New and Experimental Music Institute and Festival
Institute >> August 12 – 31, 2019
Festival >> August 22 – 31, 2019
Ostrava, Czech Republic
The Ostrava Days Festival represents a unique opportunity to experience the uncompromising and authentic presentation of music of the 20th and 21st centuries!
Ostrava Days focuses on contemporary classical music, whether it be avant-garde, experimental, or otherwise challenging musical efforts. The Festival is preceded by the Institute, which gives young composers the possibility to work with world-famous figures of contemporary music for three weeks and be present at rehearsals of their own pieces. The Ostrava Days Festival presents many orchestral compositions to the public in world or Czech premieres. Woks are studied during the last two weeks in August by Ostravská banda, Ostrava New Orchestra, and the Canticum Ostrava choir, along with many top-class ensembles, soloists, and conductors.
* The Past/The Coming, the opening concert on August 22, is a double bill that will juxtapose the radical music composed by Terry Riley and Robert Ashley in 1964 with works by student-residents of the Ostrava Days Institute. The second part of the evening will also include works by two well-known Berlin composers, Steffi Weismann and Peter Ablinger.
* The Long Night, an 18 hour-marathon on August 23, will begin outdoors with Swiss artist Steffi Weismann directing German composer Dieter Schnebel’s Harley Davidson(2000) for nine Harley-Davidson riders and musical accompaniment, and will conclude on the banks of the river Ostravice with Theo Finkel’s site-specific work Super-Ostrawitza (2019). In between, more than 20 performances will take place in the newly reconstructed Jiří Myron Theatre, including Morton Feldman’s five-hour masterpiece, For Philip Guston, performed by the S.E.M Ensemble; a four-hour excerpt from Alvin Curran’s Inner Cities performed by pianist Daan Vandewalle; La Monte Young’s Composition 1960 #7 (1960) performed by ONO/Ostrava New Orchestra; Julius Eastman’s Crazy Nigger (1979) for four pianos; as well as works by Robert Ashley, Luciano Berio, Alois Hába, Petr Kotik, Horatiu Radulescu, and Elliott Sharp, among many others.
* On August 27, ONO/Ostrava New Orchestra, Ostravská banda, Canticum Ostrava and guests will join force under the direction of Petr Kotik to present the Czech premiere of conceptual artist Yves Klein’s Symphonie – Monotone-silence (1960).
* On August 28, Piano Piano Kudu will feature two world premieres – Frederic Rzewski’s 6 Movements (2019), featuring Rzewski on piano, and Alvin Curran’s Shofar Rags (2019), performed by Daan Vandewalle on piano, and Ostravská banda’s concertmaster Conrad Harris on violin.
* On August 29, the Montreal-based Quatuor Bozzini, returning to Ostrava Days after 10 years, will premiere Christian Wolff’s string quartet, Out of Kilter. The ensemble will also perform Music of the Spheres (1938) by the pioneering German-American composer Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888-1944), String Quartet No. 1 by Petr Kotik, and Commedia dell’arte II by Canadian-Serbian composer Ana Sokolović.
* The closing concert, Evening @ Opera on August 31, will feature the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra performing two operatic works – Morton Feldman’s Neither (libretto by Samuel Beckett), which can be viewed as a deconstruction of the opera form, and the world premiere of Czech composer Petr Bakla’s There is An Island Above the City. Both will be sung by German operatic soprano Claudia Barainsky.
* The popular Minimarathon of Electronic Music, curated by Petr Vrba in cooperation with Martin Klimeš and Bludný kámen, will return on August 24.