6th Annual Conference Keynote Speaker: Cornelius Schwehr.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Cornelius Schwehr.

Professor Schwehr studied with Walter Heck, Klaus Huber, Peter Förtig, Denise Lavenchy and Helmut Lachenmann, and lectures in composition, theory and film music at the Freiburg Musikhochschule. Between 2009 and 2017 he was the director of their Institute for Contemporary Music, having previously lectured at the Karlsruhe Musikhochschule and the Musikhochschule Winterthur in Switzerland.

A member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, his music includes a large number of chamber music pieces, many works for solo instrument, several orchestral pieces, and an opera, Heimat. He has also collaborated with various authors and directors, with over 30 works for film, radio and the stage,.

Published by Breitkopf und Härtel, Schwehr’s work has been performed in Berlin, Duisburg, Geneva, Graz, Innsbruck, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Warsaw, Witten and Zurich. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours and grants, including from the Gaudeamus Music Week (1980) Ensemblia Competition of Mönchengladbach (1981), the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung of the South German Radio, the Baden-Württemberg Arts Council.

In his own words…

My work (in all genres) is most notably determined by the question of what we can learn from our tradition and what meaningful experiences does this still allow.

The question is not trivial: as I understand it, it addresses the central nerves of composition. However, it is not important to seek conclusions, it is more necessary to insist that this question is posed again and again.

In addition to this, I have become ever more aware of my work and findings with the relationship between music and language (both spoken and written). This theme has preoccupied my since I began composing.

More recently my concrete concerns are to take both word—which already consists of a unit made of both sound and meaning—with speech sound, and take speech sound at its word, and amidst this interplay, to uncover music and set it free.