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- Friedrich Cerha at the Salzburg Festival
- A Pierre Boulez celebration at the Edinburgh International Festival
Friedrich Cerha, the doyen of Austrian composers, celebrates his 90th birthday today, on 17 February.
As a composer, conductor, ensemble founder, teacher and supporter, Friedrich Cerha embodies a pioneering spirit and has opened doors and brought the unknown into local concert halls. His friends and companions congratulate him on his birthday with very personal statements.
On 27 January the Boulanger Trio presents a concert with music by Mozart, Berg and Cerha at the Musikverein Vienna. Friedrich Cerha will be guest of honour.
The concert will be accompanied by a conversation with the composer, who celebrates his 90th birthday this February.
London’s Wigmore Hall celebrates the imminent ninetieth birthday of Friedrich Cerha with a day devoted to the composer’s works.
On 10 October Friedrich Cerha Day presents a major retrospective of the composer’s chamber works performed by close colleagues and musicians steeped in his multi-faceted art. Among the performers will be the Boulanger Trio, who you can see together with the composer pictured above.
For me, the organ music by Friedrich Cerha and Johann Sebastian Bach is congenial. They are characterized by timeless features such as clarity, vitality, thinking in counterpoint, the economy of the compositional means and a pronounced sense of proportions. (Wolfgang Kogert)
On the CD, Kogert juxtaposes Cerha’s Neun Inventionen and Neun Präludien with pieces by Bach.
A live stream of the evening from the RadioKulturhaus will be available on 18 April at 19:30. Listen live.
Together with HK Gruber, Hans Kann, H. C. Artmann, Gerhard Rühm, Fritz Wotruba and many others, Friedrich Cerha was a frequent guest at the Viennese Strohkoffer [straw case]. In 1987, he finished the 60 miniatures of Eine Art Chansons, most of which are based on texts by members of the Viennese Group.
Agnes Heginger and Studio Dan will present a selection of Friedrich Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons at the Sargfabrik in Vienna on 14 December. After having been encouraged by the composer to record the pieces, this will be a preview of their upcoming CD.
The concert starts at 20:00 and will be broadcast by SWR2, listen live.
Cerha on Nacht:
“Composers are expected to operate as men of literature. They are supposed to write introductions to their works, author essays, give lectures. That means there are then musical elements in the foreground which are well presentable using linguistic means, or else – which is more often the case – ideologically and fashionably coloured aspects which are not necessarily crucially germane to the work concerned. Therefore scepticism could indeed be appropriate when considering what composers write; in reality, they are considered an authority in an area in which they are in fact dilettantes.”
Read the composer’s full work introduction.
Friedrich Cerha: Nacht
für Orchester | 20'
17.10.2014, Donaueschingen; SWR-SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico
Listen to the Proms première of Friedrich Cerha’s Paraphrase on the Opening of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, which was performed together with Beethoven’s Ninth at the Prom 75 by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (cond. Alan Gilbert).
In the programme, Gilbert introduces the Paraphrase as “highly atmospheric […] [It] sets up kind of a wonderful stepping-stone from which you can enter the world of Beethoven 9. To me it sort of opens the world of possibility […] it lets the Beethoven really stand on its own.”
The composer on Paraphrase: “I hope very much that the gap between my Paraphrase and Beethoven’s work will not be perceived as an irreconcilable divide between two foreign elements, but that the pieces can instead be experienced as two related elements.”
View the full score of Cerha’s Paraphrase on Universal Edition.
Tune in at the following times to listen to portraits on:
Friedrich Cerha: 5. July, 18:00
Beat Furrer: 8. July, 19:00
Georg Friedrich Haas: 11. July, 19:00
View the full programme on micatonal.
I have always been a curious person, and have always reflected on my own work. When a composition was finished, I wanted to find out exactly what had happened in it. This made me open to new influences. (Friedrich Cerha)
Happy 88th Birthday Friedrich Cerha.
Cerha talks about his music:
German interview with English subtitles.
Watch arte’s and the hr-Sinfonieorchester’s video stream of the orchestra’s concert on 7 February 2014 at the Alte Oper Frankfurt:
On the programme were the world première of Friedrich Cerha’s Tagebuch and performances of Haydn’s Symphony No. 59, Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. The concert was performed by Arabella Steinbacher and the hr-Sinfonieorchester (cond. Andrés Orozco-Estrada).
The winning recordings of this year’s Coups de Coeur Musique Contemporaine of the Académie Charles Cros have been announced.
Among them: Friedrich Cerha’s Schlagzeugkonzert; Impulse für Orchester on Kairos, Harrison Birtwistle’s Complete String Quartets on AEON, and Morton Feldman’s Violin and Orchestra on the ECM New Series.
Read a review of Birtwsitle’s Complete String Quartets on The Guardian.
Parts of Friedrich Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons will be performed on 13 September at the Dominikanerkirche Krems as a side event to Marianne Maderna’s exhibition Humanimals. The concert is for free, but one has to register for the event, which is organized by Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich.
Cerha: Eine Art Chansons
for chansonnier, percussionist, piano and double bass | 65'
13.09.2013, Dominikanerkirche, Krems; Agnes Heginger, v; Rainer Keuschnig, pno; David Christopher Panzl, perc; Josef Pitzek, cb
Upcoming performances of the Concerto:
Friedrich Cerha: Concerto for Percussion
for percussion and orchestra | 35’
3 2 3 3 – 6 4 4 2 – timp(2), perc(4), hp, cel, sop.sax, str(14 12 10 8 6)
10/9/2013, Lübeck, Germany
15/9/2013, Lucerne, Switzerland
17/9/2013, Frankfurt, Germany
18/9/2013, Cologne, Germany
Martin Grubinger, perc; Vienna Philharmonic, cond. Lorin Maazel
prem. 20/9/2013, Helsinki; Martin Grubinger, perc; Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. John Storgårds
prem. 25/10/2013, Casa da Musica, Porto; Martin Grubinger, perc; Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Musica, cond. Eivind Gullberg Jensen
24/11/2013, Philharmonie, Munich; Martin Grubinger, perc; Munich Philharmonic, cond. Lorin Maazel