Konstantia Gourzi – composer and conductor, artistic director of opus21musikplus
The Greek composer and conductor Konstantia Gourzi studied in Athens and Berlin. Today she is recognised as one of contemporary music’s most important champions: like Pierre Boulez and György Ligeti, a prizewinner of the ‘Christoph and Stephan Kaske Stiftung’.
In the 1990s Konstantia Gourzi founded the ‘attacca berlin’ ensemble. With them, she led the international project ‘Zeitzonen’ (‘Time Zones’) between 1991 and 1997. From 1999 to 2007 she was the artistic director of Berlin’s ‘ensemble echo’. In 2002, she instigated ‘ensemble octopus für musik der moderne’ at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where she is also professor.
The beginning of the ensemble-network ‘opus21musicplus’ (2007), bringing contemporary music together with theatre, dance and the visual arts, is a milestone of her artistic career.
As a conductor, Konstantia Gourzi regularly works with diverse orchestras for the most important festivals in Israel and Europe. Her compositions – including theatre and film music – are performed in Europe, America, Japan and Israel. Gourzi’s reworking of Haydn’s opera ‘Philemon and Baucis’ (commissioned by the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin in 2003) was re-performed at the Budapest Spring Festival in 2009. A further performance took place as part of the European Church Music Festival in Gmünd, Schwaben in July 2010.
In 2010, Konstantia Gourzi was Composer in Residence at the 58th Festspielen Europäische Wochen Passau, supported there by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. During the Festwochen several world premieres of hers were performed.
As part of the Bavarian Radio series ‘Klasse Klassik’, Gourzi was commissioned to write an orchestral work by the Bavarian State Ministery for Learning and Culture’s art131 foundation. A further commission for orchestra, choir and soloists came from the Munich Radio Orchestra, for their ‘Paradisi Gloria’ series. Both world premieres took place in July 2010. Gourzi also released a new CD in 2010: ‘Conjunctions – Synápsies’, on NEOS, which connects the Western string quartet with an Eastern sound world.
Konstantia Gourzi’s work in the field of television and radio can be heard on Arte, ZDF, WDR, SR, RBB, SWR and BR. The last called her ‘a successful international pioneer of new music.’ In 2011, Gourzi was commissioned to compose a work for the Bishopric of Munich-Freising’s ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. After a short speech by the Bundespresident, ‘Time Zero’ was performed by international artists from America, Brazil, Germany, Greece and Morocco, all also members of opus21musikplus.
In 2012, Konstantia Gourzi was the artistic director of the Samos Young Artists’ Festival, Greece.
Dr. Dr. Norbert Banik, Managing Director
Norbert Banik grew up in Dresden where he also finished his studies in Technical Acoustics and Measurement Technique. Subsequently he lived in Cologne, Hamburg and since 2002 in Munich. He finished postgraduate studies in Bio-Mathematics and Epidemiology and gained doctoral degrees in Applied Statistics (Humboldt University, Berlin) and in Human Biology (University of Cologne). He has been working in medical research as a Biostatistician and Epidemiologist for more than 20 years. Since 2012 he is Managing Director of a German medium-sized consulting and contract research organisation with offices in Munich.
As an enthusiast of all kinds of music he became engaged also in contemporary music already in his late adolescence. In addition to his strong interests in arts in general, taking photographs forms the most important part of his activities (www.norbertbanik.de).
Julian Merkle, Project Coordinator
Julian Merkle studied music pedagogy (high school level) and music journalism at the University for Music and performing Arts Munich. As a singer and violinist he has worked with numerous ensembles and choirs throughout Germany. He has collected his practical experience in music management during his university studies, and also through the founding of his own artist agency. Since 2009, he has been working for Bavarian Radio and Stiftung Zuhören on a freelance basis.
opus21musikplus – members since 2007
Violin: Anna Brunnlechner, Alexander Gilman, Florian Glas, Anna-Maija Hirvonnen, Gregor Hübner, Linda Jankowska, Sonja Korkeala, Nicolas Lorschy, Julian Merkle, Margarita Nastouli, Miltiades Papastamou, Georgios Panagiotidis, Agnes Pusker, Lisa Schatzmann, Susanne Schmidt, Elisabeth Urban, Felix Weber
Viola: Bettina Bachofer, Marta Dachowska, Hyunwook Kang, Evi Kegelmaier, Nis Mönkemeyer, Julie Risbet, Nanako Tsuij, Wen-Xiao Zheng
Cello: Mara Dufter, Ella Jarrige, Anna Khubashvili, Mareike Kirchner, Anja Lechner, Benjamin Santora
Double Bass: Kitae Bae, Gustavo Brinholi, Stefan Eisner, Sebastian Gieck, Michael Nestler, Michael Schönfelder, Daniel Pytel
Flute: Bruno Jouard, Johanna Kapaj, David Simon
Oboe: Gabriel Insuasty, Hideki Machida, Yehyun Kim, Miriam Ströher
Clarinet: Susanne Besold, Yvonne Böhm, Vaeceslav Cernavca, Jin-Hee Lee, Sofija Molchanova, Dörte Sehrer
Trumpet: Thoms Berg, Aljoscha Zierow
Trombone: Balint Garaczi
Saxophone: Matthieu Bordenave, Olena Savka
Horn: Svenja Hartwig, Isabel Krechlak, Christoph Lutz, Irakli Zarandashvili
Accordion: Konstantin Ischenko
Harp: Helen Leitner, Olivia Neuhauser, Sophia Steckeler, Stella Farina
Dulcimer: Tobias Vogel
Tarhu/Ney/Saz: Michalis Cholevas
Baglama / Duduk: Özgür Ersoy
Percussion: Florian Eickhölter, Alexander Glöggler, Thomas Hastreiter, Christoph Hobmair, Philipp Jungk, Benedikt Kurz, Stefan Landes, Kana Omori, Angelos Polychronou, Richard Putz, Jan Westermann
Piano: Maria Baptist, Henri Bonamy, Christian Elsässer, Minas Koutsambasopoulos, Jérome Polack; Daniel Stratievsky, Anna Valiulina
Singers: Vassilis Agrokostas, Claudia Barainsky, Aco Biscevic, Ayoub Bout, Frauke Burg, Brigitte Bayer, Julia Chalfin, Stella Doufexis, Susanne Drexl, Anja Eisenreich, Demos Flemotomos, Ulrike Malotta, Joan Orleans, Katharina Preuß, Brock Roberts, Raphael Sigling, Dorothea Spilger, Anna Stylianaki
Actors: Jakob Arnold, Joachim Aßfalg, Olaf Becker, Nicole Ditscher, Frank Friesch, Benjamin Jorns, Katharina Kieslinger, Markus Schmädicke
Speakers: Bernd Redmann, Wolfgang Mastnak Compositions commissioned from: Sinem Altan, Amos Elkana , Konstantia Gourzi, Giorgios Koumendakis, Masayuki Nakaji, Enjott Schneider
Sound collage: Minas Borboudakis
Direction: Nilufar K. Münsing, Martina Veh
Dramaturgy: Esther von der Fuhr, Ljuba Avvakumova
Choreography: Hans-Henning Paar, Anna Ressel, Claudia Schmidtpeter
Set design: Alexander Polzin
Costums: Yvonne Charitoniduo
Light: Wieland Müller-Haslinger
Make-up: Julia Wolfrum
Prop: Raphaela Andrade
Musical assistance: Maria Benyumova, Henri Bonamy, Michi Kaszas, Jérôme Polak, Eva Pons, Daniel Stratiewsky, Neil Valenta,
Workshop leaders, education programme: Maharani Chakrabarti, Anna Huhn, Julian Merkle, Claudia Schmidtpeter
Typesetting: Volker Nickel
Photography: Norbert Banik, Achim Happel, Claudia Körnig, Birgit Weiss
Graphic design: Michael Stahl
Video reportage: Karnik Gregorian, Achim Happel, Felix Hentschel, Markus Valley, Michael Zöllner
Copy: Frizz Lauterbach, Julian Merkle
PR: Quintessenz, Monika Csampai