Hoffmann, Richard

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Composer Name


Born: April 20, 1925

Country: Vienna, Austria (citizen U.S.A. 1963)

Studies: Auckland University (1945), University of California, Los Angeles

Teachers: Arnold Schoenberg

RICHARD HOFFMANN was born in Vienna (1925), raised in New Zealand, where he emigrated in 1935, and settled in the United States in 1947. He began studying the violin at the age of 5 and had his first public performance (of an orchestral suite) when he was 10. After academic studies in New Zealand, he sent manuscripts to Arnold Schoenberg, who thereupon accepted him as a scholarship pupil. From his arrival until Schoenberg's death in 1951, Hoffmann worked closely with the great composer, becoming his amanuensis and secretary. Simultaneously, he began teaching and studying for his Ph.D. at U.C.L.A., and remained in teaching positions there until he moved to Oberlin (1953); he is now Associate Professor of Music of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Out of Hoffmann's close association with Schoenberg grew his technique of composition which, though serial in method, uses tone-rows that are not necessarily dodecaphonic. In practice, every element of his music — the intervals, metres, rhythms, timbres and dynamics — is systematically organized.[1]

Works for Percussion

Changes for Chimes - Percussion Quartet