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17. July 2023

Ernst-Ludwig “Luten” Petrowsky

Saxophonist, composer and author Ernst Ludwig “Luten” Petrowsky, one of Germany’s most prominent and distinctive jazz musicians, has died at the age of 89.

Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky was awarded the German Jazz Prize 2022 for his lifetime achievement.

In honour and remembrance of this great artist, we would like to highlight the reasons given by jury member and journalist Ulf Drechsel for the lifetime achievement award to Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky:

“Ernst-Ludwig “Luten” Petrowsky began his career as a jazz musician in 1957 as a member of Eberhard Weise’s orchestra. Since then, he has set milestones on the international jazz scene like no other GDR musician. When people talk about so-called GDR free jazz, it is impossible to imagine it without him. An essential core of his musical activities since 1982 has also been his work with his spouse, the singer Uschi Brüning. Together, the duo explored the sonic possibilities between classical jazz songs and free improvisation with great dedication, imagination and humour, and shaped many musical projects as special guests – from big band to blues band. His saxophone playing – sometimes restrained and tender, sometimes expressive and shrill – remains indelibly rooted in the jazz canon of the last six decades. A lifetime achievement!”

American composer, performer and experimental music scholar George E. Lewis, a close friend of Petrowsky’s, gave the laudatory speech at the award ceremony on 28 April 2022.

Our thoughts are with Uschi Brüning, his family and all those who felt close to Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky.