born on 20 November 1925 in Szczawno-Zdrój, Poland (at the time Bad Salzbrunn, Silesia).
He studied singing and choral conducting. From 1954 to 1958 Gottwald was assistant to the French choral director Marcel Couraud, and from 1958 to 1970 he worked as music director at St. Paul’s Church in Stuttgart. Gottwald studied Protestant theology, sociology and musicology in Tübingen and Frankfurt, where he gained his doctorate in 1961 with a dissertation on the Renaissance composer Johann Ghiselin-Verbonnet. In 1960 he founded the Schola Cantorum Stuttgart, an ensemble of 16-18 professional singers, and working with them, he pursued his aim of re-establishing the link between new music and choral music. The ensemble sang in over 80 premieres and first performances before it was disbanded in 1990, and made guest appearances at all the new music festivals from Moscow to New York, from Edinburgh to Jerusalem. The Schola Cantorum Stuttgart was directed by guest conductors including Pierre Boulez, Mauricio Kagel, Michael Gielen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Hans Zender.
In 1972 Pierre Boulez appointed Gottwald to the Planning Committee of the newly-founded IRCAM. From 1967 to 1988 he was Editor for New Music at the former SDR (South German Radio) in Stuttgart. He has also been a frequent guest conductor of various European radio choirs (Lugano, Paris, Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, etc.).
From 1961 to 2004 Gottwald was a scholarship holder from the DFG (German Research Foundation) specializing in the area of music paleography. Apart from a few early compositions, in later years he has published a series of transcriptions for choir in which he has transferred the techniques of composition in new music to traditional models. Over the last few years, these challenging arrangements have been performed in choral concerts throughout the world.His archive of letters and scores is held at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel.
Arrangements by Clytus Gottwald from Carus (Selection)
All works by Clytus Gottwald available from Carus
Recordings of Clytus Gottwald from Carus (Selection)