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Heinrich Kaminski (Composer)

Born: July 4, 1886 - Tiengen, Schwarzwald, Germany
Died: June 21, 1946 - Ried, Upper Bavaria, Germany

Heinrich Kaminski was a German composer. He was the son of an Old Catholic priest of Jewish parentage. After a short period working in a bank in Offenbach, he moved to Heidelberg, originally to study politics. However, a chance meeting with Martha Warburg changed his mind: she recognised his musical gift and became his patroness. In 1909 he went to Berlin and began studying music at the Stern Conservatoire.

In 1914 Heinrich Kaminski began work as a piano teacher in Benediktbeuern. His friends and contemporaries at this time included the painter Emil Nolde and also Franz Marc, whose wife was among his piano students. During World War I he was also active as a choirmaster and teacher of composition. Later he received a professorship at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin, where he became director of a master-class in composition (thus treading in the footsteps of Hans Pfitzner). His most significant pupils were Carl Orff, Heinz Schubert and Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling.

Heinrich Kaminski's contract was terminated in 1933 with no renewal on the grounds of his "political opinions" and he returned to Benediktbeuern. Various attempts to re-establish his career came to nothing for the same reason. A check of his ancestry - he had been categorised in 1938 as a "half-Jew", and in 1941 declared a "quarter-Jew" - led to an ongoing ban on the performance of his works. He found himself obliged to flee, to France and Switzerland among other places. Between 1939 and 1945 he lost three children, and died himself in 1946 at Ried in Upper Bavaria.


His works includes chorales, concertos, songs, choral sonatas, motets and other choral works, as well as operas.

Jürg Jenatsch
Das Spiel vom König Aphelius ("The Game of King Aphelius")

Choral sonatas:
Psalm 130 (Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir)
Der Tag ist hin
("The Day Is Ended")

Concerto grosso

Quartett für Klavier, Klarinette, Viola und Violoncello a op. 1b (1912)
Sonata dramatica für Streichquartett fis (1912)
Streichquartett F (1913)
Streichquintett fis (1915)
Canzona für Violine und Orgel (1916)
Quintett für Klarinette, Horn, Violine, Viola und Violoncello (1925)
Streichquintett fis. Neubearbeitung (1926)
Praeludium und Fuge für Violine und Orgel (1927/29)
Musik für 2 Violinen und Cembalo (1930)
Canon für Violine und Orgel (1931)
Praeludium und Fuge für Viola (1931/32)
Musik für Violoncello und Klavier (1935)
Hauskonzert für Violine und Klavier (1940)
Ballade für Horn und Klavier (1941)

Source: Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2008)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohen Lüfte, chorale for chorus

Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohen Lüfte


O Jesulein süß, chorale for chorus

Komm, heilger Geist, mit deiner Genad


Vergiß mein nicht, chorale for chorus

Vergiß mein nicht


Links to other Sites

Heinrich Kaminski (Wikipedia) [English]
Heinrich Kaminski (Wikipedia) [German]

Heinrich Kaminski (Official Website) [German]



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Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 15:11