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  Mauricio Kagel dies in Germany at 76  CT News at 19:15 on 18 September 2008

Argentine-born composer Mauricio Kagel, whose experimental body of work also ranged into theater, has died in Germany, his publisher said Thursday. He was 76.

The C.F. Peters musical publishing house said Kagel died overnight in Cologne following a long illness, but did not give details on the cause of death.

Kagel was born in Buenos Aires on Dec. 24, 1931, into a Jewish family of German-Russian origin.

A self-taught composer who learned to play instruments including the piano, organ and cello, he studied literature and philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires and at age 18 became an adviser to an avant-garde group, Agrupacion Nueva Musica.

In 1955, he rose to become a director at the Argentine capital's Teatro Colon.

Two years later, he went on a student grant to Germany, where he settled working in chamber and electronic music. His musical theater piece "Sur Scene" first performed in 1960 established a genre of "instrumental theater" that became a prominent part of his work.

Kagel was known for a humorous approach to art, with works such as "Fantasie fuer Orgel and Obligati," which included a toilet flush as an instrument.

Information on survivors and funeral arrangements was not immediately available.