Heinz Thaddäus Winbeck was born into a working-class family in Landshut, Germany on February 11, 1946. He was introduced to music by his mother, who used a damages payment awarded after her son was involved in a traffic accident to buy a piano. By 1964 he had already begun studying piano at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich with Magda Rusy and conducting with Fritz Rieger, and continued his studies at the State Music Conservatory in Munich with Jan Koetsier and in composition with Harald Genzmer and Günter Bialas (state exam ination in composition, 1973).
Despite initial successes—for example with Entgegengesang in 1974 at the Third Music Festival Stuttgart and First Prize at the first composition competition of the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker—Heinz Winbeck initially accepted the position of Music Director at the Stadttheater Ingolstadt, but resigned after four years in order to follow his own path in New Music. Encouraged by a “Cité Internationale des Arts” scholarship in Paris in 1981, further awards, and performances in Donaueschingen (1984), Munich (musica viva 1985 and 1988) and Saarbrücken (1987), he continued work as a freelance composer.
In addition to a small number of chamber and orchestral works, his output includes five large-scale symphonies, as well as a cycle of three string quartets. Starting in 1987 he was a lecturer in composition at University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, accepted a professorship in composition at the University of Music Wuerzburg in 1988, and was a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich until his death. The 23 years of teaching composition introduced a new and important dimension in his life, something he took very seriously. Although in those years he still composed extensive works such as his final two symphonies De Profundis and Jetzt und in der Stunde des Todes (Now and in the Hour of Death), the intervals between phases of composition became longer.
As if saying “I have said it all,” after composing his final composition (the Schubert-inspired ballet Lebensstürme (Storms of Life) in 2011, Heinz Winbeck could no longer be persuaded to compose any further works.
In March of 2019 he died suddenly, but not unexpectedly, given how this topic runs through all his works, starting from his youth.
CDs released by GENUIN
with Heinz Thaddäus Winbeck