From February 16th to March 12, 1999 Stockhausen mixed his recordings in the WDR Übertragungswagen parked in Kürten's Rathausplatz
(Town Hall Square) now known as Karlheinz Stockhausen Platz (Photo: Kathinka Pasveer)

At 4 p.m. on August 22nd 2008, the 80th birthday of the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who passed away in December 2007, the Rathausplatz in Kuerten will be renamed Karlheinz-Stockhausen-Platz in his honour.

The town council of the community substantiated the decision in the following way: “Karlheinz Stockhausen felt at home in the whole world, but he liked to live and work in Kuerten. He thus made Kuerten known world-wide.”

The council had already already honoured this engagement through making Stockhausen the honorary citizen of Kuerten in 1988. Stockhausen, who lived in Kuerten-Kettenberg for 42 years and presented the annual international Stockhausen Concerts and Courses for Music in Kuerten, is for the new music of the 20th Century “internationally recognized as a leading figure”.

In May 2001, on the occasion of Karlheinz Stockhausen being awarded the Polar Music Prize, the president of Germany at that time, Johannes Rau said: “We are delighted that Karlheinz Stockhausen has been given this exceptional honour and that there is a voice extending out into the world from Kuerten serving peace and sending music which is worth listening to into this often so turbulent world.”

In addition to short addresses given by the mayor of Kuerten, Ulrich Iwanow, and members of the board of directors of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, 5 trumpeters of the musikFabrik Cologne will open the ceremony with a performance of MICHAELs RUF (MICHAELs CALL) and will close it with a performance of MICHAELs ABSCHIED (MICHAELs FAREWELL) on the Karlheinz-Stockhausen-Platz.

Speech given by Suzanne Stephens, chairman of the board of directors of the
Stockhausen Foundation for Music (pdf)


Unveiling of memorial in Karlheinz Stockhausen-Platz
L to R: Kathinka Pasveer, Ulrich Iwanow, Mayor of Kürten, Christel Stockhausen-Hektoen
and Suzanne Stephens