It is with deep sorrow that we at Ensemble Musikfabrik announce the passing of Ulrich Löffler on Tuesday, August 30th after a brief but severe illness. Uli was one of our founding members and a longstanding chairman of our association board. He was a marvelous colleague, fundamental to our ensemble in countless ways – an integral part of Musikfabrik’s DNA. Not only was he a beautifully expressive musician, driving the funk and groove in so many of our defining projects on stages worldwide, but also a steadfast colleague, willing to take responsibility during key changes in our often turbulent history.
His keyboard talents were legendary and will be sorely missed. Whether playing Schumann, Bach or Mozart on a Steinway, Partch on a Chromelodeon, or Zappa on Minimoog, Hohner Clavinet E7, or Fender Rhodes, his emotional and physical presence rocked them all. The premiere of the complete version of Wolfgang Rihm’s monumental Chiffre cycle was led by Uli’s powerful, thundering interpretations. His engaging performances and warmhearted personality sparked unique relationships and collaborations with composers like Helmut Lachenmann, Mauricio Kagel, Nicholas A. Huber, Enno Poppe, and Rebecca Saunders. Uli was also generous with his knowledge and skills. He dedicated much of his time to introducing the vast world of analog synthesizers from the ‘70s and ‘80s to composers, mentoring and inspiring them to bring these unique sounds into the contemporary music language.
We will cherish the memory of Uli’s fierce energy, integrity, love for good whisky, mischievous humor, and quick laugh. He was constantly challenging us, spurring us on to keep creating and evolving as a group. It is inconceivable to think of the ensemble without him. However, he would certainly have little patience were we to stall our efforts in bringing the music dear to his heart into the hearts of others. Our thoughts and love go out to his friends and family, especially to his beloved wife and our dear colleague Hannah, his two sons, and his grandson.
The musicians of Ensemble Musikfabrik