News | Culture 28.11.2011

Young Soloists: Concert Series starting December 13, 2011

For ten years now, the Young Soloists series has provided an unusual forum for exploring contemporary music. At each concert, gifted students from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München present selected works from the 20th and 21st centuries along with the world premiere of a piece by a young composer taught by Prof. Jan Müller-Wieland or Prof. Moritz Eggert.

Due to construction work in the Siemens AG buildings, during the 2011/12 season the moderated concert series will continue in the Sophiensaal at the Bayerisches Landesamt für Steuern. The Sophiensaal is located at Sophienstraße 6, diagonally opposite the Parkcafé, within walking distance from the Stachus and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.

The very first concert will be held in the new venue:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
Viola, accordion
Wen Xiao Zheng, viola; Marija Kandic, accordion
Works by Yūji Takahashi (*1938), Stefan Beyer (*1981)
World premiere by Henrik Ajax (*1980)
Composition class Prof. Jan Müller-Wieland

With its unusual scoring for viola and accordion, the work Like Swans Leaving the Lake (1995) by Yūji Takahashi translates an Asian-tinged musical language into European instrumentation. Stefan Beyer’s solo accordion piece notoriously pyratish was written in 2007 for Luka Juhart, the soloist who performed the world premiere. It pays homage to the accordion’s forgotten maritime social role as the “piano” of the sailors. “From an instrumental point of view, its versatility is tremendous, almost frivolous – an unboundedness in which it resembles the sailors themselves (especially the pirates).” (Stefan Beyer)

The young composer whose work premieres on December 13, Henrik Ajax (*1980 in Katrineholm, Sweden), studied piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris (2002 – 2005) before going to Würzburg to study composition with Prof. Heinz Winbeck, receiving his diploma there in July 2009. He is now studying in Prof. Müller-Wieland’s master class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Henrik Ajax says of his work Vertigo: “The beginning of the piece, based on the highest extremes of the two instruments, serves as a clear metaphor for vertigo. The larger formal plan of the piece describes a slow process of descending, or perhaps falling, and so the whole thing ends at the lowest extreme. Simultaneous with this arc of falling, two shifts take place on the structural level: at the beginning the texture is one of pure sound, atmosphere, treating the instruments more ‘anonymously’, as the two tone colors mingle and merge. Gradually, though, they separate, and the middle part of the composition displays structures that work with classical devices such as harmony and part-writing – but which shift back to pure sound again once they arrive in the depths, and then ‘vanish’.”

Young Soloists is a concert series organized by the Siemens Stiftung in cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Admission to the concerts, which last about 45 minutes, is free.