Born on 29 June 1932 in Saalfeld, Thuringia as Richard Wolf, Ror Wolf was both a specialist and a universalist, impossible to confine to just one discipline: He wrote literature, made collage art, and wrote and edited radio plays. Of himself, Wolf said, "I am basically a radio play writer who writes books from time to time." His artwork is accordingly diverse and includes pieces that he produced under Adorno, Horkheimer and others after leaving the GDR in August 1953 and studying literature, sociology and philosophy. His first literary publications appeared in 1958. After having worked as a literature editor for Hessischer Rundfunk for two years, Ror Wolf became a freelance writer in 1963. His debut as a novelist, "Fortsetzung des Berichts" ("Continuation of the report"), was published in 1964. His first radio play, "Der Chinese am Fenster" ("The Chinese man at the window"), was broadcast in 1971 and later became part of the trilogy "Auf der Suche nach Dr. Q." ("Searching for Dr Q"). With his ten live sound soccer collages produced between 1972 and 1979, Ror Wolf became a legend. He was awarded the Radio Play Award of the War-blinded for his radio play biography "Leben und Tod des Kornettisten Bix Beiderbecke aus Nord-Amerika" ("Life and death of the cornetist Bix Beiderbecke from North America"). In 2007, "Raoul Tranchirers Bemerkungen über die Stille" ("Raoul Tranchirer’s comments on silence") was named Radio Play of the Year by the German Academy of Performing Arts.
"As a Jazz enthusiast and expert, Ror Wolf was a language virtuoso, equipped with an almost musical understanding of words. In addition to that, his wonderfully fanciful take on reality, in which ever-changing perspectives and means of expression make even the most improbable things possible, makes him one of the most fascinating explorers of the realms of tone, voice and sound. The manners of acoustic storytelling that Ror Wolf drew from the medium of radio by productively analyzing its terms and capabilities have influenced the styles of subsequent generations. In their timeless modernity, they are still vivid today; the artistic sophistication and subtlety of the arrangements fuel the high entertainment value inherent in every single one of the author’s radio plays - plays that, on the whole, can be seen and heard as an homage to radio as a medium of the artistic word," the jury stated regarding the selection of the laureate.
Ror Wolf died on 17 February 2020.