Rolf Schweizer, German composer, Died at 80

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Rolf Schweizer was born on March 14, 1936, and died on June 6, 2016.

He was a German composer, choirmaster and church music director.

Rolf was based primarily at Pforzheim.

He was a member of the contemporary worship music movement and his compositions, several of which appear in the Evangelisches Gesangbuch, were heavily influenced by contemporary secular music, especially jazz.

Schweizer was choirmaster of St John’s in Mannheim, from 1956 to 1966

During 1966, Rolf became district choirmaster of Pforzheim, a position he maintained until his retirement.

During 1969, Rolf was promoted to church music director (Kirchenmusikdirektor, KMD ) and in 1975 he became state choirmaster (Landeskantor) for Mittelbaden

Schweizer turned down the role of Professor of church music at Erlangen, in 1980, but he was granted the title of Professor by the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Lothar Späth.

Rolf was well known for his pedagogical work well beyond his own region.

The people of Pforzheim granted Schweizer its honour ring in 1991 and honorary citizenship in 1998, for his more than 35 years of service in the field of church music.

In 2010, Rolf retired and currently lives in south Baden with his wife, Frohmut.

They had three daughters.

Constanze Schweizer-Elser, their daughter was currently the church choir director at Selb in north-eastern Bavaria.

He composed religious music for songs, brass bands and especially for children’s choirs as well as large choir, orchestra and organ pieces.

Schweizer belonged to the contemporary worship music movement and was heavily influenced by 1960s pop music, especially jazz.

As of 1961, his various musical settings of new sacred songs have been published in hymnals (including EG / EM), pamphlets, music books, choir and band arrangements by the publishers Strube-Verlag (de) (Munich), Hänssler (Stuttgart), Verlag Dohr (de) (Bergheim-Ahe), Verlag Neue Musik, the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag (Fulda) and Carus-Verlag.

His well-known songs include O Herr, mach mich zu einem Werkzeug deines Friedens (O Lord, make me a tool of Thy peace) Das ist ein köstlich ding, dem herren danken (It is good to praise the Lord), and Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing a new song to the Lord, since he does wonders).

Rolf Schweizer passed away at 80 yrs old.

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