Haas, Georg Friedrich

Zugabe (2015)
for orchestra
2.2.2.2 – 2.2.0.0 – timp – strings
WP: 13.05.2016, Bamberg
Performers: Bamberger Symphoniker / Kah Chun Wong (Conductor)
Commissioner: Bamberger Symphoniker
Duration: 3'

3 Stücke für Mollena (2015/2016)
for choir and chamber orchestra
2cl, 2trb, acc – strings (6.5.4.4.2)
WP: 17.3.2016, Prinzregententheater München       
Performers: RIAS Kammerchor / Münchener Kammerorchester / Alexander Liebreich (Conductor)
Commissioner: RIAS Kammerchor, Münchener Kammerorchester
Duration: 30'

Trombone concerto
(2016)
2.picc.2.ca.2.bcl.2.cbsn – 4.3.3.1 – timp.2perc.hp – strings (12.10.8.8.6)
WP: 16.10.2016, Baarsporthalle, Donaueschingen (Donaueschinger Musiktage 2016)
Commissioner: SWR, Wien Modern, Wiener Konzerthaus, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Sinfonieorchester Basel, supported by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Performers: SWR Symphonieorchester / Alejo Pérez (Conductor) / Mike Svoboda (Trombone)
Duration: 25'
Recording, score, program note, press quotes

String quartet no. 9 (2016)
2 Vl, Vla, Vc
WP: 12.11.2016, Konzerthaus Wien
Performer: JACK Quartet
Commissioner: Wien Modern, Wiener Konzerthaus, supported by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Duration: 35'-40'

String quartet no. 10 (2016)
2 Vl, Vla, Vc
WP: 19.11.2016, St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival)
Performer: Arditti Quartet
Commissioner: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Duration: 35'-40'

Release (2016)
for ensemble
strings: 6.6.4.4.2, hrp, pno
WP: 12.01.2017, opening concert of the small hall of Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Performer: Ensemble Resonanz / Emilio Pomàrico (conductor)
Commissioner: Ensemble Resonanz for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, financed by the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Duration: 25'
Recording, score, program note, press quotes

ein kleines symphonisches Gedicht für Wolfgang (2017)
for orchestra
3.2.2.2.cbsn – 2.2.3.0 – timp – strings
WP: 25.08.2017, Berlin
Commissioner: Berliner Philharmoniker
Performers: Berliner Philharmoniker / Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)
Duration: 6'

Violin concerto no. 2 (2017)
2.2.2.2.cbsn – 4.2.2.1 – timp.2perc – hp – acc – strings
WP: 07.09.2017, Suntory Hall, Tokyo
Performers: Tokyo Symphony Orchestra / Ilan Volkov (conductor)
Duration: 25’

“Two things were clear to me from an early age: the twelve tones that a piano can produce per octave are too few for me. I need smaller intervals, finer nuances. And I want to compose expression, emotional music which moves and takes hold of people,” says Georg Friedrich Haas of his work. A renowned expert of microtonal concepts that draw on those of composers such as Wyschnegradsky, Hába, Nono and Grisey, his works are often defined by their microtonal elements. However, according to the composer, a specific technique can only be a means to an end and he refuses to be compositionally pigeonholed: “I don't trust relationships that become apparent only in the score and not through immediate sensual perception. I hope that in my music, intuition and rational control are balanced,” he explains.

Born in 1953, Georg Friedrich Haas grew up in a mountain village in the Vorarlberg region of western Austria and was already exposed to New Music as a student through his music teacher, the composer Gerold Amann. Since 2013 MacDowell Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York, he now moves geographically between two poles. He sees himself as being integrated in the traditions of the Viennese School through his teachers Gösta Neuwirth, Ivan Eröd and in particular Friedrich Cerha, and at the same time takes the aesthetic freedom of American composers such as Charles Ives, John Cage and James Tenney as an important point of reference for musical expression that goes beyond ideologies.

He first aroused interest with his 1996 chamber opera Nacht, which like his second chamber opera Die schöne Wunde, received its world premiere at the Bregenz Festival. Georg Friedrich Haas has composed three further operas since then; Melancholia – after the eponymous novel by Jon Fosse – was premiered at the Opéra National de Paris in 2008 and subsequently at several other opera houses. Bluthaus (2001) and Thomas (2013), with texts by Händl Klaus, deal with existential topics and were both premiered at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele sparking lively discussion among audiences and critics alike.

Georg Friedrich Haas‘ most frequently played work is arguably his ensemble piece in vain (premiered in 2000 by the Klangforum Wien), which is in part performed in complete darkness. In 2010, his limited approximations for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra inspired audiences at the Donaueschinger Musiktage. Premiered by the SWR Symphony Orchestra under Sylvain Cambreling, the work has since become part of the orchestra’s established repertoire. Many other prestigious symphony orchestras have performed the world premieres of works by Georg Friedrich Haas, including the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg (7 Klangräume, 2005), Cleveland Orchestra (Poème, 2006), Munich Philharmonic (Bruchstück, 2007), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (Concerto for piano and orchestra, 2007), WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (Saxophone concerto, 2008), Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Traum in des Sommers Nacht, 2009) and the Münchener Kammerorchester (chants oubliés, 2011; USA premiere given by the Los Angeles Philharmonic). Highlights during recent years included the world premieres of dark dreams with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle (the USA premiere followed at the beginning of October 2014 in Carnegie Hall), as well as the concerto grosso Nr. 1 for 4 alphorns and orchestra (hornroh modern alphorn quartet, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Susanna Mällki) and concerto grosso Nr. 2 for ensemble and orchestra (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov). A highlight of the last season was the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 8 given by the JACK Quartet, as well as Wien Modern’s focus on his music. During the festival, the Arditti Quartet performed his String Quartets Nos. 1-7.

The 2015/16 season will concentrate on his new opera works. Morgen und Abend (Morning and Evening) based on a libretto by Jon Fosse will be premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London under the baton of Michael Boder in November. The production can be seen again in spring at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, which has co-commissioned the work. A further new opera can be seen at the Schwetzinger SWR Festival in May 2016. This will be the third collaboration with the librettist Händl Klaus, completing the so-called “Schwetzinger Trilogy”. Furthermore, Georg Friedrich Haas’ Trombone Octet will be premiered at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, as well as a work for the RIAS Kammerchor and Münchener Kammerorchester in March 2016.

Georg Friedrich Haas has received numerous composition awards and was honoured with the Grand Austrian State Prize in 2007. He is a member of the Austrian Kunstsenat, the Academy of Arts Berlin and the Bavarian Academy of fine Arts.

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