In August, we commemorate the 100th birthday of the Czech-American composer Karel Husa, and we would have loved to personally celebrate this centenary with him. Although he remained active up to a very advanced age, we had to bid him farewell only a few years ago.
Husa’s cooperation with Schott Music was focused on his early compositions, but the close association and collaborative work on the published compositions has continued to the present day.
Husa’s life, which was above all marked by World War II and its aftermath, took him to
numerous locations between Prague and the USA where he continued to work as a conductor and professor at Cornell University and Ithaca College until 1992. Husa received a
number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for his Third String Quartet and the Grawemeyer Award for his Cello Concerto. Additionally, Husa was prominently represented on nearly one hundred sound recordings.
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
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.
Mikis Theodorakis’ life has been characterised by his political commitment to the Greek people, personal persecution and banishment. For many years, the composer lived in exile in Paris, but returned repeatedly to his native country. During the 1960s, he was a member of the Greek parliament and held the post of a government minister from 1990 – 1992. In 1993, Theodorakis was appointed as the general music director of the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of Hellenic Radio and Television. He gained an international reputation for his soundtrack to the film “Zorba the Greek” which is also available in a ballet version and as an orchestral suite. Theodorakis also composed cantatas, chamber music, and orchestral works. Many of his operas were based on dramas from Ancient Greek mythology. His oratorios Axion Esti and Canto General were performed worldwide.
Schott Music warmly congratulates Mikis Theodorakis on the occasion of his 95th birthday.
Enjott Schneider, born in Weil am Rhein in 1950, is one of the leading German composers of film music with over 600 soundtracks and numerous awards to his name. His music for Schlafes Bruder, Stalingrad, Herbstmilch and many other films will never be forgotten. Schneider’s compositional output also includes full-length operas, oratorios, symphonies and concertos alongside chamber music, sacred works and organ music. As professor of music theory and later as Germany’s first professor of film music, he passed his knowledge to innumerable students at the Munich Musikhochschule. He has also displayed equal enthusiasm in his long-term post as a board member of GEMA [German performing rights association] (chairman from 2012 to 2017) and as president of the Deutscher Komponistenverband [German Association of Composers] to support his fellow composers.
Schott Music offers its heartfelt congratulations to Enjott Schneider on the occasion of his 70th birthday on 25 May 2020 and has recently published a new catalogue of his works.
‘The creation of something new in every work is my ultimate compositional goal.’ (Victor Ekimovsky)
All Victor Ekimovsky’s compositions are indeed highly individualistic without one resembling another. The composer presents surprise after surprise with his original concepts and instrumental solutions emerging from his exceptional, innermost imagination. Belaieff and Schott Music offer their heartfelt congratulations to the composer of Graffiti, Attalea princeps, 27 Destruktionen and The Scarlet Flower on the occasion of his 70th birthday on 12 September.
Victor Ekimovsky – profile