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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 characterized by new digital media.
Brigitta Muntendorf completed her composition studies with Younghi Paagh-Paan at the Hochschule für Künste 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 she received the Ernst von Siemens Composers 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 2017 Brigitta Muntendorf has been Professor of Composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.
Brigitta Muntendorf’s work with communication in the reality-virtuality continuum is reflected in many of her compositions, e.g. in her six-part Public Privacy series begun in 2013, which combines amateur music videos of Youtubers with musicians acting in real time on stage, and in various experimental music theatre formats for the Taschenopernfestival Salzburg (2011-2015) and the Munich Biennale 2016 or the Social Media Opera iScreen, YouScream! which premiered in 2017 with great success at the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart. In 2018, the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo gave the world premiere of the third part of her Trilogy for two pianos at the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, and presented the trilogy, begun in 2015, for the first time in its entirety. In the same year, Brigitta Muntendorf created PLUG & PLAY ME with Ensemble Garage and Electric Indigo for the Ruhrtriennale, Keep quiet and Dance with Kamilya Jubran at the Cairo Contemporary Music Days and in HELLERAU - European Centre for the Arts as well as Ballet for Eleven with Ensemble Modern at the Donaueschinger Musiktage. Brigitta Muntendorf is collaborating closely with the choreographer Stephanie Thiersch. Commissioned by the Philharmonie Köln and the Bundeskulturstiftung, they presented City Dances by Anna Halprin as a large-scale city-happening in 2016 in Cologne and in 2018 in Birmingham. In 2019 they presented Bilderschlachten, a work for the dance company Mouvoir, the Asasello Quartett and Les Siècles with great success in Nîmes and at the Beethovenfest Bonn. A third joint project is planned for the Ruhrtriennale in 2020 in collaboration with Sou Fujimoto (architecture). End of September, Songs of Rebellion, her song performance about forms of resistance in-between escapism and agitation will be premiered at the Berlin Festival for Contemporary Music Theatre (direction: Michael Höppner).
Brigitta Muntendorf has produced numerous works with Ensemble Garage, made up of ten musicians from seven different nations, and which has already made a name for itself in the new music community with performances at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, Ruhrtriennale, 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 Utrecht, Warsaw Autumn, Klang Festival Copenhagen and Wien Modern. In addition, she works on projects with artists from across various genres, including directors Thierry Bruehl and Abdullah Kenan Karaca, DJ Cio D’Or, the electro duo Mouse on Mars or choreographer Anna Konjetzky. She has curated the Frau Musica (nova) series for Deutschlandfunk Köln since 2013.
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Social Composing (English)
in „Positionen“, n° 108 „Neuer Realismus“
More essays and articles in German are available here
A song channels our feelings, a song is a companion, a song captures the Zeitgeist, a song creates solidarity – and a song generates its own kind of theatre. In her current project Songs of Rebellion, her third collaboration with director and dramaturg Michael Höppner, Brigitta Muntendorf explores the impact of the most popular genre of music history. On 27 September, the piece was premiered at the BAM-Festival in Berlin....