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Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2024

Kulturforum Witten (DE)

The Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik has been one of the most important European festivals for contemporary music for decades. Organized by the city of Witten and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, the festival attracts an international audience to the Ruhr region every year and reaches a worldwide audience via radio. Composer portraits have been an established and popular part of the program for several years. These enable a concentrated encounter with the work of an outstanding personality in the field of contemporary music and place them in the context of current musical creation.

For the first edition under the direction of Patrick Hahn, the festival pays tribute to the extraordinary work of composer Francesca Verunelli in a multifaceted portrait. The composer shapes musical temporality in a special way and demonstrates this in a wide variety of formations, from string quartets to orchestral pieces. She was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation's Composer Prize in 2020. In a discussion concert, Verunelli will give an insight into her poetic thinking and her work. The juxtaposition with an earlier string quartet also makes the development of the composer's work tangible.

A centerpiece of the portrait is the German premiere of the full-length work Songs and Voices. With the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, she wrote the work for the French ensemble C Barré and the Neue Vocalsolisten. It is a work that plays with the presence of vanished songs and gives this absence a new voice. For this piece, Verunelli draws on fragments of chants from the Mediterranean region, which she fuses into instrumental songs without words, but also with singing voices and instruments to create a seething “Silence of the Sirens”.

The portrait is crowned by the world premiere of a new orchestral piece written for the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Verunelli takes noise as the starting point for a new exploration of temporality and harmony, which finds a visual metaphor in the gaze of the eye that slowly opens and closes.

The festival Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2024 is supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

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May 3 – 5, 2024
Various locations, Witten