“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.” This is how Friedrich Cerha characterises his journey as a composer.
On 17 February 2011 Cerha celebrates his 85th birthday, and a number of events are paying tribute to a composer whose unfailing efforts have led to such a variety in the national music scene in Austria, not to mention his immeasurable influence as a teacher and a critical supporter of the arts.
The Vienna Konzerthaus is honouring the composer on the evening of his birthday with a concert of central works from his oeuvre. Those participating in the musical tribute include the ensemble co-founded by Friedrich Cerha, die reihe, and HK Gruber as chansonnier.
On the same evening, Austrian Radio OE1 is presenting a Long Night of Friedrich Cerha.
A video interview with Friedrich Cerha made by the Austrian broadcaster TW1 will be online soon.
The Salzburg Biennale in March also celebrates the life and music of Friedrich Cerha. As part of their Zoom series it presents concerts and a reading on 12 March at the Mozarteum University. The music is provided by Klangforum Wien together with the baritone Martin Winkler, performing Eine Art Chansons (A kind of Chansons). The composer will receive the Music Prize of the State of Salzburg on 13 March.
Finally, the Wien Modern Festival is also featuring the music of Friedrich Cerha this year. The opening concert of the festival on 28 October will present all seven parts of Cerha’s orchestral magnum opus Spiegel. This April, a new recording of the full work was released by Kairos. “A work that definitely needs to be staged”, wrote Gerhard R. Koch in the FAZ.