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).
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.
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.
2008: Masterclass for composition on Crete; two premieres in Schwaz:
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
March 2001 Concert-tournee
in Corea and part of jury for a composition competition in Seoul/Pusan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
from the Japan Foundation; lectures at the Akiyoshidai International
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.
at Northwestern University in Chicago; teaches at the Internationale
Ferienkurse at Darmstadt (also in 1994).
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.
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).
Active Music '89 at New York, a series of concerts in the
frame of the festival Ruhrworks.
at the Yonsei University, Seoul.
Künstlerhof Schreyahn (Germany).
1986-87 and 1993
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.
Cardew Memorial Prize, London.
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.