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Nikolaus Brass

Nikolaus Brass was born in Lindau on Lake Constance in 1949. After graduating from high school, he studied medicine in Munich and at the same time took up composition studies with Peter Kiesewetter at the Musikhochschule. Even after transferring and completing his medical studies at the Free University of Berlin, he continued his concurrent studies, first with Frank Michael Beyer at the Hochschule für Musik and later with Helmut Lachenmann in Hanover. Nikolaus Brass worked for several years as a doctor, later as an editor of a medical-scientific newspaper.

Brass has been publishing his compositions since 1981. In the same year he won a prize at the Jürgen Ponto Composition Competition and was invited to the Gaudeamus Music Festival in Holland. This was followed by performances at the Cantiere d'arte in Montepulciano (1986), the Donaueschinger Musiktage (1988), Musikprotokoll Graz (1991), musica viva in Munich (1997), the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (2000) and the Festival für Neue Musik in Stuttgart (2001). Since 2003 he can look back on numerous premieres and first performances at the most important festivals for new music. In 2008, Brass was the centre of attention at the International Weingarten Days for New Music. Performers of his music include ensemble ascolta, ensemble recherche, ensemble resonanz, Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart, Rundfunksinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), Münchner Kammerorchester, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Sonar-Quartett, Kairos-Quartett, Auritus-Quartett, ensemble Coriolis and numerous soloists. He has also created scenic projects, including the music theatre memory and Sommertag in 2012 and 2014. earth diver, a collaboration between Muziektheater Transparant (Antwerp) and the Ruhrtriennale, with music by Heinrich Schütz and Nikolaus Brass, was premiered in 2016 and the music theatre Die Vorübergehenden, a commission from the Bavarian State Opera for the Opera Festival, was premiered in 2018. For the ARD International Music Competition, Brass wrote the competition piece etchings for string quartet in 2016.

Nikolaus Brass was honoured with the Münchner Förderpreis für Musik in 1999 and the city's Music Prize in 2009. In 2015 he was awarded the Culture Prize for Music of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft. Brass has been a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts since 2014. The composer lives in Lindau.