Composition, theory, new chamber music
As a successful composer since the 1980s, Claus has composed many pieces of chamber music, pieces for the orchestra, and two operas (La petite Mort, 1989, Die Geschichte von der Schüssel und vom Löffel, 1998) and two short operas (In Rotkäppchens Bett, 2007 and Schneewittchen beißt an, 2009). 2006 saw the premiere of his work, Voller Sonnen, a concerto for mandolin and 13 instrumentalists, which he sees as one of his key works, at the world new music festival in Stuttgart. For young piano students and keen amateurs alike, he released an album with Breitkopf in 2007, Der beleidigte Papagei, which received very positive reviews for its teaching concept in many German and foreign publications.
As a composition teacher, Kühnl teaches according to a principle that was summed up neatly by Ravel: "you have to start learning the profession of others, and an entire lifetime is not enough to perfect your own!" With deep roots in tradition, Claus Kühnl is always open to musical experimentation. The old ideas about counterpoint, which were devised around a thousand years ago in Europe, are as contemporary in his mind as the entirely different Asiatic concept of the individual tone as a separate entity. He is particularly interested in complex serial structures and new options for differentiation of intervals.
Young composers are taught in small groups of pupils, to whom Kühnl could dedicate more attention because of the less formal structure of the Conservatory - compared to the opportunities at a School of Music.
Even the youngest, from as young as nine, who show a talent for composition, receive attention and individual support.