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Composer Portrait

Mozart from present-day perspectives

Confronting Mozart with the 21st century: at the Mozartfest, this includes juxtaposing his art with new and very recent music. Every year, the oeuvre of a particular composer is spotlighted, and analysed in connection with Mozart. »I am confident«, says Jörg Widmann, the Composer Portrait of the 2014 Mozartfest, »that this juxtaposition will change the way we listen to both Mozart and our own music«. Jörg Widmann, Toshio Hosokawa, Aribert Reimann, Wolfgang Rihm, Arvo Pärt and Unsuk Chin have been the previous composers portrayed, and have presented their works, in some cases commissioned by the Mozartfest. The portraits are accompanied by conversations and composition classes under the aegis of the MozartLab, and provide insights into working methods, aesthetic positions and current perspectives on Mozart’s creative oeuvre.

Composer Portrait 2021

When in 2021 Mozart himself will be the composer in portrait, an intensive dialogue is set up between his music and contemporary developments. The 100 years of the Mozartfest also encompass a century of music, art and social history, in which Mozart’s life and »oeuvre« provide a broad screen onto which any time period can be projected. The Mozartfest has become a mirror of the past one hundred years, during which the composer’s image has also undergone multiple changes. The 2021 Mozartfest addresses milestones and turning points in this history of interaction and illuminates them with facets from the present day.

The Mozartfest has commissioned three works to mark the centenary. Jüri Reinvere and Anno Schreier are each presenting Mozart-inspired compositions for orchestra, while the third commission has been given to the writer Ulla Hahn. She explores Mozart and artificial intelligence in her literary work. Thanks to the commitment of its partners, the Mozartfest is also able to stage further premieres: an orchestral work by the Lithuanian artist Justé Janulyté, two song compositions by Wilfried Hiller and six piano pieces by the British composer Michael Nyman.