Thursday, October 20, 2011

Poles: John Cage 100 – Wolfgang Rihm 60 Their work and its consequences

By presenting the work of John Cage and Wolfgang Rihm as focal points of the festival, MaerzMusik 2012 creates an experimental setting in which two polar positions on musical aesthetics confront one another.

In 2012 we will celebrate John Cage’s 100th birthday and commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death. John Cage was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. He conceived an alternate experimental and intermediary concept of music. His groundbreaking works and texts caused a seismic shift in the world of art with manifold consequences. The festival will investigate the impact of Cage on generations of composers and artists that followed. MaerzMusik 2012 will present exemplary works by Cage and by younger composers that he inspired. For example there will be a “Sonic Arts (Re)Union” with Bob Ashley, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma. New works will be created by Elliott Sharp, Werner Dafeldecker, Valerio Tricoli, HP Kuhn and others.

Wolfgang Rihm will be 60 years of age in 2012. While John Cage developed an experimental, de-subjective notion of music, Rihm, by contrast, exemplified a highly expressive, highly personal musical idiom, leaving the post-war avant-garde discourses behind. He equally influenced many young composers. The festival will present one world premiere and a number of German premieres of works by Rihm: music for orchestra, played by SWR Orchestra Freiburg/Baden-Baden, chamber music performed by Remix Ensemble Porto, and choral works, sung by RIAS Kammerchor Berlin.

The complete festival programme will be published in January 2012.

Matthias Osterwold

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