Composer Stockhausen Dies at 79 Avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen died at his home in western Germany on Wednesday. He was 79. To the casual listener, a representative Stockhausen composition might not seem musical. But his work earned him the admiration of a diverse group of musical luminaries, including Pierre Boulez, Frank Zappa and David Bowie. Even The Beatles gave him a spot on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He's in the back row, the fifth person from the left. As a pioneer in the world of electronic music, Stockhausen is revered for his early recording experiments. In a 1972 demonstration, Stockhausen described how he spent time working with sine wave generators to try to recreate the sounds of nature.