Prize list 2012-1960
September 30th 2011 – Köln - Philharmonie WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln - Cond. Emilio Pomàrico.
Commissioned for the WDR Köln.
"Eines der erstaunlichsten Phânomene, die man beobachten kann, wenn man Kirchenglocken hërt, wird durch ihr Hin- und Herschwingen verursacht. In der Regel sinkt die Tonhëhe nach dem Schlag (wie die "Blue Note" im Jazz) einen Mikroton ab, um dann allmâhlich wieder anzusteigen. Ich fand es faszinierend, dieses Tonhëhenverhalten auf Orchesterklânge zu übertragen, vor allem auf Holzblâser.
Ais ich an den Skizzen arbeitete, verbrachte ich zwei Monate am Meer. Dort habe ich, wie gebannt, das Wasser betrachtet. Diese Beobachtung bildete den "Cantus firmus" des Aufenthalts. Vielleicht haben meine Glocken deshalb eine blaue Farbe angenommen.
Blue Belis - Bell Blues. Bas ist mehr ais nur ein Spiel mit vertauschten Wbrtern und Bedeutungsverschiebungen. Es geht vor allem darum, dern Klang dieser Wbrter zu sauschen. So viele ,,l''s. Der Klang der ,,1" ist rund und weich wie die Wellen des Meeres. Das "b" ist ebenfalls rund und strurnpf, aber es kann sich überschlagen und brechen - wie die Brandung. Und das lange "ue" klingt wie Wind.
Die Partitur verlangt von den Musikern, dass sie das sichere Terrain der ternperierten Stirnmung verlassen und sich in den "interstellaren Raurn" der Mikrointervalle begeben. Wie in den rneisten Fâllen ist es auch hier rneine Absicht, den alten, verbrauchten Harrnonien - wie dem a-Moli - eine neue Schbnheit einzuhauchen."
From a very early age Unsuk Chin started learning piano and music theory. She then entered the Seoul National University where she studied composition with Sukhi Kang until 1985. She performed as a pianist at the Pan Music Festivals.
Her composition Gestalten is used for the World Music Days of the International Society contemporary music in Canada in 1984 and the International Rostrum of Composers of the Unesco in Paris. A grant from the DAAD permits her to follow courses with Georgy Ligeti at the academy of music in Hambourg from 1985 till 1988. She has been living in Berlin since 1988 and works in an electronic studio of the Technical University .
Her compositions are performed in many festivals and concert series mainly in England, France, South Korea, Finland and recently in Scandinavia. Her most played work, Akrostichon-Wortspiel (1991), has been scheduled in fifteen countries and performed by major ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Nieuw Ensemble, the Asko Ensemble, Ensemble Ictus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
She was a residing composer for the Symphony Orchestra of Berlin in 2001/2002 and received an order for her Violin Concerto , created in January 2002 with the Berlin Philharmonic with Viviane Hagner, under the direction of Kent Nagano.
Amongst her major works also include Fantaisie mécanique and Xi , commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain, ParaMetaString , commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, a Concerto Piano written for Rolf Hind, Miroir des Temps order, from the BBC for the Hilliard Ensemble and the Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Kala jointly directed by the symphony orchestras of the Danish Radio, Gothenburg and Oslo.
Unsuk Chin received many awards, in 1985, the grand prize International Gaudeamus Competition (Amsterdam) for her work Spektra , in 1993 and the first prize for orchestral works to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Tokyo government for Santika Ekataka < em>. In 2004/2005, she composers Cantatrix Sopranica , commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, the St Pölten Festival (Austria), Ensemble Intercontemporain and Musikfabrik. She was residing composer for the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2008. Alice in Wonderland , an opera based on the book by Lewis Carroll which was created in the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in June 2007 and a series of Studies for piano. Unsuk Chin's works are published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes.
© IRCAM-Centre Pompidou, 2008
October 9, 2009, Berlin - Germany. Konzerthaus, Großer Saal, by the Ensemble Modern, direction: Johannes Kalitzke
I. Prologue - Dramatic opening of the curtain
II. Lamentation du Chanteur chauve
III. La diseuse de bonne aventure au dentier
IV. Dance autour des cabanes
The title comes from the Vielle Haut allemend meaning : winding up, making ridiculous movements fooling someone by magic, fortune-telling.
The title refers to a Proustian moment that I experienced -in a completely unexpected way - while visiting China for the first time in 2008 and 2009and during which I visited -- Hong Kong and Guangzhou among others .
The atmosphere of the old and poor houses with their narrow winding lanes, street food vendors and markets - next to the giant video screens, modern buildings and glittering shopping malls - brought back to mind the experiences of a long forgotten chidhood .
This reminded me a lot of Seoul in the 1960s, the period after the Korean War and before the radical modernization. Conditions that don't exist any more in South Korea. I have a particular memory of a group of artists that I saw several times as a child in a suburb of Seoul .
These amateur musicians and actors travel from village to village imposing self-medication - which at best is ineffective. To seduce the villagers, they would go on stage singing, dancing and doing various stunts.
I still remember that the intrigues were nearly always related to unrequited love and that the heroine inevitably ended up committing suicide.
All this was proof of amateurism and was kitsch, however, this awakened incredible emotions amongst the spectators: it is hardly surprising, considering that it was virtually the only entertainment in a daily life marked by poverty and repressive structures. Electronic games and toys (not to mention art,at all) were of course unknown.
So the whole village was present for this "great event, "a circumstance that others also enjoyed benefiting : fortune tellers, charlatans and peddlers of travel. Of these, there were wig traders with whom the girls could earn money for their families by sacrificing their plaits
Gougalon does not refer directly to the amateur and lousy music of this street theater. The memories described above simply provide a framework, as well as the titles of the movements that have no explanatory role.
This work is intended " an imaginary folk music "that is stylized, broken and primitive in appearance only.
Unsuk Chin (translated from English)
Born in 1939 in Sutton Coldfield in England Warckickshire, Jonathan Harvey was a choir singer at St. Michael's College, Tenbury. The practice of choral singing will always leave on him an imprint of the polyphonic music of the Renaissance. He studied the cello, an instrument ever present in his creations. His work covers all kinds of music, music for a capella choir,large orchestra, ensemble and solo instrument. He is considered one of the most imaginative composers of electro acoustic music.
Harvey continued his studies at the University of Cambridge St John. On the advice of Britten, he also studied with Erwin Stein and Hans Keller, both pupils of Schoenberg, and thus became familiar with the early twelve-tone technique.
The meeting at Princeton University in 1969 with Milton Babbitt who introduced him to the possibilities of computer music, has a considerable influence on his work. New technologies, still in their infancy at the time, the opening one-dimensional compositional avant-garde: the exploration of sound. In this area, another decisive encounter was that of Stockhausen, who guided him in his learning of studio techniques. Their ideas converge on the fact that electronic technology can transcend the physical limitations of traditional sound sources. These composers are both in search of a reconciliation between the rational and the mystic, the scientist and the intuitive. In 1975, Harvey published a book on the work of Stockhausen.
The invitation of Pierre Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 80's is the origin of an important collaboration giving rise to many works which affirmed his personal style: Mortuos Plango, Vivis Voco, one of the major electronic music composition (1980), Bhakti (1982) for chamber orchestra and tape quadraphonic. His practice of electronics was already imposed and the cycle Inner Night was the culmination of five years experience (1973-1977).At IRCAM however he encountered, the spectral current, which he considers crucial to the evolution of music today. In addition, the electronic sound seems to him an opening to the transcendent and spiritual dimensions he wanted inherent in his work.
Jonathan Harvey received commissions from thewhole world , he is one of the most frequently programmed composers of today, interpretated among others by the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Asko, Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam) and Ictus Ensemble (Brussels).
Jonathan Harvey has honorary doctorates from the universities of Southampton and Bristol, a member of the European Academy, honorary professor of music at the University of Sussex where he taught for 18 years, an eminent professor of music at Stanford University in California where he taught from 1995 to 2000. He was residing composer at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
in 1993 he received the prestigious BrittenPrize of composition. He published two books in 1999, respectively, on inspiration and spirituality. In this quest for spiritual syncretism, the composer worked with the writer Jean-Claude Carriere for the production of his opera Wagner Dream on the life of the young Buddha, created in June 2007.
Radio France, IRCAM and the BBC co-commisioned to J. Harvey a work for orchestra, "Speakings" which was created August 19, 2008 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, dir. Ilan Volkov at the London Proms. The topic: How to move towards speaking or singing by purely instrumental means? Jonathan Harvey, realizes the challenge, through the computer and an orchestration approaching his voice target . Jonathan Harvey receives a 2007, "Giga-Hertz Grand Prize" for all his work with electronics. In 2009, he wrote a new work of 90 minutes for the Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle and Rundfunkchor.
This is the 3rd part of my trilogy on the Buddhist purification of body, mind and speech, commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Speakings is also a commission from IRCAM / Radio France in which electronics were conducted in collaboration with Gilbert Nouno, Arshia Cont and Grégoire Carpentier. The work is dedicated with all my gratitude to Ian Volkov, The BBCSSO and Frank Madlener.
Language and music are very close and yet distant. In Speakings I wanted to bring orchestral music and human speech together. It is as if the orchestra was learning how to talk, like a baby with his mother, or as the first man, or as a very expressive language, but incomprehensible. The rhythms and intonations of emotional speech are formed by the semantics, but above all, they are formed by emotions - because of this, they approach singing. In the Buddhist mythology of India, there is a notion of original and pure language, in the form of mantras - half singing, half speaking. It is said that the "OM-AH-HUM" is the cradle of all language.
orchestral discourse, itself affected by the structures of language, is formed in an "electro-acoustic" way by "scraps of words" from recordings taken at random.
The spectral shapes of vowels and consonants flicker in fast rhythms and colorful language throughout the orchestral texture. A process of "form coded speech" takes advantage of the fascinating complexities of language, this is the main idea of this work.
The first movement is like an incarnation , a descent into human life.
The second focuses on the frantic chatter of human life in all its forms of domination, assertion, fear, love, etc. He developed the work "Sprechgesang" previously composed.It changes becoming "mantra" and therefore celebrates the ritual of languages. The mantra is orchestrated and processed by a form of "speech code".
The third is, like the first, shorter. Here the language is quieter and it is combined with sweet music, a song close to the Gregorian chant. There is often a single monophonic line that reverberates in a large acoustic space.
There is a small division line on line, where the music goes against, the auditor, when the reverberation eliminates the sense of separation between the listener and the musical object. The paradise of a listening temple is imagined.
The movements are continuously played.
(Székelyudvarhely / Transylvania, 1944)
Peter Eötvös,was born on January 2, 1944 at Székelyudvarhely (Transylvania),he was admitted to the Academy of Music at Budapest at the age of 14 on the advice of Zoltán Kodály. In 1966, he received an academic grant and went to Cologne to study management at the Hochschule für Musik. Between 1968 and 1976, he played regularly with the Stockhausen Ensemble, and from 1971 to 1979, worked in collaboration with the electronic studio of the WDR in Cologne. In 1978, at the invitation of Pierre Boulez, he conducted the inaugural concert of IRCAM in Paris, before being appointed head of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a position he held until 1991.
In 1980, Eötvös made his debut at the Proms in London. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the SWR Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, BBC Symphony (1985-1988), the Budapest Festival Orchestra (1992-1995) and Orchestra Budapest Philharmonic (since 1998), and also holds the position of Principal Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Radio Hilversum (1994). In 1991, he founded the International Institute Peter Eötvös for young conductors and composers. From 1992 to 1998 he was professor at the Conservatory in Karlsruhe, and at the Cologne Conservatory until 2001. He has been teaching at the Conservatory in Karlsruhe since 2002.
Eötvös has received many awards and numerous international prizes including the Prix Bartok (Hungary, 1997), Christoph and Stephan Kaske Prize (Germany, 2000), the Kossuth Prize (Hungary, 2002), the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in 2002 and the SACD Prix The winner in the catergory in the "Music Prize" in 2002. Eötvös has been a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin since 2000, the Art Academy in Budapest Szechenyi and the Academy of Arts of Saxony in Dresden. In addition, the French Minister of Culture made him Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1998 and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2003, and MIDEM awarded him the Cannes Classical Award for "Best Living Composer" in 2004. In 2007 he was awarded the Music Prize of Frankfurt.
Recent compositions by Peter Eötvös have won major international success. His works are performed by the most prestigious ensembles, including "zeropoint" created by the London Symphony Orchestra in 1999, "IMA" created by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne in 2002 and "Jet Stream" performed for the first time by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London in 2003. Eötvös is working with major symphony orchestras of European radio stations and internationally with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic.
In recent years, Eötvös has become more productive in the field of musical theater. His second grand opera "Le Balcon" by Jean Genet's play, commissioned by the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in collaboration with the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, is created with great success by the Ensemble Intercontemporain in July 2002 as part of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Another great success is celebrated by Peter Eötvös's opera Angels in America based on the play of the same name created by Tony Kushner at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in November 2004. The creation is followed by performances in Hamburg in 2005, in Boston and Amsterdam in 2006, in Berlin in 2007, in Fort Worth / Texas in 2008 and the Frankfurt Opera in 2009.
Among the latest works by Eötvös is the violin concerto "Seven", written as a memorial to the astronauts of the shuttle Columbia.
The disaster of the space shuttle Columbia on 1 February 2003, was a dramatic event that affected me a lot. In particular, the image broadcasted on TV,of an empty,intact astronaut helmet, part of the debris found on the ground, symbolized the tragedy of this accident in which seven people were killed, just before the shuttle was to return to Earth.
I had been thinking for a long time about writing a violin concerto. In the light of the tragedy of the 28th Space Shuttle Mission, I retook up this idea and the violin concerto as a musical dialogue between soloist and orchestra, seemed particularly appropriate to give a musical form to the memory of the killed astronauts.
Each of the seven astronauts received his dedicated personal pace. The composition itself reflects the representation of their personalities, for example with memories of the musical cultures of Kalpana Chawla, U.S. astronaut born in India, and Ilan Raman, the first Israeli in the world.
The number seven sets the musical structure and rhythm of the work and also describes the basic principle of composition: 49 players are divided into seven groups. In addition to the violin soloist, there are 6 other violins scattered around the room, similar to seven satellites or souls ringing and hovering in space.
The violin concerto, Seven, is a great, very personal monologue and musical expression of my sympathy for the seven astronauts who lost their lives for the exploration of the universe and for the realization of a human dream.
The work is represented for the first time in September 2007 at the Lucerne Festival with violinist Akiko Suwanai and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the direction of Pierre Boulez.In August 2008, the new opera Eotvos "Love and other demons" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was created for the Festival of Glyndebourne.
Born in Athens in 1945, Georges Aperghis studied music and piano in his native Greece, almost self-taught, his prior training was in painting. He came to Paris in 1963 and was forced to stay to escape the military dictatorship, he began musical studies
and followed courses in conducting and percussion. He is also a student of Iannis Xenakis, who initiates him with the "mysteries" of modern techniques.
Impressed by Sur Scène by Mauricio Kagel, Aperghis oriates himself towards musical theater and meets Antoine Vitez for whom he composes numerous musics for the scene from Racine's Phedre created at the Théâtre d'Ivry in 1973, to the latest ambitious shows of Chaillot, Le Faust and Rangda in 1987 or le Tombeau for the five hundred thousand soldiers of Guyotat. So many harsh and strained works, often written in a traditional form (for voice, string quartet ...), at antipodes of sophistication or contemporary radicalization.
Georges Aperghis's music always exceeds the strict framework of a concert to switch to history, in the manner of a an occidental storyteller whose music is just a vehicle, a way to communicate.
Even if he sometimes composes a purely musical piece, Aperghis can not escape the theater. In 1976, he founded ATEM (Atelier Théâtre et Musique) in Bagnolet. The troupe move in 1991 to Amandiers in Nanterre and create there several performances that cheefully dynamite the type. By giving depth to all words beginning with the letter H (1992) to the language of the sixteenth century that he practices with gluttony, to the magic of Balinese gamelan set, which establishes the concert to the dignity of a religious experience in his opera Tristes Tropiques, according to the autobiographical work of Claude Levi-Strauss, Georges Aperghis is today the most marginal composer but also the most human of his time.
Since 1997, Georges Aperghis has decided to conduct a more solitary path by leaving the direction of the ATEM. He focuses more on writing and pursues parallel stage work, particularly in Strasbourg where he was composer in residence in 1997 and 1998 and in Munich where he creates a show inspired by Goethe, Kafka and Klee in 1999, Zwielicht."
His recent works include Machinations (2000), a musical show for four voices and a computer and especially Die Hamletmaschine Oratorio (2000), which is probably the most complete and most significant of his current concerns. In 2002, he comes back to Heiner Müller with Paysage under surveillance for two actors, two keyboards, two cellos and two synthesizers before signing a new opera Avis de tempête in 2004.
Wolfi Kantate, a work in five-movements with texts from Adolph Wolfi, for mixed choir and vocal ensemble (six solos), was created on 22nd July 2006 in Stuttgart by the Stuttgart Neue Vocalsolisten and the SWR Vocalensemble of Stuttgart. This is an order from Sudwestrundfunk of Stuttgart and the Strasbourg Musica Festival.
"This cappella cantata is inspired by the textual and pictorial work of Adolf Wölfli and develops certain pulsions that are within it (compulsive over-filling of space enumerations of numbers, inventory, ritual rehearsals, over enlarged details, over loaded,constantly diverted from their original meaning, polyphonic
saturated ...) while keeping a distance, a "harmony", which canalize these excesses and proliferations. It is therefore architectures creating imaginary spaces, sometimes recognizable, combining themselves in a furtive and fleeting way. These musical figures try to find their way as if in a maze, and eventually finish by invading everything, thus abolishing the silence, establishing an organic but painless function." (Georges Aperghis)
Wölfli Kantate is divided into five parts:
1. Petrrohl for 6 solo voices
2. Die Stellung der Zahlen for mixed choir
3. Vittriool for 6 solo voices
4. Trauer-Marsch for mixed choir
5. Von der Wiege bis Zun Graab for soloists and choir.
Duration: 60 minutes