Do you know the "Concerto funebre for violin and strings" by Karl Amadeus Hartmann? This violin concerto was composed in 1939 and is a reaction to the horror of Nazi Germany and the invasion into Poland. The Violin concerto No.2 by Siegfried Geissler is the masterful counterpart referring to the horror of the GDR regime. Never heard of Siegfried Geissler and never heard the Violin concerto No.2? Well, that is the problem and that is what I would like to change:


Siegfried Rudolf Geißler was born on 26 March 1929 in Dresden (Germany). He studied music at the Conservatory in Dresden from 1943 to 1946 and graduated as an orchestral musician for piano and horn. His first positions were those as the principal hornist in the orchestras of Cottbus, Speyer and finally Sonneberg. Since his days in Speyer he also worked as a conductor and in 1953 Siegfried Geißler was appointed prinicipal conductor of the "Erzgebirgsphilharmonie" in Aue. In the next years he directed the "Thüringische Kreiskulturorchester Mühlhausen", was assistant conductor under Heinz Bongartz of the Dresdner Philharmonie from 1958 to 1962, and assistant conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra in Gotha. In 1965 he finally became the music director of the State Symphony Orchestra in Suhl. Siegfried Geißler used this position to form an outstanding, internationally renowned symphony orchestra offside the central cities in the German Democratic Republic and also founded the choral society and the boys' choir in Suhl. These activities brought him the appreciation of the governance and some kind of freedom to do whatever he wanted. Siegfried Geißler used this freedom to perform with his orchestra compositions that were not true to the party lines of the GDR regime, commissioned dissident artists to design concert programs and always took a critical stand to the situation and the activities of the GDR. In 1980 the executive was fed up with this behaviour of Siegfried Geißler and he was released from his position as music director of the orchestra in Suhl. Since then he worked as a composer.
In 1989 the activities of Siegfried Geißler took a new direction when he was an active part of the peaceful revolution in the GDR. In that year he was co-founder of the New Forum Suhl, a political movement of this time and one of the persons who occupied the building of the Ministry of State Security in Suhl to prevent the elimination of the Stasi files. His activities finally led to a mandate in the state parliament of Thuringia where he became the chairman by seniority. After one election period Siegfried Geißler retired from his political positions in 1993. Siegfried Geißler died on 10 July 2014 in Suhl (Germany).

full score, sound snippet, review:

Next year in 2019 Siegfried Geissler would have become 90 years old. That is a good occasion to point the attention to his life, his works and - in my case - especially to his second violin concerto. I am pleased to present on my website the full score and a sound snippet of the world premiere. I also wrote a small review which is also available on my website, but it exists only in German. So please stop by and get to know one of the best and most important German violin concertos of the 20th century:

Enjoy and spread the word!