Wednesday 6 February 2019, 7.30pm
Delighted to welcome back the great German composer, pianist and organist, Eva-Maria Houben, for a very special two-day residency alongside Irene Kurka (day one) and Áine O'Dwyer (day two).
“Houben is an archaeologist of silence. She is a musicologist and a composer; her study of the past fuels her experiments in the present. In her publications, Houben has excavated the historical silences, drawing attention to a past canon of unheard moments, stretching from John Cage to the Second Viennese School to even as far back as Berlioz and Bruckner.” – Irritable Hedgehog
Houben (born 1955) studied Music Education at Folkwang-Musikhochschule Essen and the organ with Gisbert Schneider. Following her exams she taught both German and Music Education at Secondary School. She received her doctorate and postdoctoral lecturing qualification in musicology and was called for lectures at Gerhard-Mercator-Universität Duisburg and Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf. Since 1993 Professor Houben has been lecturing at Dortmund University`s “Institut für Musik und Musikwissenschaft”, with both music theory and contemporary music as her focus. Up to now many books were published, concerning contemporary music, contemporary composers and traditional music, listened to with ‘new ears’.
Eva-Maria Houben has been performing works for the organ for more than 30 years. As she is related to the “wandelweiser-group” of composers, her compositions are published by “edition wandelweiser”, Haan. Her list of compositions up to now includes works for the organ, piano, clarinet, trombone, violoncello and other solo instruments, works for voice and piano, for wind and chamber ensembles, for orchestra and for voice and orchestra, works for choir.
Irene Kurka studied voice at the Musikhochschule Munich with Professor Reri Grist, at the Meadows School of the Arts (SMU,Dallas) with Professor Barbara Hill-Moore and at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) with Professor Nancy Hermiston.
The multifaceted soprano received many awards and scholarships. She sings recitals, opera and oratorio throughout Germany, Europe and the United States.
Within the realm of contemporary music, she is in great demand; many composers (Eggert, Corbett, Weeks, Muntendorf, Frey, Kampe, Seither, Brass, Beuger, Pisaro etc.) wrote and dedicated new creative output for her to perform as well as record. She has premiered over 170 pieces.
Since 2009 Irene Kurka has focussed intensively on the repertory for unaccompanied voice (Hildegard von Bingen, Nono, Berio, Cage, Bauckholt, Brass, Beuger, Stäbler, etc.) In 2012 she released a CD with music by Hildegard von Bingen and John Cage; this is a co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Wandelweiser Records. 2013 follows with another CD co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Wandelweiser Records; this CD considers the topic of “Prayer” and contains music by Brass, Beuger, Weeks, Corbett and Houben. After the acclaimed debut of her solo program “Prayer” at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, Irene Kurka has been invited to perform at hcmf//@ l‘Auditori in Barcelona. Graham McKenzie, the festival director forboth festivals in Huddersfield and Barcelona, was impressed by the program that he brought it to the Catalonian metropolis in October 2014.
Ms. Kurka sings with the ensembles e-mex, notabu, musikFabrik, Wandelweiser Ensemble, Modern Art Ensemble, Pegnitzschäfer-Klangkonzepte, Schlagquartett Köln, chronophonie, Kölner Vokalsolisten, La Tenerezza, socell 21 and SOPRAKKORDEON.