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Composers Forum: Hans Thomalla

Friday, September 21, 2018 at 1:30pm

Lincoln Hall, 316
Dept of Music, 101 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-4101, USA

Hans Thomalla, born in Bonn, Germany, is a Chicago based composer. His compositions explore the transitions between music as historically formed expression, often dissecting found "objects" from music tradition, and music as sound as its own acoustic reality. He has written chamber music as well as orchestral works, and a particular focus of his activity lies in composing for the stage: his opera “Fremd” for soloists, choir, large orchestra and electronics, was premiered at the main stage of the Stuttgart Opera in July 2011. His second opera "Kaspar Hauser" was first produced by Freiburg Opera in 2016, and a second production followed at Augsburg Opera in 2017. He is currently working on a new opera. Dark Spring, for the Mannheim Opera company.

Hans Thomalla has worked closely with groups such as Ensemble Recherche, the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Musikfabrik, Ensemble Dal Niente, Talea, Ensemble Ascolta, Spektral Quartet, Trio Accanto, and soloists such as Nicolas Hodges, Lucas Fels, Marcus Weiss, Irvine Arditti, Sarah-Maria Sun, Yukiko Sugawara among others. A portrait CD of his works performed by Ensemble Recherche and Lucas Fels is published by WERGO, and a recording of his opera "Fremd" has been produced by Col Legno.

Hans Thomalla is Professor of Music Composition at Northwestern University, where he also founded and directs the Institute for New Music. He taught masterclasses and seminars at June in Buffalo, Matrix Freiburg, and at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, where he was on the composition faculty for several years, and were he directed the first Darmstadt Opera Workshop for composers and singers in 2014. 

Hans Thomalla studied at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and received his doctoral degree in composition from Stanford University. From 1999-2002 he was an Assistant Dramaturge and later Dramaturge and Musical Advisor of the Dramaturgie at the Stuttgart Opera. He has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, among others the Composer Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, the Christoph-Delz-Prize, a Fromm Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. During the academic year 2014/15 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

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Department of Music



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