Ostrava Days Festival announces its 2017 program

Publikováno: 5.4.2017

Festival of New and Experimental Music

August 24 – September 2, 2017
Ostrava, Czech Republic 

24 performances 30 world premieres
200 musicians from Europe and the U.S. 

Debut of a new symphony orchestra, the Ostrava New Orchestra (ONO), comprised of young European musicians dedicated to new music

Focus on adventurous orchestral and ensemble works from the
20th century’s avant-garde to the youngest generation of composers
from around the world 

With resident composers
Muhal Richard Abrams, Richard Ayres, Christopher Butterfield, Petr Kotik, Bernard Lang, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Olga Neuwirth, Phill Niblock, Pavel Zemek Novák, Frederic Rzewski, Marc Sabat, Kate Soper, Miroslav Srnka, Jennifer Walshe 

Music by
Petr Bakla, John Cage, Petr Cígler, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Charles Ives, Petr Kotík, Alvin Lucier, Alex Mincek, Phill Niblock, Salvatore Sciarrino, Richard Strauss, Edgard Varèse, Galina Ustwolskaja, Christian Wolff, Iannis Xenakis 

“Gritty, diverse and just a bit dangerous: so might one describe the programming tactics at Ostrava Days.” –Financial Times 

New York City/Ostrava, April 3, 2017—The Ninth Biennial Ostrava Days festival returns to Ostrava, Czech Republic, August 24 to September 2, 2017, with 24 concerts and events, including thirty world premieres, and an impressive roster of composers and performers from around the globe. Presented by Ostrava Center for New Music (Renáta Spisarová, director) and its founder/artistic director Petr Kotik, Ostrava Days is one of the largest summer festivals of contemporary and new music. Unlike other festivals, it focuses on works for large ensembles, including symphony orchestras, as well as operatic, chamber and solo works; and its programming offers a unique balance between European and American repertoires. Ostrava Days festival is also the culmination of Ostrava Days Institute (August 14 to September 2), a three–week international summer program that welcomes more than 35 emerging international composers, whose work will be performed during the festival, alongside music from resident composers and masterpieces from the recent past.

Composers who will attend this year’s festival include the legendary trio of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians,Muhal Richard Abrams (New York), Roscoe Mitchell (Oakland, US) and George Lewis (New York);Petr Kotik and Kate Soper (New York); Frederic Rzewski (Brussels); Olga Neuwirth and Bernard Lang (Vienna); Jennifer Walshe (London); Richard Ayres (Amsterdam); Christopher Butterfield (Vancouver, Canada); Marc Sabat (Berlin); Pavel Zemek Novák (Brno); and Miroslav Srnka (Prague).

One of this year’s highlights is the launch of Ostrava New Orchestra (ONO), a new international symphony orchestra composed of 80 young European musicians (18 to 35), culled from the most talented students of leading European music schools.  ONO will be solely dedicated to the performance of new music, with the sound and energy that can meet the demands for its interpretation. ONO will open and close the festival.

The 35–piece international chamber orchestra Ostravská banda, is the second large-scale ensemble at Ostrava Days (formed in 2005). Ostravská banda will perform, among others, an evening juxtaposing American and European experimental works, and “Rudolf Komorous Legacy”—an overview of West Coast Canadian composers, all former students of the Czech-born Komorous. Other ensembles include one of the world’s most distinguished new music vocal ensembles, the Stuttgart–based Neue Vocalsolisten; Canticum Ostrava, led by choirmaster Jurij Galatenko; and Momenta Quartet, the violin duo String Noise,  the avant–garde chamber group Loadbang, all hailing from New York City. The Prague Improvisation Orchestra and Krakow Improvisers Orchestra will appear at the Minimarathon of Electronic Music.

This year’s soloists, to name a few, are pianists Daan Vandewalle (Ghent, Belgium) and Joseph Kubera (New York), violinist Hana Kotková (Lugano, Switzerland), soprano Measha Brueggergosman (Canada), baritones Thomas Buckner (New York) and Holger Falk (Germany), violist Nikolaus Schlierf (Berlin), french horn player Daniel Costello (Dessau), and percussionists Tamás Schlanger (Budapest) and Eirik Raude (Spikkestad, Norway). Conductors include Rolf Gupta (Kristiansand, Norway), Petr Kotik (New York), Joseph Trafton (Mannheim), Bruno Ferrandis (Paris), Carl Bettendorf (New York) and Owen Underhill (Victoria B.C.).

Capital of the Moravian–Silesian region and third largest city in the Czech Republic, Ostrava was the European center for the production of coal and steel for most of the 20th century. With the last mine closing in 1994, following the Velvet Revolution, the city boasts a unique collection of historic industrial plants, some of them renovated into state–of–the–art cultural venues. This year, the festival will take place in six new spaces, including the Triple Hall (Trojhalí Karolina), and Staré koupelny (Old Bathrooms) of the Hlubina Coal Mine Area in historical Lower Area of Vítkovice.

Festival highlights include:
* The Opening Night concert, launching the 80-piece international Ostrava New Orchestra (ONO) with a program featuring world premieres by Phill Niblock and Rolf Gupta, Salvatore Sciarrino’s virtuosic Giorno velato presso il lago nero with violinist Hana Kotková, and Iannis Xenakis’ rarely performed AÏS with baritone Holger Falk and percussionist Tamás Schlanger. (August 27 at Trojhalí Karolina)

* A double bill featuring key figures from the internationally acclaimed Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM), which played a major role in the history of American experimental music: pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and trombonist George Lewis. Featuring Ostravská banda with live performances by these pioneering artists, the program also includes Christian Wolff’s Five Songs (sung by baritone Thomas Buckner), the world premiere of Petr Bakla’s Summer Work (commissioned by the festival), Richard AyresNONcerto for horn (with Daniel Costello playing the solo part), and Marc Sabat’s Lying in the Grass (featuring pianist Daan Vandewalle). (August 28 at Trojhalí Karolina)

* “Radical Past,” an evening showcasing pioneering composers of the 20th century, whose work radically change the direction of music: Richard Strauss, Charles Ives, Edgard Varèse, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Jan Rychlík, Petr Kotik and Philip Glass. Ostrava New Orchestra (ONO) will perform the works at the Antonín Dvořák Theatre. (August 30)

* Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a 60-minute set of 36 variations on a Chilean song, performed by pianist Daan Vandewalle. (August 31 at Hlubina Coal Mine)

* Two operas: Kate Soper’s acclaimed Here Be Sirens for three soprano and grand piano, in which three sirens kill time on an island as they await an endless procession of doomed sailors (August 25 at Hlubina Coal Mine); and the Czech premiere ofMiroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise, featuring a libretto by Tom Holloway, based on Isabel Coixet’s critically acclaimed screenplay, The Secret Life of Words. A co-production with Bregenzer Festspiele festival (Austria), Make No Noise is sung by soprano Measha Brueggergosman and a cast of German and Austrian singers. (September 1 at Trojhalí Karolina)

* The Closing Night concert, during which ONO will give the world premiere of Muhal Richard AbramsTextures, commissioned by the festival, and the Czech premieres of Bernhard Lang’s Monadologie XIX for large orchestra and Olga Neuwirth’s Trurliade - Zone Zero for percussion and orchestra. (September 2 at Trojhalí Karolina)

* The Minimarathon of Electronic Music, curated by Martin Klimeš(August 26, in cooperation with Bludný Kámen Association and Art Gallery in Ostrava) 

* An evening curated by composer Christopher Butterfield (University of Victoria, B.C.), paying homage to the legacy of Czech-born Canadian composer Rudolf Komorous, who taught in Victoria from 1971 to 94 and strongly influenced generations of composers on the West Coast of Canada. The program will feature the European premieres of works by Martin Arnold, Linda Catlin Smith, Owen Underhill, Christopher Butterfield and Rudolf Komorous. (August 31 at Hlubina Coal Mine Area)

* Recitals by pianist Joseph Kubera (music by Christian Wolff, Lejaren Hiller and Muhal Richard Abrams) on August 25; String Noise (world premieres of Alex Mincek’s Way and Petr Cigler’s Nothing is Free) also on August 25; Momenta Quartet (Kotik’s String Quartet No. 2, “Torso,” and Petr Bakla’s Major Thirds) on August 30; and Neue Vocalsolisten (Music by Enno Poppe, Friedrich Cerha and Salvatore Sciarrino) on September 1) 

* A performance/installation evening, including Alvin Lucier’s Love Song for two violins and string; the film An Gléacht by the late Irish visionary artist Caoimhín Breathnach, with original live music by Walshe and friends; and Walshe’s Zusammen I for 10 performers and film. (August 26 at the Gallery of Fine Arts)

* Compositions by emerging composers from the youngest generation, programmed at each concert.

For a complete and detailed program of events, visit newmusicostrava.cz

Ostrava Days 2017 is being presented in collaboration with Trojhalí Karolina, PLATO Ostrava, Bludný kámen z.s., National Moravian-Silesian Theatre and Czech Center New York. Ostrava Days is made possible by financial support from Statutory City of Ostrava, Czech Ministry of Culture, Allianz Cultural Foundation, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, Ernst von Siemens Foundation and Moravian-Silesian Region.

August 24 – September 2, 2017

Resident Composers:
Muhal Richard Abrams (New York)
Richard Ayres (Amsterdam)
Christopher Butterfield (Vancouver, Canada)
Petr Kotík (New York)
Bernhard Lang (Vienna)
George Lewis (New York)
Roscoe Mitchell (Oakland, US)
Olga Neuwirth (Berlin)
Phill Niblock (New York)
Pavel Zemek Novák (Brno)
Frederic Rzewski (Brussels)
Kate Soper (New York)
Miroslav Srnka (Prague)
Jennifer Walshe (London)
Marc Sabat (Berlin)

Orchestras and Ensembles:
ONO (Ostrava New Orchestra)
Ostravská banda
Momenta Quartet (New York)
Loadbang (New York)
Neue Vocalsolisten (Stuttgart)
Canticum Ostrava, Jurij Galatenko
String Noise (New York)
Prague Improvisation Orchestra
Cracow Improvisers Orchestra

Petr Kotík (New York)
Bruno Ferrandis (Paris)
Rolf Gupta (Kristiansand)
Joseph Trafton (Mannheim)
Carl Bettendorf (New York)
Owen Underhill (Victoria B.C.)

Joseph Kubera, Piano (New York)
Nikolaus Schlierf, Viola (Berlin)
Hana Kotková, Violin (Lugano)
Holger Falk, Baritone (Berlin)
Tamás Schlanger, Percussion (Budapest)
Daniel Costello, French Horn (Dessau)
Arne Deforce, violoncello (Brugge)
Andrej Gál, Violoncello (Bratislava)
Juho Laitinen, Violoncello (Turku)
Daan Vandewalle, Piano (Ghent)
Measha Brueggergosman, Soprano (Canada)
Okka von der Damerau, Mezzo-Soprano (Berlin)
Taylan Reinhard, Tenor (Graz)
Maciej Idziorek, Baritone (Vienna)
Eirik Raude, Percussion (Spikkestad)
Thomas Buckner, Voice (New York)
Victor Hanna, Percussion (Paris)




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