Mauricio Kagel was among the most distinctive of contemporary music composers. The genre on which he exerted perhaps the greatest influence, and with which he has always been most closely associated, is music theatre. Alongside radical innovations in this area, he developed a highly personal aesthetic in his absolute music.
Kagel’s creative output was enormous. It encompasses not only stage, orchestral and chamber music in an extremely wide range of instrumental settings, but also film scores, radio plays and essays. His music, across its broad spectrum, reveals a breach with all, and any, forms of academicism, yet at the same time a close connection to tradition, particularly to the German tradition.
Imagination, originality and humour are the hallmarks of this multimedia artist. With an inexhaustible gift for invention, Kagel drew on the most varied modes of expression, which, although often seemingly caustic and provocative, are always used in the interests of musical intensity.
Kagel was awarded many prizes for his music. Notable honours include the Erasmus Prize (1998), the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis 2000, the Großer Rheinischer Kunstpreis (2002) and, in 2007, an Honorary Doctorate from Siegen University.