Obituary: Composer Rudolf Kelterborn Passes at 89

By Nicolas Quiroga

Swiss musician and composer Rudolf Kelterborn passed away on March 24, 2021 in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland. He was 89.

Kelterborn was born on September 3, 1931 and would go on to study in Basel, Detmolo, Salzburg, and Zurich, among others, with such composers Walther Geiser, Willy Burtfhard, Günter Bialas, and Wolfgang Fortner.

Throughout his long career, he served as a lecturer and professor at various music schools in Germany and Switzerland, and directed the Basel Music Academy from 1983 to 1994. He was a guest lecturer in the US, England, Japan, China, and Eastern Europe.

He headed the Swiss-German radio music division from 1974 to 1980. In 1987, he co-founded the Basel Music Forum and was responsible for its programs until 1997.

As a composer, he engaged with various musical genres, including chamber music, and composed five operas, including “Der Kirschgarten,” which opened the newly rebuilt Zürich Opera in 1984.