Pēteris Vasks, like no other composer, is an ambassador for the music of his native country
Latvia and the rich culture of the North. Prior to 1991, he was subject to repression for his beliefs and artistic convictions, but today he has long achieved international acclaim.
Vasks will receive a lifetime achievement award at the 49th Istanbul Music Festival in June, less than two months after his 75th birthday. The award is given annually by the festival: previous laureates include Daniel Barenboim, Philip Glass, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Zubin Mehta, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki and Murray Perahia. Following the award ceremony, the Modigliani Quartet will give the Turkish premiere of his String Quartet No. 6 for which Vasks received the Latvian Grand Music Award in March.
His instrumental works are performed across the world by renowned musicians and also utilised for ballets, most recently in ‘Solitude’, choreographed by Mario Schröder for Leipzig Ballet. Vasks incorporates archaic and folkloristic elements from his homeland in his compositions, bringing them into an exciting relationship with contemporary musical language. Topics as contrasting as the beauty of nature and the ecological and moral destruction of the world find their way into his music.
On the occasion of his birthday, Schott Music has issued a brochure featuring selected choral works which is available free of charge in printed form or as a download under the order number KAT 3485-99.
You can also discover our Vasks playlist at https://en.schott-music.com/shop/vasks-playlist/
Wilfried Hiller has created his poetic and imaginative music independently of the rules and constraints of the avant garde. His collaboration with the author Michael Ende has played a significant role in his compositional career. Works such as Die zerstreute Brillenschlange
(1979), Vier musikalische Fabeln (1980–1982), Der Goggolori (1982–1983) and Das Traumfresserchen (1989–1990) have become classics in the field of contemporary music theatre for children.
In 2018, Hiller once again selected one of Ende’s texts for his composition Momo, but has additionally created numerous stage works for adult audiences, chamber music compositions, solo concertos, and works for choral and orchestral forces. He received the
Bavarian Maximiliansorden für Wissenschaft und Kunst and is a member of the Bavarian Academy of the Arts. Happy birthday!
In his substantial compositional output, Aribert Reimann has created a rich collection of compositions which have unquestionably exerted an influence on contemporary music theatre. His unmistakable personal style is characterised by strict logic and highly complex
tonal structures which are finely chiselled down to the smallest detail. At the same time, his music possesses a powerful innate emotionality which directly captures his listeners. This is borne out by his instrumental works and vocal compositions and to a particular degree, his operas, which are considered the most significant of the entire contemporary period.
Reimann primarily selects his plots from world literature and transforms them into unique forms through his own musical language. Schott offers Aribert Reimann its heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of his 85th birthday.
photo: Bernd Uhlig
On 4 February 2021, 21:05 GMT Konzertmusik for violin and small chamber orchestra by Hans Werner Henze will receive it’s world premiere. After several attempts to perform the work had to be cancelled in 2020, the Bavarian Radio will broadcast a studio recording with Peter Tilling and the Ensemble risonanze erranti. This will officially mark the world premiere of the composition.
Konzertmusik is the earliest work composed by Hans Werner Henze and published by Schott: the concerto for violin and small chamber orchestra, written when he was only 17. It was not until the end of World War II that he was able to devote himself intensively to composition: a short time later, he was signed by Schott. The composition reveals its inspiration from Paul Hindemith. In its chamber music structure, a series of instruments from the ensemble including flute, trumpet and the first player of violin I repeatedly take on small solo passages and accompany the solo violin in groups of two or three. In the finale however, a ‘genuine’ virtuoso violin concerto unfolds in miniature.
Porträt Hans Werner Henze: © Schott Music / Hans Kenner
Schott Music is looking forward to working with composer Sebastian Hilli. The publishing partnership commences with his orchestral works Peach and Miracle followed by new compositions for Ensemble Musikfabrik, Uusinta Ensemble, Time of Music Festival, Gaudeamus Festival, International Ensemble Modern Academy and IRCAM.
Sebastian Hilli is a Finnish composer born in 1990, who received his Master’s degree in Composition from Sibelius Academy in 2016. Hilli has had success in numerous composition competitions by winning the Teosto Prize in 2019, the Gaudeamus Award in 2018, the ”Under 30” category in the International Rostrum of Composers in 2017 and Toru Takemitsu Composition Award in 2015.
Tervetuloa! Welcome, Sebastian Hilli!
We commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the passing of Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971). Schott is proud to have published several of Stravinsky’s best-known works including The Firebird, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements and the Violin Concerto.
He remains, of course, one of the greatest artists of any era and it is hard to write anything
about him which has not been said before. One thing which is fascinating is how many contemporary composers, irrespective of their own personal style, feel a strong connection with Stravinsky and his works. Perhaps this is because his compositional voice is so powerful and unmistakable that it transcends any single style he wrote within. In a musical world where questions of aesthetic are often treated with great importance, Stravinsky provides a reminder that we should look beyond this.
American composer Alvin Singleton is turning 80 on 28 December. He has worked extensively with major orchestras worldwide and has written significant works for chamber and vocal ensembles, as well for the theater, and his set of Argoru pieces have been performed across the world.
His many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, commissions from The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation and American Composers, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis by the City of Darmstadt, the Musikprotokoll Kompositionspreis by the Austrian Radio, the Mayor’s Fellowship in the Arts Award by the City of Atlanta, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2014, Singleton was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
We wish him a very happy birthday!
We remember Frank Zappa, one of the most iconic artist of the 20th century who would have been 80 on 21 December 2020. A biopic has been released recently which is available from many streaming services. But Zappa is perhaps best described in his own words, from The Real Frank Zappa Book where he elucidates his creative process:
‘In my compositions, I employ a system of weights, balances, measured tensions and releases. The similarities are best illustrated by comparison to a Calder mobile: a multicolored whatchamacallit, dangling in space, that has big blobs of metal connected to pieces of wire, balanced ingeniously against little metal dingleberries on the other end.’
At the age of only 53, Zappa died as a consequence of a cancer desease. The performance materials of his ensemble and orchestrals works are available from Schott New York.
Online world premiere on 9 December: The Ensemble Modern is presenting the first performance of the ensemble work ENSMO ↔ OMNES for 16 instruments by Heinz Holliger as part of its anniversary concert.
Th e composer dedicates his technically challenging work to the Ensemble Modern on the 40th anniversary of their foundation. The first part of the title plays on the syllables of the famous ensemble whereas OMNES refers to its total of 16 members. The opening cadenza
featuring pianos, xylophone and marimbaphone is interrupted by the other instruments.
In the central section, the woodwind, brass and strings are independently superimposed above one another. Finally, the musicians depart from the piece singing softly.
‘I have written music spanning our common thread of almost 40 years of memories, culminating in a glassy C major chord.’ (Heinz Holliger)
9 December 2020 | Frankfurt am Main (D)
Alte Oper, Großer Saal
Ingo Metzmacher, conductor
The WERGO CD “Earthing” with compositions by Clara Iannotta has been awarded the Quarterly German Record Critics’ Award, List of Best Recordings 4/2020, category “Contemporary Music“.
In the music of the Italian composer Clara Iannotta, conceptual thinking and technique are combined with imagery and subtlety. This is particularly evident in the four-string quartets, interpreted here by the phenomenal Jack Quartet. In the oldest from 2013, the natural sound remains untouched, and it is only enhanced by materials such as bird songs or styrofoam. Sometimes it shimmers sharply, sometimes it scratches darkly. This evocative, mysterious soundscape full of acoustic creatures is electronically amplified and distorted in the newer pieces. A sound full of elemental, deeply moving energy!
(for the jury: Thomas Meyer)
Clara Iannotta: Earthing