Past and Present Connected In The 33rd Exposition Of New Music

Filharmonie Brno is ready for seven festival evenings. The 33rd annual Exposition of New Music will begin on Monday, June 21st, and this year’s theme is the connection between the past and the present. Photo Credit: Filharmonie Brno.

Brno, June 18 (BD) – The Exposition of New Music, established in 1987, is a five-day festival of contemporary music, which aims to be not only a presentation but also an interactive communication with public and public spaces. The starting point of the dramaturgical concept of this year’s festival, in its 33rd year, is confrontation, and dialogue between the new and the old, both in the field of artistic creation and its interpretation. Filharmonie Brno will perform one concert every day, from Monday, June 21st, until Sunday 27th.

“In recent decades, there has been a clear tendency in Western culture to look back. Artists work with it as a material that they transform into a form that has little to do with the ideals of the past. The growth of new media also made a significant contribution to this, as the past became easily processed and usable,” explained program director Daniel Matej.

The opening concert is named “Tears”, in honor of a composition by Martin Smolka, which was one of the first significant Czechoslovak manifestations of nostalgia for a lost past. Compositions by Arvo Pärt, Vít Zouhar, La Monte Young, and Antonín Rejcha will be performed by the Czech Rejch String Quartet.

Photo: Composer Martin Smolka. Credit: Filharmonie Brno.

On Tuesday, the avant-garde performance “Improvisation on Chopin”, by the Polish pianist Zygmunt Krauze, will combine his compositions with the works of Frederic Chopin. “I spent hundreds, maybe thousands of hours playing his music until I naturally began to deviate from it and add my expressions, new harmonies, and rhythms. I intended to try to hear his music extended by today’s experience,” said Krauze.

Photo: Pianist Zygmunt Krauze. Credit: Adam Stępień / Filharmonie Brno.

The Charlie Chat project, on Wednesday, will bring together an imaginary dialogue between the American jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker, the Swiss trombonist and composer, Roland Dahinden, and the Brno saxophonist of the group Dust in the Groove, Radim Hanousek. 

“Et lux”, the classical and choral studio album by German composer Wolfgang Rihm, will be performed on Thursday by the fama Q quartet and the vocal ensemble specializing in medieval and Renaissance polyphony, Cappella Mariana. Friday night will feature contemporary performers, such as the French visual artist eRikm, a virtual performance by the Canadian pioneer of plunderphonics John Oswald, and the young Bratislava DJ Ink Midget.

Photo: Composer Wolfgang Rihm. Credit: Filharmonie Brno.

Saturday’s concert will bring together the old and the new in the form of two pairs of outstanding performers playing early music: Kate Clark and Barbara Maria Willi, and new music: Ronald Šebesta and Ivan Šiller, performing Stockausen’s Tierkreis and Cage’s Four6, respectively.

The concluding concert of the festival will bring four pieces to the stage in their Czech premieres, beginning with Cage’s “Fourteen”, performed by pianist Jaroslav Šťastný. This will be followed by two piano concertos by renowned Belgian pianist Daan Vandewalle: “Concert pour piano et orchestre no. 2 – Aux fins des quelques siècles” by Clarence Barlow, which combines electric piano and electronics, and John Oswald’s “Oswald´s First Piano Concerto by Tchaikovsky”, in which the orchestra plays the well-known piece, and the soloist is freed from it to the point that the conductor and orchestra are forced to follow. The festival will end with Krauze’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 – Fragments of Memory”. 

“It expresses pain, but it is not aggressive, instead it is infused with hope. The solo part also contains a theatrical element – the pianist utters and shouts words evoking feelings of confusion, nervousness and panic and is thus enriched with a purely human aspect,” said Krauze, who will perform his work in person in Brno.

All concerts will start at 7pm and will take place in Besední dům, except for Friday’s performance, which will take place in Dům umění. A single entrance fee is 150 CZK / 75 CZK and tickets are available online or at the door.

Brno Daily is a media partner of Filharmonie Brno.

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