Biography of Diethelm Caspar:
Born in 1926 in Lucerne, died in 1997 in Lucerne. He studied music at the Conservatory and at the Church Music
School Lucerne. He had private lessons in composition with J.B. Hilber and Albert Jenny and then further studies
with Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, as well as holiday courses in Darmstadt (among others Stockhausen,
Nono). He trained as a conductor with Ernst Hans Beer and Alexander Krannhals.
Caspar Diethelm worked as a teacher of music history, theoretical subjects and chamber music at the
Conservatory of Lucerne from 1963 until 1993. At the same time he conducted his own works at home and abroad. His busy lecturing schedule attracted attention in wide circles, and so did the essays he wrote. In 1969 he received
the artistic award Obwalden and in 1985 the artistic award of the town of Lucerne.
From 1950 on, he occupied himself intensively with twelve-tone technique, atonality, serialism and aleatorics.
However, he rejected any dogmatic orientation. He developed a hugely independent, expressive and energetic
musical language, which immediately became accessible to the listener.
Caspar Diethelm’s story would be incomplete without mentioning his additional activities. He was an active
politician, who, at an early stage, got involved in conservation and the protection of the countryside. Also, he kept
up-to-date as a botanist and mineralogist (with a comprehensive collection of crystals and agates that he partly cut
himself). He was as much an expert on mushrooms as he was as a historian of music. It is not surprising that his
idol was the “Homo universalis” of the Renaissance.