Composer Stockhausen Dead at 79
Creator of world's longest opera inspired many, including the Beatles
By Michael O'Connor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 7, 2007 9:11 PM CST
German composer and musician Karlheinz Stockhausen performs at the German pavillon at the Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan in 1970. Stockhausen gave a concert for 130 students of a Japanese "Soai Girls College."...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Karlheinz Stockhausen, the controversial composer who wrote the world's longest opera—29 hours, to be played over 7 days—has died at the age of 79, the Guardian reports. Though he inspired the Beatles and won high critical acclaim, Stockhausen also snubbed modern music trends and received little mainstream acceptance during a prolific career.

Hailing from a village near Cologne, Stockhausen trained under Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud in Paris in the early '50s and went on to compose 362 works—including his acclaimed masterpiece, Gruppen, written for 109 musicians that surround the audience. Friends who announced his death today said that Stockhausen's gift was to "bring celestial music to humans, and human music to celestials."