The orchestra of SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg, which is being forcibly merged with the radio orchestra in Stuttgart, awoke today to news of the death of its long-standing director, Otto Tomek. He was 85 and he had worked with German radio orchestras for over 40 years, succeeding Heinrich Strobel at SWR. He was also in charge of content at the Donaueschingen and Schwetzinger festivals.
Tomek, Vienna born, started out in the 195-s at Cologne radio, making it the world epicentre of electronic music. The premieres he presented there in a series titled ”Music of our time”, included works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Mauricio Kagel, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, György Ligeti, Luigi Nono and Morton Feldman.
Aside from his broadcasting role, Tomek was chair of the artistic committee at Universal Edition and was personally responsible for bringing out the works of John Cage.
(right, with Andras Varga Bálint András, Pierre Boulez and UE colleagues in Budapest)