Mini-Festival FOKUS LACHENMANN on 16 & 17 January 2024: Intense days with Helmut Lachenmann and Trio Catch come to an end

Helmut Lachenmann is no stranger to Darmstadt. He has been a regular guest at the Darmstadt Summer Course as a student and teacher since the 1950s. Meeting him here in the Akademie für Tonkunst in the ice and snow was a very special coup. On the initiative of piano professor Sun-Young Nam, Mr Lachenmann and his closely associated trio Catch were guests in our building for a mini-festival. Together with the musicians Martin Adámek (clarinet), Eva Boesch (cello) & Sun-Young Nam (piano) and the composer himself, we discovered and explored solo and chamber music in public workshops, seminars and a concert. The International Music Institute Darmstadt opened its archives and provided additional context through image, sound and video documents in an exhibition specially curated for this mini-festival.
On Tuesday morning, we started with four cello students from Romain Garioud's class to work with Eva Boesch on the sound world of the legendary cello work PRESSION. Afterwards, Marin Adámek gave an insight into the clarinet techniques in DAL NIENTE for the class of our clarinet teacher Martin Schmidt. In the late afternoon, we went into full swing together with Helmut Lachenmann, the entire trio and our composition teacher Arne Gieshoff in front of a packed audience: ALLEGRO SOSTENUO gave us exciting insights into piano techniques, rehearsal work and compositional and music philosophical reflections. In addition to visitors from Darmstadt and members of our ensemble, we were delighted by the lively participation from the region: the entire composition class had travelled from Frankfurt together with their professors Orm Finnendahl and Ulrich Kreppein - a testament to the ever-deepening collaboration.
On Wednesday, we then braved the snow and ice and crowned our time together with a packed and moving concert: in addition to presenting the works PRESSION, DAL NIENTE and ALLEGRO SOSTENUTO, which had previously been discussed in the workshops, Mr Lachenmann once again took part in a discussion. Together with Director Prof. Thomas E. Bauer and Arne Gieshoff, he explored questions of appropriate musical education, tradition and "thinking in music" in a stimulating panel discussion. At the end, there was still time for a group photo before we said goodbye into the wintry night.
We would like to thank Helmut Lachenmann, Trio Catch, the IMD, the students and the supervising lecturers as well as the administrative staff working in the background for two exciting days!

Arne Gieshoff 


Photos: Benjamin Weber





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