PHOTO: Maja Bader + Leonhard Dering
Maja Bader / Leonhard Dering / Nicholas Isherwood
Language: Various
Duration: 120 min
15 Oct, 17:00
Boris Filanovsky
Ob aus Luft, a vocal cycle for soprano and piano after poems by Maria Stepanova (2021) WP

Georgian traditional

John Cage
The wonderful Widow of 18 springs for voice and closed piano (1942)

Imants Mežaraups
Aizver Actinas for baritone solo (1990) NP

Marina Khorkova
Duo for Bass-Baritone and Multiphonic Piano (2011)
John Cage
A Flower for voice and closed piano (1950)

Eka Chabashvili
A Hunger Artist after Franz Kafka for baritone solo (2021) WP

Helena Tulve Sonajalad, ritornello II and III (2013) NP

John Cage
Nowth upon Nacht for voice solo (1984)

Artyom Kim
Earth Music for solo voice and a cow bell (2005) NP
Boris Filanovsky's "ob aus Luft" cycle, drawn from the poetic texts of Maria Stepanova (recipient of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize, 2022), paints an emotional landscape of loss, where each item resonates as a remnant of a departed beloved. This thirty-minute opus intertwines moments of calm with bursts of expression. The young Swiss duo, pianist Leonhard Dering and soprano Maja Bader, bring an animated, heartfelt rendition to this narrative.

In the concert's second half, the esteemed bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood artfully combines John Cage's early compositions with more contemporary compositions, some emanating from the post-Soviet tapestry. This musical journey stretches from the nuanced tones of Artyom Kim (Uzbekistan) and Eka Chabashvili (Georgia), to the evocative strains of Helena Tulve (Estonia). These diverse tonal articulations culminate in a luminous cosmos of advanced vocal techniques and theatrical flourishes, seamlessly and artfully performed by Isherwood who crafts an unparalleled musical-theatrical spectacle.
Maja Bader, soprano
Leonhard Dering, piano
Nicholas Isherwood, bass-baritone
Marina Khorkova, piano
Program curator: Sergej Newski
Supported by: AFF Projects
public talk
Moderator: Andrei Zavadski
Speakers: Maria Stepanova,
Olga Bubich, Marina Davydova
Language: English
Duration: 60 min
Born in Moscow, Stepanova is an internationally acclaimed Russian poet and novelist. Her poetry has had a profound influence on contemporary Russian literature. She is considered to have repopularized the traditional ballad as a poetic genre. Her works have been translated into English, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, German, Finnish, French, and other languages. She was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2022.
Graduated from St. Petersburg State Conservatory in 1995. Winner of the IRCAM Reading Panel'97 competition. Laureate of the Irino Prize (Tokyo, 2003). Recipient of the Berlin Arts Program scholarship (2013–2014). Member of the composer group "Resistance of Material" (SoMa). As a performer of his own works and pieces by other composers, he has collaborated with artists such as Teodor Currentzis, Reinbert de Leeuw, Pierre Roullier, Roland Kluttig, Fedor Lednev, and Kirill Serebrennikov. His works have been commissioned by festivals such as Maerzmusik, Klangspuren, Transart, Éclat, Diaghilev, and Other Space, as well as by ensembles including ensemble mosaik, KNM Berlin, Orkest de Volharding, DoelenEnsemble, Slagwerk Den Haag, Da Capo Chamber Players, ensemble Intégrales, Quatuor Diotima, and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.
Nicholas Isherwood, a Franco-American bass, completed his musical, literary and theatrical studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, the Actors Centre in London, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris. An eclectic artist, he has performed medieval, baroque, and contemporary music. His interest in contemporary music has led him to work with composers such as Sylvano Bussotti, Elliot Carter, George Crumb, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Olivier Messiaen, Giacinto Scelsi, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis, as well as leading composers of younger generations. Isherwood has sung in the greatest theaters in Europe and the United States — Ravinia, Tanglewood, the Disney Hall, La Scala, the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Covent Garden, the Théatre des Champs Elysées, the Royal Festival Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Biennale in Munich, all three Berlin opera houses, the Moscow Conservatory, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, the Aix Festival, and others.
Maja Bader was born in Luzern, Switzerland, and graduated with honors with a Master's in Performance under Professor Barbara Locher at Luzern's Musikhochschule. As a soprano, she embraces a diverse range of roles. In the realm of opera, she has performed various roles at theaters such as Theater Luzern, and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. In the domain of concerts, she has appeared at KKL Luzern, Gotthard Klassik-Festival Andermatt, Bösendorfer Salon Wien, and Talent Summer Festival Brescia. She has sung with such orchestras as Luzerner Sinfonieorchesetr, and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and has shared the stage with esteemed vocal artist and actor Graham F. Valentine. In 2021 she won the Elvirissima vocal competition, the Marianne and Curt Dienemann Vocal Competition, and debuted in two open-air galas at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Palmengarten Frankfurt am Main, and Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt. She recorded a duo with countertenor Andreas Scholl. In 2023 composer Jalalu Kalvert Nelson composed a full-length work for Maja that premiered at the Festival Sempach in Switzerland.
Born in Tomsk, Russia, to a family with German, Russian, and Latvian heritage, Leonhard Dering grew up in Coburg and studied piano under Alla Schatz, Lev Natochenny, and Konstantin Lifschitz. He made his solo debut with the Hessisches Staatsorchester at the Kurhaus Wiesbaden. As a pianist, he has performed all over Germany and Europe at prestigious venues, including Munich's Philharmonie, the International May Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Donaueschingen Music Days, the Meisterpianisten series of Bad Homburger Schlosskonzerte, Mas i Mas Festival in Barcelona, and the Piano Loop Festival in Split, Croatia. As a curator, he oversees numerous concert series, including the Naxos Hallenkonzerte, and Brückenkonzerte at the Ikonenmuseum in Frankfurt am Main, as well as concert programs in Ausserberg, and Basel.
Born in Russia, Marina earned her degree as a pianist and furthered her education by studying composition at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and Stuttgart University of Music and the Performing Arts. Her works have received prestigious awards such as the DAAD Composition Prize, the Ernst Krenek Prize (Impuls Festival, Graz), and the Staubach Honorarium (Darmstadt Holiday Courses). They have been featured at renowned international festivals including the Up-To-Date Music Days Bludenz, reMusik, MicroFest in Los Angeles, the Darmstadt International Holiday Courses for New Music, the Styrian Autumn, the Witten New Chamber Music Days, Frau Musica (nova), and the Moscow Autumn Festival of New Music. Her compositions have been performed by esteemed ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Trio Accanto, New York Philharmonic, hand werk, ascolta, LUX:NM, Kairos Quartet, soundinitiative, Proton Ensemble, and Camerata Variabile Basel. Currently, Marina Khorkova resides and works in Berlin.
composer, pianist
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 2004, Artyom Kim founded the Omnibus Ensemble, the first and only group in Central Asia dedicated to promoting contemporary music. Through years of work in artistic and educational projects, collaborating with outstanding artists from Europe and America, the Omnibus Ensemble earned a reputation as a platform where Innovation meets Tradition and East meets West. In 2019, the Ensemble received the prestigious international "Aga Khan Music Award" for its educational activities. Starting from 2002, Kim collaborated as a composer and conductor with one of the pioneering contemporary music ensembles in Europe - the Nieuw Ensemble. From 2009 to 2014, he was a co-curator and conductor in the unique project of the Nieuw Ensemble – the Atlas Academy at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Artyom Kim is the creator of the Method of Collective Resonance Composing, a unique system of collective creative work in music, theatre, and art management. This Method has been implemented in theatrical and musical projects worldwide. Some key productions include the series of "Acoustic Readings" (2017-2019, Moscow, Russia, in collaboration with the Centre for Dramaturgy and Directing), "Sound Child" (2018, Taipei, Taiwan, in collaboration with the National Theatre and Concert Hall), and "The Diary of the Sea" (2019, Tainan, Taiwan, in collaboration with the Tainan Arts Festival).
composer, conductor, theatre director
Eka is a composer, artistic researcher, Doctor of Music Art, an associate professor at Tbilisi State Conservatoire, and one of the most significant representatives of the Georgian composition school of the 90s. Chabashvili is the organizer of the festival “Woman and Music” and an active participant in numerous international festivals. She has received commissions from both Georgian and foreign performers. Some of her notable compositions include the piano piece "Panorama," the ballets “Radiance” and “Dancing with Death," the opera/exhibition "Wandering Wishes" based on Kafka's novellas, the musical novel "The Sound and the Fury" for holographic theatre, and "Chorale" (awarded the MDR prize in Germany). As a researcher, Eka explores the syncretism of visual and musical phenomena in art and interactive processes in music.
Born in Tartu, she studied composition at the Tallinn Secondary Music School and at the Estonian Academy of Music with Erkki-Sven Tüür, being the latter's sole student of composition thus far. In 1994, Tulve graduated with the Premier Prix from Jacques Charpentier's composition class at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris. Tulve belongs to the younger generation of Estonian composers who, in contrast to the neo-classicist tradition of rhythm-centeredness, create music that focuses on sound and sonority. Tulve’s works provide a glimpse of the richness and variety of her cultural experience: the French school of spectral music, IRCAM’s experimentalism, Kaija Saariaho, and Giacinto Scelsi, along with echoes of Gregorian chant and Eastern musics. Deriving from her refined sound processing, Tulve’s approach to form is “fluid” — more process-based than architectonic.