« August - 2018 »

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Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud is back in the city for a concert at Miller Theatre at Columbia University.

Johannes Maria Staud takes his inspiration from many sources—literature, political events, even streets he’s walked down. He is a transformer of mediums, taking meaningful words and images and creating music. Staud pays homage to Pissarro, Debussy, and the city of London in the fragile and impressionistic Sydenham Music. Another standout on the program is Towards a Brighter Hue, a nod to the wooden sculptures of British artist David Nash. Ensemble Signal guides audiences through this synesthetic evening of truly inspired music.


·         Johannes Maria Staud - composer

·         Ensemble Signal

·         Brad Lubman - conductor



·         Wheat, not oats, dear. I’m afraid. (2015) for ensemble New York premiere

·         Par Ici! (2011) for ensemble  U.S. premiere

·         Sydenham Music  (2007) for flute, viola, and harp New York premiere

·         Towards a Brighter Hue (2004) for violin

·         Black Moon (1998) for bass clarinet  




Johannes Maria Staud was born in Innsbruck, Tyrol, on 17 August 1974. However, nothing would be further from the truth than to call him a ‘Tyrolian composer’. In no way is he a provincial figure – in fact, ever since he joined Universal Edition in 2000, at the age of 26, he has become one of the most successful composers of his generation, with prestigious commissions from some of the greatest orchestras and festivals in the world.
Staud and his publisher have every reason to be proud that Sir Simon Rattle has asked him for a composition for the Berlin Philharmonic (Aperion, 2004/2005), that the Salzburg Festival commissioned a cello concerto from him to be premiered as part of celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth in 2006 (Segue, 2006). Heinrich Schiff was the soloist, Daniel Barenboim conducted the Vienna Philharmonic. The Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst gave the first performance of On Comparative Meteorology (2009) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra have received the score they have commissioned for string quartet and orchestra (On Deceptive City Maps and the Temptations of Winter Nights. Dichotomie II). Riccardo Chailly premièred it with the Gewandhaus String Quartet.
Staud has shaken off early enough the supposed expectations of the music world for a young composer to write in an ‘avant-garde’ style. Neither does he look back at his predecessors to produce pieces easy on the ear, to please conservative audiences. He has found an idiom all his own marked by meticulous work on the large form as well as on the tiniest details (his beautifully written scores are a faithful mirror of this); he takes a long time over each new composition and is its most critical listener at the premiere. His acute self-criticism has led to some revised versions, such as Segue or One Movement and Five Miniatures for harpsichord, ensemble and electronics.

Ensemble Signal, described by The New York Times as “one of the most vital groups of its kind,” is a NY-based ensemble offering the broadest possible audience access to a diverse range of contemporary works through performance, commissioning, recording, and education. Since its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 100 concerts, has given the New York, world, or U.S. premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced five recordings.
Signal was founded by Co-Artistic/Executive Director Lauren Radnofsky and Co-Artistic Director/ Conductor Brad Lubman. Lubman, one of the foremost conductors of modern music and a leading figure in the field for over two decades, is a frequent guest with the world’s most distinguished orchestras and new music ensembles. A “new music dream team” (Time Out New York), Signal regularly performs with Lubman and features a supergroup of independent artists from the modern music scene. Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation - everything from solo to large contemporary ensemble in any possible combination - enabling it to meet the ever-changing demands on the 21st century performing ensemble.
At home in concert halls, clubs, and international festivals alike, Signal has performed at Lincoln Center Festival, BIG EARS Festival, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Tanglewood Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Ojai Music Festival, Miller Theatre, (le) Poisson Rouge, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Wordless Music Series, and the Bang on a Can Marathon.
Signal’s fearlessly adventurous programming ranges from minimalism or pop-influenced to the iconoclastic European avant-garde. Signal has worked with artists and composers including Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Irvine Arditti, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen, Hilda Paredes, and Charles Wuorinen. Their educational activities have included workshops with emerging composers at the June in Buffalo Festival, where they are a resident ensemble. Signal’s recordings are available on Cantaloupe, Mode, Orange Mountain, and New Amsterdam Records.
Recent highlights include a headliner performance of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Radio Rewrite at the 2014 BIG EARS Festival in Knoxville, TN. Upcoming highlights include the co-commission of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich, to be premiered in 2016-17, and the performance of Steve Reich’s video opera Three Tales, as well as David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe’s video opera Shelter, on the LA Philharmonic’s series at Walt Disney Concert Hall in May 2015. Additionally, Signal makes its harmonia mundi debut in May 2015 with the release of Reich’s iconic Music for 18 Musicians.

More information >>here.



Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027