© Alexandre Delmar


Three Composition Commissions: String Quartets by Birtwistle, Šenk and Öcal

Kulturforum Witten, Germany

Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Nina Šenk and Mithatcan Öcal are writing new works for the Arditti String Quartet to be premiered at the 2022 edition of Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. Sir Harrison Birtwistle has already composed several times for the quartet. The new composition is based on an existing piece for viola and cello, Duet for Eight Strings, that alludes to Beethoven's Duet with Two Obligato Eyeglasses and which Birtwistle juxtaposes with a composition for two violins. In addition to Birtwistle, this program will also feature two composers of the younger generation. One is Slovenian composer Nina Šenk (1982), whose string quartet responds to "the new reality" – that also changes everything for her too: "The silence of the lockdown, the fear, but also the calm and the feeling that the world is turning a little slower." The other is Mithatcan Öcal (1992) who tackles the string quartet genre for the first time. This Turkish composer writes a kind of "musica impura", not unlike the idea, as Hans Werner Henze once put it, of "impure music" impregnated by life and its manifestations that tell stories. Music that is refined and colorful, full of associations and one that can sometimes display ironic traits. The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation is making all three composition commissions possible.

May 6, 2022
Festsaal, Witten

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