In memoriam Wolfgang Glüxam


On 29 July 2020, Wolfgang Glüxam passed away following a long and serious illness. We mourn a beloved friend and colleague who was a great artist and an enthusiastic teacher.

Wolfgang Glüxam was born in Melk and first arrived at the mdw as a student in 1976, studying organ under Alfred Mitterhofer and Michael Radulescu, harpsichord under Isolde Ahlgrimm and Gordon Murray, and composition with Thomas Christian David. And in 1982, he went on to study harpsichord with Ton Koopman at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam.

Glüxam first taught harpsichord at the mdw in 1985—and from 1987 he taught here continuously for over 30 years, completing his habilitation 2004. Countless harpsichordists who studied with him tell of his encouraging, inspiring, patient, and undogmatic teaching from which one could learn so many things—not just about music.

Glüxam performed internationally on the harpsichord and the organ, appearing both as a soloist and with a number of ensembles (including the Orchestra da Camera “Lorenzo Da Ponte”, the Salzburger Barockensemble, Concentus Musicus Wien, the Wiener Akademie, and the Vienna RSO). He also maintained important artistic partnerships with figures including Hiro Kurosaki, Patrick Ayrton, and Roberto Zarpellon. He won international compositions from his youth onward, and alongside his teaching and performing activities, he was also a frequently requested juror.

For the Austrian harpsichord scene, Glüxam’s commercial recordings of works by Froberger, Bach, Duphly, and Mozart (many of which were produced in collaboration with Bernhard Trebuch at the ORF) represented a major influence and enrichment. And quite generally, his doings as an artist and as an educator lent the harpsichord an entirely new degree of visibility within Austrian musical life.

With Wolfgang Glüxam’s passing, we have lost a modest, honest, warm-hearted individual and a very special musician—sensitive and powerful, gripping and lively—who alwayshad so much to say. And a further special memory is of how Wolfgang, 25 years ago in the film classic Before Sunrise, was briefly seen and heard playing the Goldberg Variations…. Our thoughts are with his family.