Music for Three Orchestras

19.11. 2016
19:00 Forum Karlín, Prague

Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Ostravská banda
Milan Osadský, accordion
Johannes Öllinger, guitar
Daan Vandewalle, piano
Johannes Kalitzke, Petr Kotík, Rolf Gupta, conductors
Stonava Miners Brass Band, Jaroslav Šindel, conductor

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge (1955–56)
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gruppen (1955–57)
Jacek Sotomski: beautiful to me. ah (2014)
Phill Niblock: Three Petals (2014)
Petr Kotík: Variations for 3 Orchestras (2003–05)
John Cage: Atlas Eclipticalis (1961) & Winter Music (1957), simultaneous performance with miners brass band

"Swimmingly evocative (and too rarely attainable) listening experience.“
Classical Lite, New York

„The orchestra has been elevated way past its usual dimensions.“
Radio Wave

Despite Karlheinz Stockhausens position as one of the most inspirational musical figures of the 20th century, his Gruppen for three orchestras, three conductors and 112 musicians is seldom performed, owing to the demanding character of the composition; each chance to experience it live is a singular, extraordinary treat.

Featuring both Gruppen (1957) and the electronic piece Gesang der Jünglinge (1955-56) back-to-back is an unprecedented choice. There is, however, musical continuity between the two compositions: the quadrophonic Gesang der Jünglinge saw Stockhausen testing and employing, for the first time, the idea of “music in space” that would find its radical expression in Gruppen.

Only very rarely (and for the absolutely first time in Prague!) does one get the opportunity to hear a simultaneous performance of John Cages Atlas Eclipticalis (1961) for 86 soloists and his Winter Music (1960) for solo piano, the way the composer himself used to perform the combination with the pianist David Tudor. In keeping with Cages concept, his music will also feature an embedded performance by Stonava Miners Brass Band.

Phill Niblocks and Petr Kotíks compositions for three orchestras both reflect Ostrava Center for New Musics lasting preoccupation with spatial compositions: let us recall the legendary concert at Prague Spring in 1999, which included works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Alvin Lucier, Earle Brown and Giovanni Gabrieli.

The inclusion of Polish composer Jacek Sotomskis (*1987) piece for two orchestras and a soloist situated in the center is representative of Ostrava Center for New Music’s strategy of performing works by the youngest generation of composers.

Approximate duration of the concert: 3 hours.


Johannes Kalitzke – composer, conductor, musikFabrik co-founder, frequent collaborator of Ensemble recherche, Klangforum Wien or Ostravská banda.

Petr Kotík – composer, conductor, director of S.E.M. Orchestra New York and Ostravská banda. Ostrava Days artistic director, co-organiser of NODO (New Opera Days Ostrava).

Rolf Gupta – composer and conductor working with prestigious orchestras worldwide (his past occupations include the position of chief conductor at The Norwegian Radio Orchestra [KORK).


Gruppen! There are precious few places where you will witness the full symphony orchestra showcasing the same hijinks as in Ostrava. […] Karlheinz Stockhausens pulsing Gruppen for three orchestras and three conductors is an uncommon treat indeed.
Radio Wave, August 19, 2015



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