He does not always regard a finished work as a last word on a subject—for example the orchestral work Ins Offene...(1990) was completely rewritten in 1992, and then used as the basis for his piano concerto sphere (1994), before the piano part of sphere was recast for the solo piano work Nachstudie (also 1994). (In 2002, Rihm also produced a new version of Nachstudie, Sphäre nach Studie, for harp, two double basses, piano and percussion, and also a new version of sphere, Sphäre um Sphäre, for two pianos and chamber ensemble.) Other important works include twelve string quartets, the operas Die Hamletmaschine (1983-1986, text by Heiner Müller) and Die Eroberung von Mexico (1987-1991, based on texts by Antonin Artaud), over twenty song-cycles, the oratorio Deus Passus (1996), the chamber orchestra piece Jagden und Formen (1995-2001) and a series of related orchestral works bearing the title Vers une symphonie fleuve. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra recently premiered Rihm's 2004 commission Two Other Movements. Rihm is Head of the Institute of Modern Music at the Karlsruhe Conservatory of Music and has been composer in residence at the festivals of Lucerne and Salzburg. He was honoured as "Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by France in 2001.
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