[Sound Icon] Press

Announcing the 2011/2012 Season:
Rihm, Lachenmann, Furrer and Haas
Sound Icon is proud to announce its first full season featuring masterworks by German
and Austrian composers Wolfgang Rihm, Helmut Lachenmann, Beat Furrer and Georg
Friedrich Haas. Following the success of Sound Iconʼs inaugural concert, which featured
the first half of Gérard Griseyʼs Les Espaces Acoustiques, the 2011-2012 season
continues to advance Sound Iconʼs mission to perform groundbreaking, influential works
of contemporary music that are not often heard live in the United States.
Wolfgang Rihm and Helmut Lachenmann represent the two sides of an old debate in
art – the conceptual, rational Apollonian and the intuitive Dionysian conceptions of
artistic approach and object. Rihm’s work is a compelling example of energetic, intuitiondriven
music that functions as a force of nature. Lachenmann, known for pushing the
boundaries of extended performing techniques, has been extremely influential in
contemporary music with his theory of “musique concrete instrumentale,” in which an
instrumental sound not only matters because of its inherent sonic qualities but more
importantly because of the concrete context from which the sound arises – the energy
needed to produce the sound, the materials, the resistance encountered in making it.
Lachenmannʼs music balances these sonic concern with a clearly audible structuralist
rigor he draws from Webern and Nono.
Austrian composer Beat Furrer is known for his striking, highly textured music, which
balances the highly conceptual and combinatorial influences of Lachenmann’s work with
the palpable sensorial and performative drive present in the music of Rihm. Georg
Friedrich Haas’ highly dramatic works have become very influential in recent years as
his music merges the sounds of French spectralism with the aesthetic excess of Rihm
and the conceptual rigor of Lachenmann, all contributing to Haas’ own distinct
exploration of theatricality.
Our November 5, 2011 concert features the US premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Concerto
Séraphin, a visceral, vibrant hour-long work. Salvatore Sciarrino: Introduzione allʼ
Oscuro balances out the Rihmʼs exuberant energy with his miniaturist focus on the
finest details of sound and instrumental gesture. Our February 25, 2012 concert will
feature Beat Furrer’s Nuun and Narcissus Fragments, and Helmut Lachenmann’s
‘…zwei Gefühle…’, Musik mit Leonardo. The juxtaposition of Furrer’s Narcissus
Fragments, Lachenmann’s ‘…zwei Gefühle…‘ (both for speaker and ensemble) and
Furrer’s Nuun (for two pianos and ensemble), sparks a valuable dialogue between
soloist/ensemble, text/context and content/concept. Both concerts will take place at
Boston University, where Sound Icon will also hold workshops, readings and open
rehearsals for Boston University student composers.
Sound Icon will also present Georg Friedrich Haas’ groundbreaking work of music
theater In Vain at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston on February 3, 2012. In Vain
is an evening length work for large ensemble and light, where passages are heard in full
darkness and bright flashes of light serve as palpable events. In Vain is a true dramatic
experience that takes advantage of the physical power of sound, light and environment
to give an unparalleled experience.
In this first full season, Sound Icon hopes to give Boston audiences a look into some of
the most striking composers and works coming out of Germany and Austria over the last
30 years.
For more information, please contact:
Victoria Cheah
Executive Director, Sound Icon