Photo: Georg Schreiber


!! Vivier 70 !!

Klang Köln e.V., Pulheim, Germany


Probably Canada’s most influential composer and, according to Ligeti, the most important in his generation – Claude Vivier is celebrating his 70th birthday in 2018. His creative work is closely related to the musical city of Cologne. Studying under Karlheinz Stockhausen and Hans-Ulrich Humpert he was close friends with composers like Clarence Barlow and Peter Eötvös. His murder – one that he himself foresaw in his last work – still today remains a mystery. His far-reaching exclusion – as an orphan, adolescent dismissed from the priesthood due to “immature behavior”, as a homosexual and as a composer within the avantgarde scene – produced very unique music. This round birthday is a welcome opportunity to offer extensive insight into his highly autobiographical, melody-hungry, musically sensual and, at the same time, calculated and emotionally direct art – in the form of four concerts and a film screening.

The musical arc of the festival spans Bach and Wagner’s death music and works by Vivier’s teacher Stockhausen and his companions Clarence Barlow and Gérard Grisey through to three premieres by Cologne composers Ralf Soiron, Stefan Thomas and Christoph Maria Wagner. All three are fascinated by different aspects of Vivier’s oeuvre. The program is supplemented by interviews, amongst others with Clarence Barlow coming especially from the US for the occasion, as well as readings. Furthermore, there will also be a performance of L’homme de Pékin – the only film by the self-described “cinemanic” Vivier. He himself appears in the film presenting autobiographic situations in a both stylized and provocatively open way – a very personal statement by the composer. Each of the four concerts forms a focal point of Vivier’s creativity. The concert venue, Cologne’s Alte Feuerwache, was consciously chosen being located just meters away from his apartment. As organizers and performers at the event E-MEX Ensemble, Kölner Vokalsolisten and Klang Köln e.V. have long been involved in Vivier’s work and his oeuvre for them is a matter of the heart.


October 19–21, 2018
Alte Feuerwache Köln, Germany


Further information: