Brussels – February 2016
Sturm und Klang Ensemble conducted by Thomas Van Haeperen, performed works by six composers: Michael Berkeley, Moritz Eggert, Olli Virtaperko, Julian Grant, Peter Helmut Lang and Philippe Leroux.
Referring to the pre-romantic notion of Sturm und Drang, a movement conducted by youth who had ideals such as freedom, passion and the emancipation of the individual, Sturm und Klang (“Storm and Sound”), possess energy, ardour and enthusiasm as their major assets.It is in this spirit that the musicians of the orchestra, established in 2000 by Thomas Van Haeperen, share a momentum and a commitment to projects that claim their dynamism, their sensibility and their creativity.
Depending on the repertoire, Sturm und Klang either comes together as the Sturmund Klang Orchestra,or in a smaller formation as the Sturm und Klang Ensemble.
Download the programme here.
STURM UND KLANG ENSEMBLE - BRUSSELS, 16TH FEBRUARY 2016
Michael Berkeley was born in 1948, the eldest son of the composer Sir Lennox Berkeley and a godson of Benjamin Britten. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and later with Richard Rodney Bennett. Berkeley has held Associate Composer roles with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and later with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, during which he composed notable works such as Or Shall We Die?, Organ Concerto and Concerto for Orchestra.
Berkeley currently presents Radio 3’s Private Passions and was Chairman of the Governors of The Royal Ballet from 2003 to 2012.
Recent compositions include Magna Carta Te Deum, commissioned by Lincoln Cathedral to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, and The Tale of Andrew; an anthem that sets text by Bishop Thomas Ken relating the life of St Andrew.
Berkeley was appointed a CBE for services to music in 2012 and has been made an independent peer in the House of Lords.
Moritz Eggert was born 1965 in Heidelberg. As a composer he is comfortably shifting between many musical genres, which confuses or delights the avant-garde or classical audience. His works have often gathered media attention with works like the soccer oratorio “Die Tiefe des Raumes” (written for the Ruhrtriennale as part of the cultural program of the Football Championship 2006) or his opera “Freax” based on the infamous and long banned film by Tod Browning. For Eggert contemporary music should not be aimed at an insider or expert audience but it should also not cater to the lowest common denominator. There is a way in between which is part of his personal theory of “atopical” (or “placeless”) music.
A large part of his body of work is for musical theatre. He wrote 12 operas as well as several ballets and dance theatre pieces. He is also interested in chamber music – sometimes performative and experimental like his piano cycle “Haemmerklavier” or intimate and intense like his song cycle “Neue Dichter Lieben”, but also has written extensively for orchestras and large ensembles.
At the moment he works on new operas for Bonn and Amsterdam, a large work for voice and orchestra called “Muzak” for musica viva in Munich, and a double bass solo for the International ARD-competition.
As a pianist, singer, conductor and performer he has championed both modern and classical repertoire and is a sought accompanist and chamber music partner. For the Neue Musikzeitung he has created the “Bad Blog of Musick” which is the most read contemporary music blog in Germany, but also writes extensively for various print mediums. He was part of the recent ARTE-documentation about the history of music (“Epochen der Musikgeschichte”).
Eggert lives in Munich together with his wife, the author Andrea Heuser, and his son Milo and daughter Siri.
Olli Virtaperko is a Finnish composer (b 1973), who entered the world of music at the age of 8 when he began learning the cello. He was trained as a composer at Edinburgh University and at Sibelius Academy in Finland, where he received his Master of Music degree in 2005. Virtaperko’s compositions are characterized by their structural sensitivity, idiomatic use of instruments and imaginative orchestration. His musical language reflects and draws on aesthetic and stylistic influences from many sources, such as spectralism, renaissance instrumental polyphony and progressive rock. Virtaperko’s versatile approach to music has been on display in his Ensemble Ambrosius, a group that plays contemporary music with baroque instruments and is known for its performances and recordings of Frank Zappa’s music and Virtaperko’s own work.
Virtaperko is the vice chairman of the Finnish Society of Composers and he served as the artistic director of Tampere Biennale festival from 2010 to 2014. He is also a cultural commentator and has hosted radio programs on classical music for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE since 2007.
Julian Grant is a composer, writer, educator, music journalist, and broadcaster. He was born in London in 1960, and has resided in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. Since 2010 he has divided his time between the US and the UK. He has composed 18 operas, which have been performed by English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Almeida Opera, Mecklenburgh Opera, and Tétè-a-Tétè. The Skin Drum (1988) won the National Opera Association of America’s New Opera prize and Out of Season (1991) was nominated for an Olivier Award. He writes extensively on opera, Russian and contemporary music.
From 2002 to 2007, he was director of music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London, a post previously occupied by Gustav Holst, Vaughan-Williams and Herbert Howells. He has worked for Hong Kong University, hosted a radio show for RTHK, and has been involved in education work for London’s major opera houses, including an extensive tour of Russia in 1990 with English National Opera. He worked extensively with the Beijing New Music Ensemble, and studied the Yang-Qin (Butterfly Harp) while living in China. From 2010-13 he was Composer in Residence at Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn. A long-term relationship with the experimental opera company Tête-a-Tête produced miniature works: Platform 10, Odd Numbers, Anger and Only Connect, and the full-length Odysseus Unwound, which toured Britain and Europe in 2006-7, featuring traditional spinners, weavers and knitters from Fair Isle among the performers, and was featured on BBC’s ‘The Culture Show’. A dance opera, Hot House, produced by TV’s ‘The Choir’s’ Gareth Malone, was commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad in London and performed at the Royal Opera House in July 2012.
His collected songs and an album of piano works, Shivereens, were recently published. New works include Sancho’s Dance-Mix for Buskaid, Soweto, and piano preludes for Melvyn Tan.
He is currently working on an opera, Body Business, a recipient of an Opera America grant. Future projects include an opera for UK’s InterOpera, and an orchestral work for the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.
Peter Helmut Lang was born in 1974 and grew up in the region of Stuttgart. He studied composition, electroacoustics and music theory at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany and the Akademia Muzyczna in Lodz, Poland with Reinhard Wolschina, Hans Tutschku, Bronislaw Przybylski, Hermann Sprenger and Robin Minard. He has won several prizes as a composer (recently the Thüringer Kompositionspreis 2015) and has had commissions from well-known artists. He has been awarded several artist scholarships including Studienstipendium der GFPS, Künstlerstipendium der Kulturstiftung Thüringen or Aufenthaltsstipendium auf Schloss Hundisburg.
He has written solo works, chamber music, orchestral works, choral music, songs and electroacoustic music, and also music for film and theatre. Peter Helmut Lang lives as freelance composer, pianist and music teacher in Weimar and Leipzig. He is board member of the via nova – zeitgenössische Musik e.V. and artistic director of Klangnetz Thüringen.
Philippe Leroux was born in Boulogne Billancourt (France) on September 24th, 1959. In 1978 he entered the Paris Conservatory (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique), studied with Ivo Malec, Claude Ballif, Pierre Schäeffer and Guy Reibel and obtained three first prizes. Meanwhile, he followed classes with Olivier Messiaen, Franco Donatoni, Betsy Jolas, JeanClaude Eloy and Iannis Xénakis. In 1993 he was selected to enter the Villa Medicisin Rome for two years, where he remained until 1995.
With his music being widely performed in international festivals and orchestras such as Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmony… Philippe Leroux’s compositional output includes symphonic, vocal, electronic, acousmatic and chamber music. Born in Boulogne Billancourt 1959, he entered the Paris Conservatory in 1978 studying with Ivo Malec, Claude Ballif and Pierre Schäeffer and obtained three first prizes. Other prizes and awards include: Best contemporary musical creation Award 1996 for (d’)ALLER, SACEM Prize, Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca, André Caplet, Nadia and Lili Boulanger Prizes from the Academy of Fine Arts (Institut de France), Arthur Honegger Prize (Fondation de France) for his overhall production. He is fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. From 2001 to 2006 he was a teacher in composition at IRCAM in the frame of the “Cursus d’Informatique Musicale”. From 2007 to 2009 he was composerin-residence at Metz Arsenal and at Orchestre National de Lorraine, then since 2009 to 2011, invited Professor at Université de Montréal (UdeM) and composer in residence with the MEITAR ensemble. From September 2011 he is Associate Professor in composition at McGill University.
He has received many prizes and awards: Prix Hervé Dugardin, Best contemporary musical creation Award 1996 for (d’)ALLER, SACEM Prize, André Caplet, Nadia and Lili Boulanger, composition prize 2015 of the Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca from the Academy of Fine Arts (Institut de France), Salabert Prize for his piece Apocalypsis and Arthur Honegger Prize (Fondation de France) for his overall production. In 2015, he was elected member of the Royal Society of Canada.