 hands, string orchestra, 2001–02

Movimenti, violin, orchestra, 2004–06

Linie Punkt Fläche Raum, large orchestra, 2004–07

reihenweise, small orchestra, 2008

Klangsplitter, large orchestra, 2009

Música Pura, small orchestra, 2010–11


Fünf Aphorismen, English horn, violin, viola, cello, 1979 (also version for large orchestra)

Für Streichquartett, string quartet, 1980–81

Marsch, marsch! (after Franz Schöggl), clarinet (+ bass clarinet, alto saxophone), trumpet, trombone, guitar, viola, cello, bass guitar, piano (+ harpsichord ad libitum), 2 percussion, 1981

Móma (six variations on a folksong from North Macedonia), English horn, 1981

Für Sonus, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1982

Konversatorium über 'Fast ein Rondo', French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1982

Nachtstück, 'Einer Harfe Reise durch die Nacht', harp, ensemble (flute [+ piccolo], oboe, clarinet [+ bass clarinet], bassoon, 2 French horns, trumpet, trombone, piano [+ celesta], 2 percussion), 1982

Agaue's Klage, 4 percussion, 1983

210 Secondi, flute, clarinet, violin, 1984–85

Steirisches Ständchen, violin, cello, piano, 1986

Für Bläserquintett, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1990

Sept pour deux, flute, piano, 1992

Ohne Antwort, flute, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, percussion, 1993

Portraits, cello, piano, 1993

Sei Omaggi, clarinet, soprano saxophone, bassoon, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 1995

Con Sordino, string quartet, 1995–96

Trialog I, clarinet, cello, piano, 2001–02

Trialog II, flute, bass clarinet, piano, 2003

Revue instrumentale et électronique, spatial ensemble, fixed media, 2004–05

Trialog III, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, 2006–07

Mittersiller Miniaturen, flute (+ alto flute), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), electric guitar (+ mandolin), cello, vibraphone (+ snare drum), 2007

Come una Pastorale, clarinet, violin, cello, 2008–09

The Violl Waye, viola da gamba, 2009

Laute(r) Röhren, 8 tubas, 2010


Vier Gedichte von Rose Ausländer (text by Rose Ausländer), mixed chorus, 1981

Unser Mass ist die Wirklichkeit (text from the diary of Walter Buchebner), baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1982

Palimpsest (texts by Erika Burkart, Georg Trakl), mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1989–90

Wortlos (Reminiscences of Stallerhof) (vocalise), mixed chorus, 1990

L'Infinito del Sogno (texts by Giacomo Leopardi, Algernon Charles Swinburne), mixed chorus, 1993

Scala quasi unisona (vocalise), any 2 or more voices, 1997

De loin (hommage à Pérotin, text from the Gregorian chant Viderunt Omnes), 4 mixed voices, alto saxophone, piano, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1998–99

Three Shakespeare Sonnets (text by William Shakespeare), mixed chorus, 2003

When I grow up (text by Petra Ernst), children's chorus, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 2003–04

O Camerado Close! (text by Walt Whitman), 4 mixed voices, 2006

An die Musik (text by Rainer Maria Rilke), children's chorus/mixed chorus, 2006

Krokusse (text by Lothar Knessl), male chorus, small orchestra, 2006–07

Introductio – Meditatio – Magnificat – Epilogus (texts from the Book of Luke, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg), high soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2007–08

Still, still! (text by Petra Ernst, after Franz Graf von Pocci), female chorus, 2008

An die Musik (text by Detlev von Liliencron), mixed chorus, 2009

Jetzt wohin? (Spurensuche) (texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg), male speaker, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2011–12

Ordinarium missæ, soloists, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2012–13


Vier Lieder nach Gedichten von Miller Williams (text by Miller Williams), baritone, flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, 1978

Walt Whitman for President (text by Walt Whitman), soprano, flute, clarinet, guitar, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 1984

Idea 94 (texts by William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Michael Drayton, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg), soprano, cello, piano, 1994

Kein Herbstgedicht (text by Hans-Ulrich Treichel), baritone, piano, 2003


Quasi una variazione (after a waltz by Anton Diabelli), 1981

Agleia sucht Pollicino – und findet Hans, piano 4 hands, 2001

Stop the Piano, piano, fixed media, 2006


Un Amour de Swann, 1984 (Volker Schlöndorff; collaboration with David Paul Graham, Hans Werner Henze, Marcel Wengler)


Croquis et Agaceries d'un Gros Bonhomme en Bois (Erik Satie), French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1994

Streichquartett Nr. 15 in A-moll, Op. 132 (Ludwig van Beethoven), string orchestra, 2011