Not entirely. At the same time, I had also enrolled with Herbert Eimert
who had set up and ran the electronic studio. Participation in his electronic
studio required a completed study of composition he explained
told him that I did not have such qualifications, but that I could show
him a score from a large opera, in which I had realised the principles
of his serial musical theory.
I left the score with him. After a week he returned it to me, informing
me that I could start my work in his studio and realise the electronic
part of my opera.
so every week I met up with the technical director of this studio of
the music academy, Gerhard Rautenbach, and together with him realised
the electronic music for the operas Diogenes-Vision. He was a
sensitive man, not at all a typical technocrat, and as such an excellent
partner for realising this work
Prof. Dr. Herbert Eimert this electronic work was a great success for
the studio. He asked me to let him and/or the music academy have the
score (approx. 4 m wide and 1.5 m high) and had it hung on the large
wall of the studio where it could not be overlooked by anybody
And year in, year out, he proudly showed everybody who came from the
home country or abroad this score.
me he never uttered a word about this anyway, he wasnt
a man to talk big, but in my opinion he was a unique thinker.
And the entire avant-garde has so far benefited more from him than they
are actually aware of.
is not only the founder of the first electronic studio in the world
(at the Westdeutsche Rundfunk, the West German Radio) and
the father of electronic music, but, besides Arnold Schönberg and
somebody else, he is also one of the three founders of modern serial
compositional technique and above all, the person to complete this musical
Would you say that the time at the music academy in Cologne was useful
Yes. Absolutely. On one hand, I was able to work there in the electronic
studio. On the other hand, Prof. Zimmermann also confirmed my general
mental attitude to music, and possibly made sure that the then head
of the cultural department of Cologne, Kurt Hackenberg, supported me
financially when I set up my own electronic studio.
What was the attitude of the academys management towards you?
On the whole very good. However, the academy tried to impose a single
task on me, this was my participation in the academys choir. However,
in 1966 I then opted out of some choral work.
principal and deputy principal of the academy warned me several times,
supposedly a lesson was cancelled in the main subject, and they also
threatened that further non-compliance with the commitment I had taken
towards the academy would lead to even stricter measures and would finally
mean having my name removed from the academys register
the principal of the academy invited me into his office and begged me
almost on his knees to take part in the academys choir. He admitted
that nobody wanted to join the choir, but if they let me get away with
it, everybody would refer to me and nobody would turn up. And this would
be a breach of the academys rules.
academy and also the ministry for the arts and sciences had already
made an exception with me by exempting me from all lessons. But would
I please, for heavens sake, go to the choir. Once a week for 2
hours. He could not justify it in front of the other students if I didnt
go. The whole choir was in danger of falling apart.
And what was your reaction?
I replied that first of all I had never committed myself in any way
to the academy, and that therefore it was his problem alone to solve
this matter and not mine. I also regarded it as a violation of my mind
to sing this ridiculous song Id perhaps come when there
were other things on the agenda. But I couldnt act against my
conscience, because it was clear to me that this would also be the end
of my career, and he couldnt ask me to do this, neither could
the minister for the arts nobody could.Beethoven
he threatened to throw me out of the academy. I told him that this was
also his problem alone and that of the minister for the arts and not
mine. They should do what they thought was right. But it might be possible
that I was the only one to bring some form of praise to the academy
one day and to give justification to the academys existence. It
was true that I couldnt be absolutely sure that I was the only
one in many decades,Brahms
I could promise him, I was one of them. And I didnt care one bit
what decision they would make I would definitely not go to the
And what happened then?
PETER HÜBNER: I didnt go to the choir, I never went to the choir again, I was
also never asked again to go to the choir, neither was I thrown out
of the academy. I never heard anything again in this matter, and the
existence of the academys choir has also so far coped with my
When did you finish your time at the academy of music in Cologne?
I was registered at the academy until 1969 in order to use the electronic