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Klangforum Wien mesmerizes Beijing audience with dazzling debut

By Chen Nan | | Updated: 2024-05-13 16:26
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Conductor Titus Engel and Klangforum Wien in a rehearsal in Beijing on Sunday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Klangforum Wien, a globally acclaimed ensemble at the forefront of new contemporary music, captivated audiences in Beijing during their debut performance at the Central Conservatory of Music on Sunday, as the grand finale of the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Under the baton of conductor Titus Engel, the ensemble presented a diverse repertoire that showcased their musical prowess and innovative spirit.

The concert featured Swiss-born Austrian composer Beat Furrer's evocative piece Retour an rich for Piano Trio, alongside Athenian composer Georges Aperghis' dynamic composition Situations, specially commissioned for the 24 musicians of Klangforum Wien. The ensemble also presented Strophe, a work by Chinese composer Ye Xiaogang.

Conductor Titus Engel and composer Ye Xiaogang in a rehearsal with Klangforum Wien Beijing on Sunday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Since its inception in 1985 by Beat Furrer, Klangforum Wien has been a trailblazer in contemporary music, premiering over 600 compositions from composers across the globe. With a rich discography of more than 90 recordings and a history of performances at prestigious venues worldwide, the ensemble, comprised of musicians from 13 countries, continues to push the boundaries of artistic creativity in collaboration with leading contemporary composers.

Peter Paul Kainrath, the artistic director of Klangforum Wien, expressed his anticipation for the debut concert in China, emphasizing the significance of exploring new musical frontiers through pieces like Strophe by Ye. Reflecting on the vibrancy of China, Kainrath highlighted the country's dynamism and spirit of innovation, noting the ensemble's previous debut in Shanghai in 2015.

The Beijing Modern Music Festival, established in 2002 under the artistic direction of composer Ye, serves as a platform for promoting contemporary music, offering a diverse program of concerts, forums, and seminars aimed at fostering musical dialogue and exploration within the global music community.

Klangforum Wien closed the Beijing Modern Music Festival with a concert in Beijing on Sunday. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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