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German composer and teacher Manfred Weiss was born in Niesky on 12 February 1935 into a Herrnhut Brethren Community missionary family, and retained an upright attitude, defending Christian ethics under the communist East German regime to the detriment of his early career.
As a child he was taught violin and piano, sang in the church choir, played the organ and began to compose at twelve. He studied composition with Hans Stieber and music theory with Franz von Glasenapp in Halle at the Staatliche Hochschule für Theater und Musik, and then with Rudolf Wagner-Régeny, Ruth Zechlin and Jürgen Wilbrandt at the Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler' in East Berlin.
His output as a composer includes over a hundred and twenty works, and he's remembered especially for his symphonies, concertos, vocal music and the 1998 cantata Die Erlösten Gottes after the Book of Revelation, for two mixed choirs, brass and percussion.
He taught composition in Dresden at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, rising through the ranks to become prorector and helping to restructure the music school after German reunification.
Manfred Weiss died in Dresden on 25 April 2023, aged eighty-eight.
Classical music news - April 2023 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month