Biographical details

  • 1895 Born on 10 July in Munich
  • 1898 Birth of his sister Maria (Mia)
  • 1900 First piano tuition and first recording of compositions on a slate
  • 1905 Music composed for his own puppet theatre
  • 1912-14 Studies at the Academy of Music in Munich
  • 1914 Further studies with Hermann Zilcher
  • 1916 Musical director of Munich Chamber Theatre
  • 1917 Military service, trapped on the Eastern front
  • 1918 Musical director in Mannheim and Darmstadt
  • 1919 Study of old masters of the 16th and 17th century; private circle of students in Munich
  • 1920-27 Married to Alice Solscher
  • 1920 Studies with Heinrich Kaminski
  • 1921 Birth of daughter Godela
(Carl Orff 1898)
(Carl Orff 1917)
(Carl Orff 1921 with his daughter Godela)
  • 1924 Foundation of Günther School in Munich
  • 1925 First performance of new arrangement of ›L'Orfeo‹ by Monteverdi
  • 1926 Begins cooperation with Gunild Keetman
  • 1930 Performance of ›Entrata‹ originally by William Byrd
  • 1931 First editions of Schulwerk
  • 1932 Arrangement and adaptation of the St Lukas Passion attributed to Bach
  • 1932-33 Musical director of Munich Bach Society
  • 1936 Music for ›Olympic Festival‹: “Einzug und Reigen”
  • 1937 First performance of ›Carmina Burana‹
  • 1939-53 Married to Gertrud Willert
  • 1939 First performance of ›Der Mond‹ and first performance of ›Ein Sommernachtstraum‹ (3rd version)
  • 1943 First performance of ›Die Kluge‹ und ›Catulli Carmina‹
  • 1944 Günther school closed down by the Nazis
(Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman around 1937)
(Berlin Olympic Stadium 1936)
(Carl Orff 1942)
  • 1947 Receives music prize from the city of Munich; first performance of ›Bernauerin‹
  • 1948 First school radio broadcasts ›Orff Schulwerk. Musik für Kinder‹
  • 1949 First performance of ›Antigonae‹
  • 1950-54 Schott Music publishes ›Orff Schulwerk. Musik für Kinder‹
  • 1950-60 Director of master class for composition at the Music College in Munich
  • 1953 First performance of ›Trionfo di Afrodite‹
  • 1954-59 Married to Luise Rinser
  • 1956 Member of the fraternity ›pour le mérite‹ for arts and sciences
  • 1959 First performance of ›Oedipus der Tyrann‹; honorary professor of the University of Tübingen
  • 1960 Married Liselotte Schmitz
  • 1962, 1963 und 1966 Gives lectures on ›Schulwerk‹ abroad
  • 1968 First performance of ›Prometheus‹
  • 1972 Honorary professor of the University of Munich, awarded Great Cross of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1973 First performance of ›De temporum fine comoedia‹
  • 1975-81 Work on the documentation ›Carl Orff und sein Werk‹ in eight volumes
  • 1982 Died on 29 March in Munich, buried in the Chapel of sorrow in the monastery church of Andechs
(Carl Orff with his wife Liselotte)
(Carl Orff 1975)
(Carl Orff in his study in Dießen 1980)

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Images: all OZM; except 4: Minna Ronnefeld; 7: Christa Feiler