The eighth edition, eight concerts, four days. That is this year’s Contempuls in a nutshell. If we are to stick to summaries, we could boast of seven world premieres, the highest number to date in the festival’s history: five pieces by Czech composers and two by the Ireland’s Kevin Volans, who, together with the Swedish percussionist Jonny Axelsson, will perform new works of his. Another significant figure who has accepted the invitation to the festival is the major contemporary Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen, whose 60-minute cycle Schnee was, following its premiere, hailed as one of the most essential 21st-century musical accomplishments. The Danish scene will also be featured in other concerts. In addition to Abrahamsen’s music, the programme will include two pieces by Bent Sørensen, and the monumental, complex-ambient Oort Cloud by Jexper Holmen. Appearing in the double role of bassoonist and conductor will be the French musician Pascal Gallois, a longstanding member of Ensemble Intercontemporain, who in a fundamental way has changed the perception of the bassoon as a solo instrument and inspired new works by Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Olga Neuwirth and Wolfgang Rihm, among others. The British instrumentalist and musicologist Ian Pace is a renowned specialist in the most challenging pieces of the modern piano repertoire. What is more, we are pleased to link up to the previous collaboration with the Czech Republic’s PKF – Prague Philharmonia and Prague Modern, and the Freiburg-based ensemble recherche, who will be performing in Prague in the largest formation ever. For the very first time, the festival will present a new platform, Contempuls Lab, open to young ensembles and projects that transcend the main dramaturgical line. We look forward to seeing you all at La Fabrika in Prague.
Ensemble Terrible (CZ)
Pascal Gallois (F)
Andersen – Haltli – Snekkestad (DK/N)