Born: January 29, 1933 - Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Died: July 26, 2015
The German conductor, Wolfgang Gönnenwein, was born the son of a church music director (KMD), and studied music and German Philosophy in Stuttgart, Heidelberg and Tübingen.
After finishing his studies Wolfgang Gönnenwein took up his career as a conductor leading the Süddeutscher Madrigalchor in Stuttgart (from 1959), with whom he toured the Federal Republic of Germany, Western Europe and South America. Radio station in Germany and abroad welcome him as their guest, and the considerable number of his recordings, including, among others, the great oratorios, give proof of the stylistic versatility of his repertoire.
In 1968 Wolfgang Gönnenwein was appointed Professor of choir-leading at the Stuttgart Conservatoire. Between 1968 (or 1969) and 1973 he was director of the Cologne Bachchor. From 1971 (or 1972) to 2004 he was Artistic Director of the Schloßfestspiele in Ludwigsburg. From 1973 to 1982 he was Rector of Academy of Music and Arts in Stuttgart. From 1985 to 1992 he was Intendant (General Director) of the Württembergischen Staatstheater in Stuttgart.
Wolfgang Gönnenwein also entered into politics in 1988, when the then Baden-Württemberg premier Lothar Späth convinced him to accept a government post. Until 1991, Gönnenwein held the specially created office of voluntary state secretary for art. In 2005 he became President of the Landesmusikrat (State Music Council) Baden-Württemberg, where he increasingly devoted himself to the young musicians. Gönnenwein shaped the Baden-Württemberg Cultural Policy as strong as a few others, as a source of ideas and ambassadors abroad.
For EMI, Wolfgang Gönnenwein recorded many of J.S. Bach's sacred works, as well as Haydns oratorios and W.A. Mozart's Requiem. He also recorded for Cantate and Erato labels.