The German-Austrian composer Brigitta Muntendorf creates music that exists at the intersection of various art forms and modes of expression, a web of multi-layered references and connections. A multimedia and interdisciplinary artist by default and steeped in the theatrical tradition, she aims to create a space for experimentation, both in her compositional work and as Artistic Director of Ensemble Garage. She treats music not as pure sound art, but as a social and aesthetic phenomenon in a society characterised by new digital media.
Her work with communication in the field of virtual reality – something she also explores on an academic level – is particularly displayed in her six-part Public Privacy series that she started in 2013, which combines amateur music videos by YouTubers with a solo instrument playing live on stage. Brigitta Muntendorf has also written several experimental music theatre pieces, including works for the Taschenoperfestival Salzburg (2011-15), FIGO for the Münchner Biennale 2016 and the social media opera iScreen, YouScream!, premiered with great success in 2017 at the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart. Together with the choreographer Stephanie Thiersch she presented Anne Halprin’s City Dances as a large-scale “City Happening” in 2016, commissioned by the Philharmonie Köln and the German Federal Cultural Foundation. In May 2018 the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo gave the world premiere of the third part of her Trilogy for two pianos at the KunstFestSpielen Herrenhausen, and presented the trilogy, started in 2015, for the first time in its entirety.
Many of Brigitta Muntendorf’s artistic experiments are conducted with Ensemble Garage, which consists of ten musicians from seven different nations, and has already made a name for itself in the new music community with performances at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, Ultraschall Festival Berlin, aXes Festival Krakow, De Bijloke Ghent, Spor Festival Aarhus and at the Philharmonie Köln. The composer has also received commissions and performances from several other leading contemporary music ensembles at festivals including the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Festival d’Automne Paris, Festival Musica Strasbourg, Acht Brücken Festival in Cologne, Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht, Warsaw Autumn, Klang Festival in Copenhagen and Wien Modern. In addition, she works on projects with artists from across various genres, including directors Thierry Bruehl and Abdullah Kenan Karaca, the DJ Cio D’Or, the electro duo Mouse on Mars and choreographers Anna Konjetzky and Stephanie Thiersch. She has curated the Frau Musica (nova) series for Deutschlandfunk Köln since 2013.
Brigitta Muntendorf completed her composition studies with Younghi Paagh-Paan at the University of the Arts in Bremen, as well as with Krzysztof Meyer, Rebecca Saunders and Johannes Schöllhorn at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. She has received grants from the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris (2010), Ensemble Modern Akademie (2012), Villa Concordia Bamberg (2014/15) and Villa Kamogawa Kyoto (2017). In 2014 Brigitta Muntendorf received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in connection with the release of her CD It may be all an illusion. Most recently, she was awarded the 2017 German Music Authors’ Prize by GEMA in the Young Talent category.
Since 2013 Brigitta Muntendorf has taught composition at the University of Siegen and has been a Visiting Professor of Composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln since October 2017.
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