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Siegmund Goldhammer

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Siegmund Goldhammer


Siegmund Goldhammer (b. 8 March 1932, Bielen near Nordhausen, Thuringia, East Germany [GDR]) is a German educator, composer, arranger and conductor.

At the age of eight, he learned the accordion. Later he received piano lessons and taught himself to play the trumpet. After the war he took up an apprenticeship as a carpenter and then studied trumpet, contrabass and piano at the Technical College of Music in Weimar from 1949 to 1952. He then worked as an orchestral musician and at the same time kept himself busy with smaller compositions and instrumentation.

From 1962 to 1967 he completed a second degree specializing in composition and conducting at the “Hanns Eisler” College of Music in Berlin. Goldhammer became Erster Kapellmeister (first conductor) in the orchestra of the “Wachregiment Berlin” (Guards Regiment of Berlin). In 1971, he was appointed Chief Conductor, and in 1975, Musical Director. His ideological instrumentalization and ongoing control of the orchestra brought political and personal reprisals. Resulting health issues led to his dismissal in 1982.

Under constant observation by the Ministry of State Security, Goldhammer began working as a freelance composer and conductor and developed numerous musically fruitful contacts with orchestras, for example with the Central Orchestra of the National People’s Army under Colonel GMD Gerhard Baumann, and the Leipzig Radio Wind Orchestra under Jochen Wehner.

In 1983, Goldhammer received a teaching assignment for conducting at the “Hanns Eisler” College of Music in Berlin and became a mentor for numerous amateur wind orchestras as well as a lecturer and a juror at competitions.

The reunification of Germany in 1989 and the ensuing political turnaround brought a cultural restructuring, which made it difficult for him to take up another artistic activity.

In 1991, Goldhammer found employment as a second conductor and artistic director of the newly formed “Großes Berliner Blasorchester“ (Great Berlin Wind Orchestra). Also, the establishment of the “Bogsdorfer Kreis” (Bogsdorf Circle), a community of German composersin 1993, enabled the preservation of the work of composers of the former GDR, including Goldhammer.

In the following years Goldhammer developed an intensive collaboration with RUNDEL, the music publisher of the town Rot an der Rot. This resulted in a further collaboration with the Brandenburg State Police Orchestra under the direction of Peter Vierneisel. Several works by Goldhammer were recorded on CDs.

As a composer, Goldhammer mainly devoted himself to dance music, jazz and film music, and to chamber and orchestral music, especially music for wind orchestra. His ability to edit symphonic orchestral works for wind orchestra made him the master of brass sound in the German-speaking world and an extremely sought-after arranger.

Works for Winds