Contemplations into the Radical Others

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project description

She was a composer, inventor, poet, teacher and philosopher: Lucia Dlugoszewski (1931–2000) invented more than 100 mostly percussive instruments during the course of her life. She composed New Music for orchestras and ensembles, studied composition under Edgard Varèse and John Cage, and piano under Grete Sultan. She was one of the pioneering composers of works for the prepared piano and invented the “timbre piano”, in which she replaced hammers and keys with bows and plectra. She wrote prose and poetry and painted. In collaboration with Erick Hawkins’ dance company in New York, she explored the interplay between unconventional sounds and movement, auditory experience and spatial perception. Although the Polish-American composer Lucia Dlugoszewski deserves to be recognised as one of the most influential avant-garde musicians of the 20th century, she still stands in the shadow of her male colleagues. She has been consistently underestimated by critics and forgotten by music historians. Her works have seldom been recorded and documented, and it is difficult to gain access to her artistic estate.

The two-year research project “Contemplations into the Radical Others”, organised by the music festival MaerzMusik, will engage in deep contemplation and (re-)assess Dlugoszewski’s work in hopes of overcoming the patriarchal historiography of contemporary classical music. The organisers have invited ensembles, musicians, composers, instrument builders and musicologists to explore Dlugozewski’s work in concert series, workshops and sound installations, to revive and finally honour her achievements in an appropriate manner. The 2023 festival edition will focus on presenting works by the artist, as well as newly commissioned pieces. The Ensemble Musikfabrik will present original pieces, set to music and performed by the pianist and researcher Agnese Toniutti. Close colleagues of Dlugoszewski’s will hold workshops which investigate and reconstruct instruments she invented, some of which no longer exist.

Artistic director and curator: Kamila Metwaly

Artists: Agnese Toniutti, Kate Doyle, Katherine Duke, Company/ensemble/orchestra: Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Ensemble Musikfabrik Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin: Concerts: 24 Mar. 2023 and March 2024;

Discussions / podium discussion / workshops: March 2024


Berliner Festspiele

Schaperstraße 24
10719 Berlin
Tel +49 30 254 89 0 (Empfang)
Fax +49 30 254 89 111
info​(at)​ (external link, opens in a new window)