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A. Short biography
B. Career Stopping Points

zurück A. Short biography

Gerhard Stäbler was born 1949 in Wilhelmsdorf, near Ravensburg in southern Germany. In 1968 he enrolled in the composition program at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold and continued his education at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, where he studied with Nicolaus A. Huber (composition) and Gerd Zacher (organ).

gerhard stäbler The "Cornelius Cardew Memorial Prize" (1982) was the first in a series of awards, prizes, commissions and scholarships he received as a composer. From the onset of his career until today, Gerhard Stäbler has not only been active as a composer, but he was also involved in political and organizational arenas. The New Music festival "Aktive Musik" was initiated by Stäbler, who also served as the artistic director of the 1995 World Music Days of the ISCM in the Ruhr Valley. A third vital point of his activities lies in teaching: during workshops and seminars Stäbler has worked with many young international composers. He was composer-in-residence and visiting professor throughout North and South America as well as in the Middle and Far East. Stäblers music often transcends the conventional framework (and therefore the audience's expectations), be it through the use of gestures or movement in space, through lighting and olfactory stimulation, or an active integration of the audience - it is very important to him to stimulate the imagination, to sensitize the ears and other perceptory organs towards unexpected perceptoral and thought processes. This is also the origin of his interest in the interaction between composition and improvisation, which feeds off of the unique tension between performers during the pre-formed yet open musical moment - as to be seen in the graphical score Red on black (1986). By the same token his music is always characterized by extremely contemplated development, and contains elaborate constructs that don't impede the direct musical statement. Especially since the 1990's Stäbler has created Work-"groups" that shed a musical light on different aspects of a thematic complex (e.g. the compositions surrounding CassandraComplex). In some cases works that stand autonomously can be performed simultaneously. Stäbler repeatedly causes the listener to critically reflect upon the music, without his music having to be overtly political: the shriek of a crow is musically interpreted in it's possible implications (in old myths or as harbinger of doom) in Karas.Krähen (1994/95). The music doesn't just exploit its own symbolism, but always points towards our individual actions in this world we live in.

2006 included an extensive Composer Portrait by the Saarland Radio within the festival "Mouvement – Music of the 21st Century" in May, in Saarbrucken, and was followed by the world premiere of the first chamber opera, Afternoon Sun in the Past Fall, in the south Korean capital, Seoul. The end of October brought Düsseldorf premieres of Night Pieces I-IV for Piano Quintet and Voices, which refer to Robert Schumann’s eponymous Piano Pieces, op. 23. The world premiere of, TSUKI, SUBARU, a Concert for the Japanese Mouthharp Sho and Orchestra, was presented in Duisburg at the end of January 2007.

For 2007, Stäbler accepted invitations to present his compositional work in various concerts and master classes, in Greece, England, Austria, Australia, and in numerous German provinces. In May 2007 the composition Wasser.Zeichen for orchestra, ensemble, choir and tape was premiered in Duisburg. In the frame of Dresdner Days for Contemporary Music two word premieres were presented in october 2007. In the end of 2007 Stäbler´s music theatre Letzte Dinge, based on texts by the poet Paul Auster, was performed in Frankfurt/Main with great success.

In April 2008 Sappho Trilogie for soprano, choir , splitted orchestra and tape was premiered in the frame of "WDR-Fest" in Duisburger Landschaftspark . Invitations to the summer academy for new music theatre at European Centre for Arts in Hellerau (Dresden) and to the woll known Darmstädter Ferienkurse followed. In Darmstadt two new works by Stäbler were presented for the first time: ...ins Offene... for the Neuen Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and ]upon dry land[ for Duo Konflikt. Further Invitations lead to a Composition Masterclass on Crete, to the Festival Klangspuren Schwaz (Premieres of Fund.Stücke und Luftspiegelungen for Ensemble ascolta), to the Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh and to a tournee in Libanon. In the moment Stäbler is dealing with a new music theatre for children, which will be premiered at Nationaltheaters in March 2009.


zurück B. Career Stopping Points

August/September 2008: Masterclass for composition on Crete; two premieres in Schwaz: Fund.Stücke und Luftspiegelungen for Ensemble ascolta; Invitation to the Sonic Fusion Festival in Edinburgh.

July 2008: Two new works presented in the frame of the well known Darmstädter Ferienkurse: ...ins Offene... for the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and ]upon dry land[ for Duo Konflikt.

January 2008: Successfull premiere of the music theatre Letzte Dinge in Frankfurt/Main.

October 2007: Two premieres in the frame of Dresdner Days for Contemporary Music: ??

May 2007: Premiere of Wasser. Zeichen for soprano, symphony orchestra, aleatoric ensemble and electronics. Wasser.Zeichen was commissioned and presented by Philharmonie Südwestfalen (dir. Russel N. Harris) and Annette Robbert (soprano).

April 2007: Premiere of the duo If not, Winter for koto and renaissance tenor recorder in the frame of the concert serie "Global Ear".

March 2007: Gerhard Stäbler and Kunsu Shim: Changes - a project presented at Macedonian University Thessalonik, Greece.

January 2007: Premiere of TSUKI, SUBARU for Sho-solo and orchestra (2005/06) with Mayumi Miyata (Sho) commissioned and presented by Duisburg philharmonics (dir. Johannes Kalitzke).

October 2006: "Portrait Gerhard Stäbler" in Duisburg (Haniel academy) and Düsseldorf (Tonhalle) with premieres of Nachtstücke for voice, piano and string quartet and the quintet white spaces for soprano and string quartet combined with a video by Kyungwoo Chun.

September 2006: Premiere of the chamber opera Nachmittagssonne for baritone, violin, viola, cello and tape based on poems by Konstantinos Kavafis. The work was comissioned by Seoul Contemporary Oper Compagny and premiered in Baekjunyon Ginyomkwan (Yonsei University, Seoul).

May 2006: Composer in Residence at the Festival Mouvement - Music in 21st century in Saarbrücken with several performances and world premieres of his works.

November 2005 Music for the dance productions, Brüche, of J.E.T. Tanztheater in Tanzhaus NRW (choreography by Ulla Geiges), and Wenn der Fluss zum Meer wird, of the Sabine Seume Tanztheater in the Krefeld Heeder factory and in Tanzhaus NRW, in Düsseldorf.
World premiere of ]dazzling dawn[ for soprano and ensemble, in the Hanover Academy of Music auditorium (with soprano, Ellen Aagaard, and the Ensemble Ernst of Oslo, under the direction of Thomas Rimul.)

September 2005 Realization of the socio-musical project, SoundWall for mixed choir, accordion, percussion, a mouth-band, electronic sounds and one or more music associations, in Maria-courtyard in Trier, within the framework of the "SCHW!ING Festival" presented by the cloth factory, Tuchfabrik Trier.

May 2005 Composer-in-residence at the University for Music und Theater Arts, Graz (Austria), with workshops, presentations and concerts.

April/May 2005 USA concert tour with performance concerts and workshops in San Francisco, Santa Rosa und in the Pacific Rim Music Festival in Santa Cruz.

February 2005 Participation in the Europe concert tour of the Japanese sho virtuoso Mayumi Miyata with performances of new works – …unter Glas vergessen…, duo for sho and violin, Spectre, for solo sho, and, purple rugs, for ensemble – in Greece, Germany, France and Luxembourg.

December 2004 Japanese concert tour including the world premiere of the duo, ]LIFE[ for hichiriki (Hitomi Nakamura) and sho (Mayumi Miyata) in the Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall.

Autumn 2004 In collaboration with Kunsu Shim, the artistic direction of the event series, UltraWaves, in Greece with the first concerts in October 2004 and February 2005, in Rethymnon (Crete) and Athens; Composition commissions for, among others:
The Langen Foundation for the opening of the Tadao Ando Museum on the Rocket Station of the Hombroich Island Museum in Neuss – ]Desires[ for soprano and percussion (world premiere, with soprano Aiko Morikawa and the Cologne Percussion Quartet).
The Saarbrücken Chamber Music Days – ]with what eyes[ for violin, horn and organ (world premiere with violinist Yamei Yu, horn player XiaoMing Han, and organist Andreas Rothkopf).
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Foundation – Installation KantParkStage.

Spring 2004 Guest professor at the American State College Evergreen (Washington State).

Autumn 2003 Award with the Duisburger Musikpreis 2003. Commissions of the English ensemble "The Apartment House", of the Bayerischer Rundfunks and the Dresdner Tage für zeitgenössische Musik. Concert- and Lectures in Seoul.

Autumn 2002 Canada-USA-Ireland Tournee with concerts, workshops and lectures in Montréal, Toronto, New York and Dublin.

2002 Composer-in-Residence at Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg (Premiere of the opera Madame la Peste: Duisburg April 26, Düsseldorf May 24; Saarbrücken June 15) and portrait-concerts in Düsseldorf March 8, May 20, June 21 and Duisburg April 19.

October 2001 Double-portrait with Kunsu Shim at Ultima, contemporary music-festival in Oslo (Norway); essentiellement, a project with Avi Kaiser and Christine Brunel for "Folkwangfest der Künste" in Essen; Music for the dance-project Endstation Zaspa by Avi Kaiser (given in theater Gdansk and Tanzhaus Düsseldorf).

May 2001 PresencePräsenz given in the frame of "Duisburg Akzente 2001"; comission from Essen Philharmonic orchstra for TIMESCAPE, a piece for solo-percussion and orchstra.

April 2001 Workshop as composer-in-residence during the festival "Utopie jetzt"; project with the dancer Christine Brunel and choreographer Avi Kaiser in collaboration with the composer Kunsu Shim; Theatre- and danceprojects with the director Friederike Felbeck. Premiere of Väter Söhne Geister written by Markus Braun at theatre Bielefeld; "TanzMusik" (dancemusic). Project with the dancers Christine Brunel and Avi Kaiser.

March 2001 Concert-tournee in Corea and part of jury for a composition competition in Seoul/Pusan (Korea).

2000 Commission of the EXPO 2000 for the works energy.light.dream and spatial ayres for soprano, baritone, ensemble, orchestra, and electronic sounds (world première as part of the project "In den Stunden des Neumondes" at Kraftwerk Vockerode [Dessau]); lectures and seminars in Korea und Hong Kong; world première of the opera CassandraComplex after Christa Wolf at the Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden; project kalt.erhitzt, Abgesang auf 113 Flügel, a composition for 113 grand pianos (Festival Tuchfühlung, Langenberg [Germany]); project "futuressence xxx", multimedia performance, première New Langton Arts Theater, San Francisco.

1999 Time for Tomorrow, 25 Futuristic Acts, commission from Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel/Marstall in cooperation with the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe; "EarMarks" and "LandMarks" in various factories of the Ruhr Area; musical project "Changes" commissioned by Siemens Kulturprogramm Munich and world premiere of ohne netz und doppelten boden for opening the festival Dresdner Tage für zeitgenössische Musik at the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister Dresden; commission of the KulturRuhr and grant of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie.

1998 Concert and lecture tour to London (BBC and Royal Academy of Music); lecture at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, where he organized the workshop and the composition [voix(time)] for 8 composers and 3 video artists; portrait Gerhard Stäbler at the 12. Weingartener Tage für Neue Musik; composer-in-residence, together with Kunsu Shim, at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Chicago.

1997 Tour to Israel; composer-in-residence at the ensemble The Apartment House, London; multimedia project Poetic Arcs in Duisburg; lectures at the Brandenburgisches Kolloquium (Schloss Rheinsberg) and at the Netzwerk Saar / Tage für Interpretation und Aufführungspraxis Saarbrücken.

1996 Portrait concert and masterclass at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow; composer-in-residence at the Sonorities Festival Belfast (Northern Ireland) and at June in Buffalo (USA); leads the International Meeting for Young Composers - EarTalk in Greece; scholarship from the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe.

1995 Artistic director of the ISCM World Music Days, Ruhrgebiet; tour of Lebanon and Brazil; member of the jury at the International Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam); lectures at McGill University, Montréal and at Princeton University (USA).

1994 Scholarship from the Japan Foundation; lectures at the Akiyoshidai International Festival (Japan).

1993 Guest professor at Northwestern University; the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet commissions the opera CassandraComplex after Christa Wolf's novel; artistic director of the Jornadas de Música Contemporânea, Porto/Portugal.

1992 Composer-in-residence at Northwestern University in Chicago; teaches at the Internationale Ferienkurse at Darmstadt (also in 1994).

1991 Concert- and lecture-tour in Japan and Korea; organization of the festival for new music Mit Stimmen, Ruhrgebiet.

1990 Guest at the Composer-to-Composer festival in Telluride, USA, and at the Internationale Ferienkurse für neue Musik, Darmstadt; Prix de la Ville de Digne-les-Bains.

1990 Co-organizer of the festival "Ex Machina 90" for electronic and computer music at the Folkwang-Hochschule, Essen; Co-founder of the Gesellschaft für neue Musik Ruhr (1991-95 chairmanship).

1989 Organizes Active Music '89 at New York, a series of concerts in the frame of the festival Ruhrworks.

1988 Lectures at the Yonsei University, Seoul.

1987-88 Scholarship Künstlerhof Schreyahn (Germany).

1986-87 and 1993 Djerassi-Artist-in-Residence, USA.

1985-86 Fellowship from the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung (Südwestfunk) Since 1986 Aktive Musik in the Ruhrgebiet, organizing concerts and festivals.

Since 1985 Numerous tours in the USA and Canada: concerts, lectures and teaching (amongst others, Yale University; Columbia University/New York; Wesleyan University/Connecticut; University of Illinois, Urbana; McGill University, Montréal; Princeton University; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver).

1983 and 1986 Worked at the computer music center at Stanford University, USA.

1983 Wins the composers' competition Ensemblia at Mönchengladbach.

1982 Cornelius Cardew Memorial Prize, London.

1968-76 Studied music in Detmold (1968-70) and Essen (1970-76). Composition with Nicolaus A. Huber, organ with Gerd Zacher.

1949 Born in Wilhelmsdorf, near Ravensburg, on July 20.