Wolfgang Rihm, who will be 50 years old in the spring of 2002, is one of the most inspired and prolific contemporary composers. His works are widely performed in Germany and around the world, yet Rihm is little known as a writer. However, his speeches and lectures, his workshop reports, and his reflections on older and contemporary music make up a significant part of his œuvre - and not only as an accompaniment to his compositional work. Reading his intelligent and vivacious texts helps one lose one's inhibitions towards modern music. Wolfgang Rihm has few equals in examining the importance of culture in our time with precision and insight.