Global Austria
5th of April 2011, 7:00pm, Entry Free Austrian Cultural Forum, London,

A concert of works by composers who’s creative lives have been shaped by the musical energies of Austria. It will include composers who are native Austrians alongside those who have been or are still creatively active in the country.


Detlev Müller-Siemens: Privacy* (Violin, Clarinet, Piano)

Olga Neuwirth: Marsyas (Piano)

Luke Styles: Slogan 3 (Violin, Clarinet, Piano)

Amir Safari: States** (Cl solo)

Alban Berg: Adagio - 2nd movement of the Chamber Concert (Violin, Clarinet, Piano)

*World premiere
**UK premiere

Performers: Violin-Alexandra Wood, Clarinet-Timothy Orpen, Piano-Alison Farr

About the Music

PRIVACY for Clarinet, Violin and piano, composed in October 2010 in memory of Laszlo Polgar. The three instruments move in circles, independent of one another, around one another and staying on their own. Only towards the end of the work do the instruments find one another in a very slow fade-out(-gesture).

Slogan 3 is part of a collection of works (Untitled 1 for Violin and Viola. Untitled 2 for Quintet) that are composed along the same basic principles; A fast movement or section followed by a slow movement or section, plus a common approach to harmony, in which both parts of the work explore the same harmonic territory but with differing approaches and ramifications. The work does not have a conscious programme which it follows nor does it attempt to address ideas or concepts.

“States” (1999) is a documentation and description of a particular occurrence, in five parts. Though the piece should not be considered as programme music, the expression of each movement corresponds to a part of the occurrence. The knowledge about the exact situation, from which the idea of the piece arose, would be trivial to the listener. Only the emotional impact, the essence of the music is of importance.

The movements are neutrally called “states”, as though we are just scientific observers of the situation and keep record of each state of a progression. No romantic pathos is propagated by the title, no extroverted theatrical use of a multitude of instruments. “States” is an inwardly directed drama for one.

When speaking of an expressive music, the “organizing principles” mainly serve the purpose of enunciating the musical ideas; like linguistic syntax, which is necessary to build a sentence, but is incapable of providing a meaning on its own. Please do not expect to read about sophisticated algorithms that generated this music. This piece is not an abstract study on formulas or permutations of serial rows. Instead, there should be a music beneath the meticulously notated gestures, the microtonal systems and the immanent harmonies, that should speak for itself – or remain silent.

“States” was a finalist piece and was performed at the ALEA III 2010 International Composition Competition, together with six works for ensemble.

About the Composers

Detlev Müller-Siemens (b. July 30, 1957, Hamburg) studied composition with Günter Friedrichs at the Musikhochschule Hamburg from 1970-73 and with György Ligeti at the same school from 1973-80. He also studied with Olivier Messiaen in Paris in 1977-78, piano with Volker Banfield from 1978-80 and conducting with Christoph von Dohnányi in Hamburg from 1978-80 and with Klauspeter Seibel in 1985-86.

He has received numerous honors, including two scholarships to the Villa Massimo in Rome (1980, 1982), the Hindemith-Preis from the Hindemith-Stiftung (1985), the Rolf-Liebermann-Stipendium (1988), and the Rolf-Liebermann-Förderpreis (1990, for his opera „Die Menschen“).
In 1998, the Linos Ensemble (Cologne) toured Southeast Asia for three weeks with his music, sponsored by the Goethe-Institut, in 2001, his opera "Bing" was premièred at the Oper Bonn and in 2003, violist Paul Neubauer performed his Concert for viola and orchestra in New York.

As a conductor, he served as an assistant to the production of "Le Grand Macabre" by György Ligeti at l'Opéra de Paris in 1981. From 1986-88, he was assistant conductor at the Städtische Bühne Freiburg/Breisgau.Müller-Siemens taught as Professor for Composition and Theory at the Musik-Akademie Basel from 1991-2005. 2005 he became Professor for composition at the ”Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Vienna. He lives at Vienna and Switzerland.

Olga Neuwirth, Born on 4th August 1968 in Graz, Austria. Trumpet lessons from the age of seven.

1987–94 Composition studies at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst with Erich Urbanner, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Elinor Armer and with Tristan Murail in Paris.

The worlds of sound in Olga Neuwirth's compositions are like twisting labyrinths, and are not fully revealed on first hearing. Looking for points of orientation, one is left groping: the pitches, instrumental timbres and formal processes – that is, all the factors that can give the ear a certain support – are either absorbed or wiped away by the music. Behind the baffling wealth of sound patterns lies a systematic deconstruction of everyday acoustic experience. Here, many things familiar from daily life are sharply distorted and put into new contexts. The less recognisable the sounds become, the more susceptible they and their tonal qualities become to the listeners' own associations. It's because the composer often resorts to extreme means to achieve this effect that her music is so interesting and exciting.

Amir Safari was born in 1982. He was introduced to music at the age of 4, wrote his first compositions at the age of 6 and later attended a music school, at which he received his first diploma. He studied Composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, with Iván Eröd and Detlev Müller-Siemens.

Besides composing, he is working on his dissertation on the perception of music and compositional design. He also works as a graphic designer and photographer and currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Luke Styles is a UK based composer who’s music has been performed throughout the world at leading festivals by contemporary music’s premiere musicians. This has included performances by the BBC Singers, the Kreutzer Quartet, members of Ensemble Modern, Lontano, Sarah Nicolls and Ensemble Amorpha amongst many others.

Luke undertook a Bachelor of Music (composition) degree at the Royal Academy of Music London (graduating with honours in 2005). Following this initial training Luke’s postgraduate studies have taken him to study with Wolfgang Rihm at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Germany, with George Benjamin at King’s College London and with Detlev Müller-Siemens at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Vienna.

Luke currently teaches composition at the Junior Trinity College of Music and is Artistic Director of Ensemble Amorpha.

Olga NeuwirthOlga Neuwirth Photo: Priska Ketterer Amir SafariAmir Safari   Detlev Müller-SiemensDetlev Müller-Siemens   Luke StylesLuke Styles   Alban BergAlban Berg