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Walter Steffens studied composition in Hamburg with Philip Jarnach * Received awards from Hamburg, Berlin, and Paris (Cité des Arts) * In 1969 he started to teach a class for composition at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold * Opera Under Milk Wood based on the ‘play for voices’ by Dylan Thomas written for the BBC * Further works for the stage: Die Judenbuche, Der Philosoph * has composed numerous works based on paintings (about 80 single paintings), eg Four Watercolours after Paul Klee op.63 since 1960 * ‘Mixed concordant working process’ (Steffens) based on the composer’s own eight-note scale with scale-related sound patterns

Works by Walter Steffens include:
Under Milk Wood (1972) opera based on the play by Dylan Thomas
The Jew’s Beech (1992) opera after Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s novel
The Philosopher (1990) comic opera

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