Mauricio Kagel "Zwei-Mann-Orchester"

Goethe Institute Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mauricio Kagel is one of the most important composers of the present day. He was born into a Jewish family in Buenos Aires in 1931 which had fled Russia in the 1920s. Early on he received private instrumental lessons and worked in Buenos Aires as a film critic, co-repetitor and director, also at the Teatro Colón. In 1957 he travelled on a scholarship to Germany where he settled until his death in 2008 creating an extensive and extremely varied body of work.
From 1960 Kagel worked as a lecturer at the Darmstadt Summer Schools. In 1969 he was made Director of the Institut für Neue Musik at Cologne’s Rhineland music academy Rheinische Musikschule Köln and, as the successor to Karlheinz Stockhausen, Director of Cologne’s new music courses Kölner Kurse für Neue Musik (until 1975); in 1974 he was made Professor for Musical Theater at Cologne’s music academy Musikhochschule Köln. His most prominent awards include the Erasmus Prize (1988), the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (2000) and the Rolf Schock Prize (2005). Kagel died in Cologne in 2008.
In 2012 four years after his death the ZWEI-MANN-ORCHESTER will, with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, be premiered in Latin America in its third version featuring Wilhelm Bruck and Matthias Würsch. Initially it will be presented in the new “Bicentenario” hall of Teatro Colón in Kagel’s home town of Buenos Aires. Performances are then planned in Córdoba and Rosario. An additional pedagogical supporting program as well as workshops and discussions involving the performers and other guest speakers with students and local speakers is aimed not just at highlighting Kagel’s artistic creativity to the audience in Rio de la Plata but also at generating an exchange enabling and facilitating access to Kagel’s work for up-and-coming artists.
Kagel’s ZWEI-MANN-ORCHESTER for two one-man orchestras (1971–73) is one of the most remarkable and original pieces in New Music. To achieve this two players have to develop and build an orchestra machine consisting of approx. 200 instruments and mechanical moving components. Models made of melodic, harmonious and rhythmic elements as well as movement sequences from Kagel’s open concept notation are adapted to the body of instruments developing during the construction phase and brought into tonal form. This gives rise to a dual structure consisting of a sculptural-kinetic tonal object and a piece of music.

November – December 2012
Buenos Aires, Córdoba, und Rosario

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