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The postponement of a premiere is an everyday occurrence in the music world. That the reason is not an unfinished piece, but rather an unfinished instrument is somewhat exceptional. In the case of Mark Andre’s iv15 Himmelfahrt, written for the inauguration of the 1886 Strobel organ in Bad Frankenhausen in Thüringen, the craftsmanship was behind the delay. The restoration of such a complex historical instrument is no easier to plan than the composition of a piece of music, meaning that Stephan Heuberger’s performance of the work last October at St. Ludwig’s in Munich was just a sneak preview, played with electronic organ stops....
The composer Mark Andre began July with an eventful week: as part of the musica viva weekend he received the biennial “Happy New Ears” prize (named after John Cage’s well-known provocation to listen with fresh ears) from the Hans und Gertrud Zender Stiftung in collaboration with the Bavarian Academy of Arts, musica viva and BR Klassik. The day before, the Arditti Quartet gave the world premiere of Miniaturen, and on the day of the prize ceremony his orchestral work woher… wohin was premiered by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Matthias Pintscher. In conversation with Jeffrey Arlo Brown, the composer discussed teachers and companions, his German-French heritage and the aesthetics of fragility....