Thinking in Music – International Study Meeting and Composition Masterclass
On June, 5th to 10th 2023 the international conference “Georg Friedrich Haas – denken in Musik / pensare in musica” took place at the Conservatory “C. Monteverdi” in Bolzano (directed by Prof. Pierluca Lanzilotta) with the presence of the composer, who is considered the most important living composer of classical music.
About 50 students of Composition from both German- and Italian-speaking areas joined his masterclasses; a cycle of paper presentations and two evening concerts rounded off the program. The conference also formed a prelude to the first performance of Haas’ monumental work “11.000 Saiten for 50 retuned pianos and 25 instruments”, which will take place at the Bolzano Fair on August 1st for the Busoni Festival. The conference gave the unique possibility to experience in Bolzano the music of this worldwide well-known artist and, as some participants put it, “to hear new and unusual sounds”.
Georg Friedrich Haas was born in Graz in 1953 and has been teaching Composition since 2013 at the Columbia University in New York. According to a poll held in 2017 by the Italian journal Classic Voice, his composition “in vain” (2000) is the greatest work of art music since 2000. He is considered the leading exponent of microtonality and spectral music, e. g. he uses acoustic properties of sound (such as microintervals and the overtone series) as a basis for composition, thus disavowing the intellectualism of numerous strands of modernist music. He wrote that music is able „to articulate a human being’s emotions and states of the soul in such a way that other human beings can embrace them as their own“.