Composition Commission issued to Georg Friedrich Haas
Trombone Unit Hannover, Germany
The modern trombone ensemble developed in Germany out of the tradition of the ecclesiastical trombone choir. A gradually more relaxed approach and the opening up of the choirs – which also started playing at secular events in the second half of the 20th century – then triggered the parallel development of the modern ensemble. Initially largely as trombone quartets, octet line-ups then shifted into the limelight thanks to better tonal development and variability. The repertoire was mainly limited to Baroque music, spiritual and ecclesiastical works, a kind of moderate Modern Age or Neo Romanticism through to jazz arrangements. While there are now several professional trombone ensembles – the first being the New Trombone Collective setting new standards at the start of the 21st century – and while this line-up is now heard at competitions ever more frequently, there is still no repertoire in the field of serious, contemporary and experimental music with just a few exceptions (Brett Dean: Night’s Journey, Mike Svoboda: Introduction with Insight und Embarkment Fanfare). To remedy this situation the Trombone Unit Hannover has now asked various composers to write works for trombone octet. Alongside Anders Hillborg and the young Swedish composer Benjamin Staern it has now also been possible to enlist the support of Georg Friedrich Haas whose composition commission is being funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.