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Ulysses Network in Gaudeamus 2023

Gaudeamus is one of the eleven institutions of the European Ulysses Network. Young composers and ensembles travel around within this network, co-commissions are provided and journeys and residencies for young composers are created. The Ulysses Network is supported by Creative Europe.

Our ensemble in residence hand werk from Cologne is one of the young ensembles that travel to various festivals and academies within the Ulysses Network. The German hand werk, ensemble for contemporary music, was founded in 2011 and has since advocated new works at a high artistic level, with a focus on the “sustainability” and “reusability” of the works they commission. They dedicate themselves to working on, refining, and keeping alive new compositions that are otherwise often played once and then forgotten in our fast-paced society. “handwerk” means craft, and the ensemble puts their craft, as well as the care for the composition and quality of the interpretation, at the forefront of their work. In this way, ensemble hand werk contributes to the preservation of contemporary music in the long term. In the week leading up to the festival, they rehearse intensively together with three of the nominees for the Gaudeamus Award: Zara Ali, Uri Kochavi and Saad Haddad. hand werk can be seen and heard twice at the festival, during the opening night on Wednesday 6 September, as well as during the free lunch break concert on Friday 8 September.

On Friday 8 September, the IEMA-Ensemble, a group of master’s students from all over Europe who want to develop themselves further in the performance of contemporary music, will play; these are the toppers of tomorrow! We look forward to the new work Scrunchy Touch Sweetly to Fall that the English composer Alex Paxton, nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2022 and recent winner of the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Composers Prize, has written for the ensemble. Paxton made a big impression last year with his compositions, which combine the best of Frank Zappa, John Zorn and Igor Stravinsky. The assignment to Paxton is a co-commission of three partners within the Ulysses Network: IEMA (International Ensemble Modern Akademie), impuls (Verein zur Vermittlung zeitgenössischer Musik) and Gaudeamus.

Together with IEMA and impuls, we also offer two young composers the opportunity to work with the IEMA-Ensemble within the so-called Composer Journeys. The Ukrainian composer Adrian Mocanu and the Italian Maria Vincenza Cabizza were selected. These two composers are undergoing a residency at the IEMA-Ensemble, where they are coached by composers affiliated with Ensemble Modern. They are also welcome at the academies of impuls and Gaudeamus, full of masterclasses, workshops, and seminars.

The Ukrainian artist Katarina Gryvul is commissioned by Mixtur, our Ulysses-colleagues in Barcelona, and Gaudeamus for a new work for vocals and electronics for 8 speakers. The world premiere of Bukimi no tani will sound on Friday 8 September in a surround sound setting in Het Huis Utrecht. Gryvul is a composer, sound artist, music producer and violinist. In her work she focuses on variations in timbres, sound structures and mixing the organic with the synthetic. The boundary between authenticity and virtuality; the interplay between digital and analog. Read the interview that Gaudeamus-intern Sofia Chionidou recently had with Katarina Gryvul.

Finally, the Composer Journey by the British composer Eden Lonsdale. Lonsdale is fascinated by the organ, spatial arrangements, long duration pieces and meantone tuning. All this comes together in the work he is composing for the ensemble Oerknal from The Hague. The organ of the Lutheran Church is the main instrument, around which he groups instrument groups, consisting of flute, clarinet, percussion, and a string quartet. His recent album on the remarkable Another Timbre record label makes clear what Lonsdale has in mind: an attractive start at the evening of Thursday 7 September, immersing the audience in a thirty-minute meditative state of being.