Photo: Universität Hamburg


50+ Years of Creative Music: Anthony Braxton – Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Musical Theorist

Institute of Historical Musicology at the University of Hamburg, Germany

Anthony Braxton (*June 4, 1945 in Chicago) is one of the most important creators of a brand of contemporary music that challenges listening and playing habits and rejects conventional genre boundaries. He could never get used to the term “jazz” preferring to describe his transidiomatic work as “creative music”. This term covers a multitude of divergent compositions as well as a lifelong stage presence as a virtuoso improvisational multi-instrumentalist. However, musicological reception of his work has so far lagged far behind the enormous response that his oeuvre has generated worldwide. Large parts of his work, especially the conceptual development since the turn of the millennium, have not yet been considered by research. Braxton’s 75th birthday is therefore an occasion to organize an international conference with the support of the EvS Music Foundation at the University of Hamburg – the first academic event ever dedicated to Braxton’s oeuvre. In addition, there will be two concerts: as a prelude on the opening evening, Ensemble Musikfabrik will present works from Braxton’s various creative periods. At the end of the following day there will also be an opportunity to enjoy a duo concert featuring Braxton himself and a harpist in the Small Hall of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.

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