Henze, Hans Werner (1926 – 2012)
German composer renowned for his left-wing political convictions perhaps more than his music. He left Germany for Italy in 1953 owing to a perceived intolerance towards his politics and sexuality. He resided and died in the village of Marino in the central Italian region of Lazio. SIG – Vintage signature on a small slip of paper which he has dated from Rome. An uncommon signature An avowed Marxist and member of the Italian Communist Party, Henze produced compositions honoring Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. The librettist of his requiem for Che Guevara, titled “Das FloB der Medusa” (the Raft of Medusa), was among several people arrested at the 1968 Hamburg premiere for placing a red flag on the stage. Henze spent a year teaching in Cuba, although he later became disillusioned with Castro. His music was extremely varied in style, having been influenced at various times by atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music and jazz.