Götz Naleppa

Born in East Prussia in 1943; grew up in Berlin after the war and then in Stuttgart. Studied theatre studies, German language and literature, art history in Berlin and Madrid, graduating with a doctorate in 1970 from the Free University, Berlin. Dissertation "Early forms of religious theatre in Spain; their development and remains in the present (The 'Loa' of La Alberca)".

5 years as assistant director at the Schiller Theatre, Berlin, during the directorship of Boleslaw Barlog.

Freelance work as director for theatre and radio plays, as author and translator (Spanish, English, French).

From 1970 director and dramaturge in the radio play department of RIAS-Berlin. 1977 Chief dramaturge in the radio drama department of Südwestfunk, Baden-Baden. 1978 Return to RIAS-Berlin.

In the 1970s, Naleppa was instrumental in the development of the 1TP4 radio play and the 1TP5 radio play. Through his collaboration with George Tabori, his directing work became increasingly actor-oriented. In the 1980s he turned to musical and experimental radio plays as well as sound composition.

First sound compositions since 1983, first with the Berlin sound project "Transit Communication", since the 1990s own solo works in the field of sound composition.

Teaching positions at the TU and Hochschule der Künste, Berlin; teaching and directing in Latin America.

From 1994 to 1996, he built up the radio play departments of Deutschlandradio (Cologne/Berlin) as radio play director of both radio stations, and founded the weekly programme "Klangkunst".

From 1996 director and dramaturge for Deutschlandradio Berlin / Deutschlandradio Kultur (responsible editor for sound art).

Götz Naleppa left Deutschlandradio at the end of 2008. Freelance work as a sound composer and director and media artist.

Götz Naleppa has been jury president of the "Prix Phonurgia Nova" and "Prix Pierre Schaeffer" several times and is a permanent member of the Advisary Board of the New York Festivals.

Numerous awards for radio play productions and sound compositions (multiple Radio Play of the Month, Prix Europa, Prix Marulic, Prix Italia 2009, "Gold Award" of the New York Festival 2008, 2014 and 2018 among others).

"Radio people"

from the Deutschlandradio programme 5/2003:

Radio? It didn't come naturally to me, at first it looked more like a theatre career: founding a school theatre in Stuttgart at sixteen, extra series at the opera, then student theatre, theatre studies, assistant director to Boleslaw Barlog at the Schiller/Schlosspark Theatre in Berlin for five years, sitting in on rehearsals of Beckett, Kortner, Schweikart, learning the theatre trade from scratch, alongside my studies and doctorate.

Then, when my teacher Barlog left, one of the many breaks in my life: away from theatre and towards the completely unknown medium of radio drama. A director's sick leave at RIAS made it possible. Which button do I press so that the actors behind the screen can hear me? Imperceptibly, the new medium seduces me away from the visual, towards hearing, towards listening. Doesn't hearing penetrate layers of the human being that are closed to the optical?

Formative was the encounter with a new great teacher: George Tabori. It was the 'wild 70s' at the RIAS radio play, experiments, collages, Originalton, Kunstkopf, group work - a mirror of the turmoil of 68. And Tabori spoke of listening, respect for the actor, curiosity and liveliness. Maybe it was only then that I became a director, as I understand the profession today. But this productive apprenticeship was made possible above all by the tolerance and humanity of the head of radio plays, Gerhard Niezoldi - a non-conformist with a feeling for talent and quality.

When he left, the years of apprenticeship were followed by years of travelling, guest directing at many ARD stations. And then the Wall fell, and soon after RIAS no longer existed. Another break. Now I had to take responsibility, not only for a single radio play manuscript or a radio play production, but for a radio play department, first at Deutschlandfunk in Cologne, then the joint radio play editorial office in Berlin and Cologne. This meant foregoing one's own artistic work in favour of the 'Gesamtkunstwerk' radio play programme, building up a new department from East and West, in which everyone could learn from everyone else, exciting and gruelling. When the development was complete and the structures had been created - another break. Giving up the management of the radio drama department, returning to artistic work and above all concentrating on a secret love: the art of sound, the musical side of radio drama.

Music has accompanied me almost imperceptibly throughout my professional life, from the extra series at the Stuttgart Opera when I heaped gold bars on stage for Wolfgang Windgassen in "Rheingold", to nights with Pink Floyd and the Beatles' White Album in the 1960s - to the founding of the experimental radio play formation "Transit Communication" with jazz musicians in the early 1980s. It was only late that I realised how much my secret love of music played a part in each of my productions. So now the Deutschlandradio Kultur programme "Klangkunst", weekly 55 minutes of midnight sound compositions, boundless, outrageous. Text - sound - music? Again the familiar place between the chairs. Uncomfortable and unsuitable for falling asleep. What did Tabori always ask at rehearsals: 'Stay curious!' This curiosity has rather increased with age. As has the desire to pass on what I have learned, at universities and in workshops, to encourage the next generation - perhaps as a thank you to my great teachers. This thought gave rise to my favourite programme, the Newcomer Workshop, which is not dedicated to the masters of sound art, but to the unfinished, the gifted, the seekers, the young noisemakers and troublemakers. Isn't restlessness called the particle that keeps the clock running?

(Götz Naleppa)

"Magic in deeper layers"

Der Tagesspiegel from 20.12.2013

"Götz Naleppa is one of the best-known radio playwrights in the country. He turns 70 on Christmas Eve. A pre-party in Friedenau..."

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