A German composer and conductor born November 22, 1936 in Wiesbaden (Germany), who died October 22, 2019 in Meersburg.
A pianist by training, Hans Zender studied composition and conducting at the Musikhochschule of Frankfurt and Freiburg im Breisgau.
Though the æsthetic principles of Bernd-Alois Zimmermann, the sophisticated instrumentation of Pierre Boulez and serial techniques at first captivated him, he rapidly distanced himself from them and turned towards the Extreme Orient (China, Japan), the spirituality of which, the art (haiku, calligraphy, noh theatre) and the various philosophies he found inspirational (Muji No Kyo, 1974; cycle Lo-Shu, 1977-1997; Hannya Shin Gyo, 2012). Attentive to literary matters, Zender has used texts of the Bible, of Cervantes, Heraclitus, Nietzsche, Adorno and Hölderlin (cycle Hölderlin lesen, 1979-2000; Stephen Climax, opera, 1984). He in particular studied isorhythm (Tre pezzi, 1963) and more generally questions of time, rhythm and form, and has composed re-readings of the past (Dialog mit Haydn, 1982; Schubert Winterreise, 1993). The plurality of means and of genres became recurrent: multi-textuality, the superposition of different musical layers, collages, montages (cycle Canto, 1965-2009).
Hans Zender also combines a career as composition teacher and conductor, notably with Bonn Opera, the Sarrebruck Radio Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio and the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.