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German composer, conductor and teacher Wilhelm Killmayer was born in Munich on 21 August 1927. He studied conducting, composition and musicology in Munich. Later he also studied privately with Carl Orff.
He first came to attention as a composer with his Lorca-Romanzen, first performed at the Donaueschingen Festival. This was followed by his 1954 Missa brevis, which received that year's Fromm Music Foundation Award. He went on to write three symphonies, other orchestral and stage works, and three cycles of Hölderlin-Lieder.
He taught composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München from 1973 until 1992.
In 1990 he won the Hindemith Prize at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, in 2003 he was awarded the Musikpreis der Landeshauptstadt München and in 2010 the chamber music prize of the Christoph und Stephan Kaske Foundation.
Wilhelm Killmayer died in Starnberg on 20 August 2017, aged eighty-nine.