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Wick, Steffen

Steffen Wick belongs to a generation of composers who are blurring the boundaries between different genres. He combines classical and contemporary stylistic elements into a modern, poetic sound language.

Steffen Wick studied composition under professor Caspar Johannes Walter, music theory, piano and new media at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. He then went on to expand his composition studies in a master class with Moritz Eggert at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and gained further artistic input from personal encounters with Steve Reich, Pascal Dusapin, Wolfgang Rihm and Detlev Glanert.

Steffen Wick’s concert works include all genres: from lavish scores for symphonic orchestras (such as Womb), chamber music (such as Inner Monologue for vocal quartet, a work commissioned by the Siemens Arts Program), to exotic combinations (such as the commissioned composition Transborder for Korean gayageums and European instruments).

Steffen Wick’s music has been performed at the Bregenzer Festspiele, the Wiener Musikverein, the Konzerthaus Berlin and Radialsystem V among others. Interpreters of his work include the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the Basel Sinfonietta, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Cottbus, Freiburg and Gießen as well as the »Eight Cellists« of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Steffen Wick’s compositions are published by Ricordi, Music Sales et al. and can be enjoyed live all over the world in countries such as China, South Korea, Canada, the USA, Finland, France, Spain and Ukraine. He has albums published by Sony Classical and Universal Music.

Concert Projects
In 2008, the »video concerto« Beyond Vision was performed by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with a video installation at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, phaeno Wolfsburg, Kunstverein Stuttgart and the Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt. In summer 2009, the Soundtrack Symphony was performed as a spectacular open air concert on a floating stage in Heilbronn with over 200 performers, fireworks and a light show. In 2013, Steffen Wick was commissioned by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts to compose music to silent films by film pioneer Georges Méliès for the Henschel Quartet. This was curated by filmmaker Edgar Reitz.

Focus of Interest
As a pianist, Steffen Wick focuses on the piano in particular in his works. In the Autumn of 2014, the White and Blue albums, on which grand piano and instrumental sounds merge with subtle electronics, were released as the start of the color code series PIANO PARTICLES. The visualization for the opening piece Aero by Stephen Malinowski/USA won the »Visual Music Award« at the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt, awarded by the Institute for Synesthesia and New Media Frankfurt. For the live concerts of PIANO PARTICLES, designer Marc Engenhart created a paper installation from several hundred paper particles, which was awarded the renowned »Red Dot Design Award«. Multiple-award-winning choreographer Marco Goecke developed a dance performance of PIANO PARTICLES with the ballet ensemble of the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich as well as dancer and choreographer Eric Gauthier with his company and Tarek Assam with Tanzcompagnie Gießen.

Music Theatre
In 2012, the stage performance of Wick’s music theatre Musicophilia, based on the homonymous book by Oliver Sacks, was deemed »particularly expressive« (Süddeutsche Zeitung). This production won the Music Theatre Now Prize from the International Theatre Institute in 2015. His music theatre performance Particles, with influences from »physical theatre« and »nouveau cirque«, a work commissioned by Friedrichsbau Varieté Stuttgart, premiered in February 2015 and was performed for more than 50 nights.

Steffen Wick composed the soundtrack for the cinematic documentary film Rheingold – Faces of a River with Ben Becker. For the 3D animated movie Manou the Swift, voiced by Kate Winslet and Willem Dafoe, Wick wrote new music for orchestra and adapted several PIANO PARTICLES songs. The film was released in over 25 countries and the film music received the German Film Music Prize in 2019 in the category »Best Music for Animated Film«.

In 2011, Steffen Wick was a winner of the Bregenzer Festspiele composition competition. In 2013, Wick was presented the »German Cultural and Creative Pilot Award« by the German Government. In 2014, Steffen Wick received a residency at the International House of Artists Villa Concordia, 2015 at the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris and 2017 at the Künstlerhaus Salzwedel. Wick has received grants for the further development of his artistic work from the Musikfonds, the German Music Council, the Fonds Darstellende Künste and the Free State of Bavaria, among others.