Contemporary music lies at the heart of the festival Eight Bridges | Music for Cologne, established in 2011. Although the focus of the programme changes every year, audiences can always look forward to discovering New Music and its protagonists. Based on the motto “Tone. Movement. Sound”, the 2017 edition explored the relationship between music and language. The programme featured the South Korean artist Unsuk Chin, one of the most influential woman composers of our time. A resident of Berlin since 1988, Unsuk Chin studied under György Ligeti and has won numerous prizes. She has worked together with famous conductors like Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel and Neeme Järvi, and her music has been performed by the world‘s top international ensembles and orchestras. Unsuk Chin’s compositions are distinguished by virtuosity and eagerness to experiment. Her musical language is characterised by great intellectuality, fascinating brilliance and sensuality.
The festival has showcased works which reflect Unsuk Chin’s extensive oeuvre and the diversity of her compositional approaches and themes. Several participating ensembles have performed two “portrait concerts” featuring “Allegro ma non troppo” for solo percussion and tape (1994/98), the concerto for piano and orchestra (1996–97) and the double concerto for piano, percussion and ensemble (2002). The composition “snagS&Snarls II”, which contains references to Unsuk Chin’s new opera, has been performed for the first time in Cologne. The portrait concerts have been presented by a number of well-known ensembles including the Ensemble Musikfabrik, the Neue Ensemble, the SWR Experimentalstudio and the Ensemble intercontemporain.
Artistic director: Louwrens Langevoort
Musicians: Ensemble intercontemporain (FR), SWR Symphony Orchestra, Das Neue Ensemble, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra – Bavarian State Philharmonic Orchestra