Matthias KrügerComposer


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    12/xy/2020 | Philharmonie de Paris (F)
    Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu _World Premiere [ Hugue Leclère, pn ]
    11/xy/2020 | Oldenburg (D)
    New work _World Premiere [ Double Bass section of the Oldenburg State Orchestra ]
    06/11/2020, 08:04 pm | WDR 3 Kultur (Radio broadcast, D)
    New work _Live-Recording of the World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ]
    06/07/2020 | Concert hall of Trossingen University of Music (D) *POSTPONED
    rast (Siegburger Fassung) [ Trombone Ensemble of Trossingen University of Music ]
    05/19/2020 | Concert hall of Trossingen University of Music (D) *POSTPONED
    rast (Siegburger Fassung) [ Trombone Ensemble of Trossingen University of Music ]
    05/10/2020, 5 pm | Acht Brücken @ WDR-Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, Cologne (D) *POSTPONED
    New work _World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ]
    05/02/2020, 08 pm | International Ankara Music Festival, Ankara (TR) *POSTPONED
    LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble recherche ]
    04/12/2020, 11:03 pm | homeoffice [1] @ WDR 3 (Radio broadcast, D)
    LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble handwerk ]
    04/09/2020, 08 pm | Ahmed Adnan Sanat Merkezi, Izmir (TR) >>DETAILS *POSTPONED
    LAL (First Draft) _Turkish Premiere [ ensemble hand werk ]
    02/25/2020, 08 pm | Abo3 @ Ensemblehaus Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau (D) >>DETAILS
    LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble recherche ]


    11/17/2019, 11 am | Heartopia Harue Hall, Fukui (JPN)
    fuckin' A! [ Takuro Ogawa, sax ]
    11/01/2019, 04:00 pm | Festival NOW! @ Museum Folkwang (Karl-Ernst-Osthaus-Saal), Essen (D) >>DETAILS
    LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble hand werk ]
    10/23/2019, 08:00 pm | Alte Feuerwache, Cologne (D) >>DETAILS
    LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble hand werk ]
    10/21/2019, 3 pm | Pianoctambule Festival @ Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Le Mans (F) >>DETAILS
    renk [ Claudia Chan, pn ]
    10/05/2018, 8 pm (Introductory talk: 07:00 pm) | Musik der Zeit @ WDR-Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, Cologne (D) >>DETAILS AND LIVE-STREAM >>FB
    Bellygoat Boom _World Premiere [ WDR Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Elena Schwarz ]
    09/23/2019, 02:00 pm | Urara Arts Theater, Chamber Music Hall, Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture (JPN)
    fuckin' A! [ Takuro Ogawa, sax ]
    09/17/2019, 02:00 pm | Shanghai New Music Week / 2nd Asia Saxophone Congress @ Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai (CHN)
    fuckin' A! [ Takuro Ogawa, sax ]
    07/01/2019, 07:30 pm | Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen (D) >>DETAILS
    Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) [ ensemble BRuCH ]
    06/04/2019, 01:00 pm | Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Castilla y León, Salamanca (E)
    fuckin' A! [ Gemma Galeano Ballestar, sax ]
    05/31/2019, 08:30 pm | Verso Traiettorie 2019 @ Casa della Musica, Parma (I) >>DETAILS
    renk _Italian Premiere [ Imri Talgam, pn ]
    05/19/2019, 06:00 pm | ContComp Music Festival @ Haifa University, Haifa (ISR) >>DETAILS
    renk [ Imri Talgam, pn ]
    04/13/2019, 1 pm | Lunch Concert @ Kunststation Sankt Peter, Cologne (D)
    renk [ Claudia Chan, pn ]
    03/27/2018 | Contemporary Music Competition @ Zurich University of the Arts, Konzertsaal 1 (CH)
    fuckin' A! [ Gemma Galeano Ballestar, sax ]
    02/19/2019, 08:30 pm (Introduction: 07:45 pm) | Unerhörte Musik @ BKA Theater, Berlin (D) >>DETAILS
    Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) [ ensemble BRuCH ]
    02/08/2019, 07:00 pm | Cologne University of Music, Kammermusiksaal (D)
    K.P. und sein Engel [ Krisztián Palágyi, acc ]
    01/16/2019, 7:00 pm | otic. radio from the academy of media arts cologne (radio broadcast, D) >>STREAM
    Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) [ ensemble BRuCH ]

    All Dates


    Composer Matthias Krüger was born in Ulm and grew up in Brussels and Trier. He studied music composition at Cologne’s Hochschule für Musik und Tanz and at Columbia University in New York City, as well as French language in Cologne and Sorbonne University in Paris. His principal composition teachers include Krzysztof Meyer, Fabien Lévy and Johannes Schöllhorn. He attended festivals such as the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music 2010 and impuls Academy 2011 in Graz and drawn inspiration from master classes and personal encounters with composers like Hans Abrahamsen, Mark André, Georges Aperghis, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, José-María Sánchez-Verdú and Vladimir Tarnopolski as well as the Composition Seminar of New York University with Nils Vigeland.

    He has received numerous awards and scholarships, including from DAAD, the German National Academic Foundation, Berlin’s Mendelssohn competition in 2013, Cologne's Zimmermann award in 2015, the Chevillion-Bonnaud composition prize of the 12th Orléans International Piano Competition in 2016 as well as most recently a nomination for the 2018 Gaudeamus Award. Supported by the Arts Foundation of Northrhine-Westphalia he spent the Fall of 2015 as an Artist-in-Residence in Istanbul/Turkey as well as travelled to Aotearoa-New Zealand in 2018 on a two-month research grant to gain a deeper insight into kaupapa Māori, kapa haka and taonga puoro. Between 2014 and 2018 he worked part-time at the Institute of Musicology of Bonn University (D).

    His musical interests revolve primarily around the in-between of the abstract magic of sonic structures and the concrete confrontation with one’s own body, yearnings and obsessions; it focuses on the musician as a human being who is confronted with their personal limits and uncertainties, working their way through them in constant, not least physical agitation in an ever-lasting quest for identity and redemption.

    He received commissions from WDR (Musik der Zeit), Westfalen Classics 2017, NewTalents Biennale Cologne 2014, and Young Euro Classic Berlin 2013, among others, as well as from soloists Xavier Larsson Paez (saxophone), Claudia Chan (piano) and Krisztián Palágyi (accordion). Matthias' music has been performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra, ensemble Recherche (Freiburg), ensemble ascolta (Stuttgart), ensemble inverspace (Basel, CH), Ma'alot wind quintet, ensemble hand werk, mam.manufaktur für aktuelle musik, Ensemble BRuCH , Fukio Ensemble (all Cologne), IEMA ensemble (Frankfurt), Slagwerk Den Haag and Oerknal (both The Hague), PluralEnsemble (Madrid), and Meitar Ensemble (Tel Aviv), as well as soloists like Werner Dickel, Neus Estarellas Calderón, Patrick Stadler and Imri Talgam, among others, in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, Canada, China and Japan, as part of festivals such as ECLAT Stuttgart, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Festival de Royaumont, Shanghai New Music Week, Northwestern University New Music Conference 2014, and Mallorca Saxophone Festival, and in venues such as Konzerthaus Berlin, WDR Funkhaus Cologne, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, and Carnegie Hall New York.
    Furthermore his music has been featured on German radio stations such as Deutschlandfunk, Deutschlandradio Kultur, HR 2, SWR 2, WDR 3 and KölnCampus. In June 2018 Deutschlandfunk has dedicated a portrait feature about his music. In January 2017 his composition LAL (First Draft) has been released on ensemble hand werk's first album "Kurzwelle". In the 2019/2020 season the CD label WERGO will release a portrait CD of his music as part of the series "Edition Zeitgenössische Musik".

    He is currently based in Cologne where he works as a composer.


    • New work. For double bass ensemble.
      Commissioned by the Oldenburg State Theatre. To be premiered by the double bass section of the Oldenburg State Orchestra in the fall of 2020.
    • New work. For large ensemble.
      Commissioned by the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat) and Acht Brücken festival Cologne. To be premiered by the European Workshop Ensemble conducted by Rüdiger Bohn on May 10th, 2020 at WDR-Funkhaus (Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal) Cologne (D).
    • Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu. For solo piano. (4')
      To be premiered by Hugues Leclère in December 2020 at Philharmonie de Paris (F).
    • le vide à perdre. Revised Version (2016, rev. 2019). For prepared trumpet, prepared trombone, bass drum, drum set, synthesizer, electric guitar, electric cello and live-electronics. (19')
    • Bellygoat Boom.For orchestra. (24')
      Commissioned by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). World premiere performed by WDR Symphony Orchestra (Elena Schwarz, con) on October 5, 2019 at WDR Funkhaus (Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal) in Cologne (D).
    • nun schauervoll einmalig blickt es mich an. Revised Version (2015/17/19). For viola und accordion. (17')
    • Dance of the Dream Men.For Percussion Quartett.
      Commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek. World premiere by Slagwerk Den Haag on September 7, 2018 in Utrecht (NL).
      auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
    • Komm her, Sternschnuppe. For prepared flute, to-be-prepared baritone saxophone, synthesizer (doubl. piano), drumset and analogue live-electronics.
      Commissioned by Ensemble Inverspace. World premiere scheduled for 06/24/2018 at WABE, Berlin (D).
    • K.P. and his angel. For accordion.
      Commissioned by Krisztián Palágyi. Premiered on 01/30/2018 at LABOR Projektgalerie (Cologne, D).
    • Patterns, patterns, oh, to break those chains. For wind quintet. (20')
      Commissioned by Ma'alot wind quintet. Premiered on 05/28/2017 at Rittergut Störmede (Geseke, D) as part of WestfalenClassics music festival.)
      on Soundcloud
    • le vide à perdre. For prepared trumpet, prepared trombone, bass drum, drum set, synthesizer, electric guitar, electric cello and live-electronics.
      Commissioned by ensemble ascolta. Premiered by the same under the baton of Nicolas Kok 02/05/2017 at Theaterhaus Stuttgart as part of ECLAT festival.)
      auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
    • Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux). For soprano, alto flute (doubling piccolo), prepared cello and prepared piano.
      Commissioned by the ensemble BRuCH. Premiered on 10/06/2016 at Stadtgarten Cologne as part of the concert series Tripclubbing.)
      auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube auf YouTube
    • Hier war Blau, hier war Gelb, hier war Grün. For flute, clarinet and grand piano.
      Written for Meitar Ensemble. Premiered on 07/14/2016 at Felicja Blumental Music Center Tel Aviv at part of the Tzlil Meudcan Summer Academy and Festival.)
      on Soundcloud
    • LAL (First Draft). For flute (doubling piccolo), bass clarinet, tulum, percussion, amateur accordionist, violin and microtonal melodicas (six players). (9')
      Commissioned by ON.Neue Musik Köln. Premiered by ensemble hand werk on 01/18/2016 at the studio of the ensemble Musikfabrik Cologne.
      auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
    • renk. For grand piano. (9')
      Commissioned by pianist Claudia Chan. Premiered on 01/15/2016 at Loft Cologne.
      on Soundcloud on YouTube auf YouTube
    • Wie ein Stück Fett. For voice and prepared piano. (5')
    • nun schauervoll einmalig blickt es mich an. For viola and accordion. (17')
      Premiere of the Second Part on 06/20/2015 at Salone di Palazzo Ricci in Montepulciano (I) performed by Marina Eichberg (va) and Krisztián Palágyi (acc); premiere of the complete and revised piece on 10/28/2015 at Kunststation St. Peter Cologne performed by Werner Dickel (va) and Krisztián Palágyi (acc).

      auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
    • rast. Revised version for 8 (prepared) trombones and museum interior. (16')
      Premiered by the trombone ensemble of Cologne University of Music on 11/18/2014 at Siegburger Stadtmuseum as part of the laureats' concert of Siegburg Composition Competition 2014.
      on Soundcloud
    • WIMP. For six players and prepared solo double-bell trumpet doubling alphorn. (22')
      Commissioned by New Talents Biennale Cologne 2014. Premiered by mam.manufaktur für aktuelle musik (Paul Hübner, tr) conducted by Susanne Blumenthal on 05/23/2014 at Kunststation St. Peter Cologne.
      on Soundcloud on YouTube
    • fuckin' A! For alto saxophone. (11')
      Commissioned by saxophonist Xavier Larsson. Premiered by himself on 06/23/2014 at the Concert Hall of Cologne University of Music.
      auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube auf YouTube auf YouTube auf YouTube
    • wisp. For thundersheet and jazz-brushes. (11')
      Commissioned by YoungEuroClassics. Premiered by Se-Mi Hwang on 07/28/2013 at Werner-Otto-Saal of Konzerthaus Berlin.
      on YouTube
    • rast. For 7 (prepared) trombones and church interior. (12')
      Commissioned by Romanischer Sommer Köln. Premiered by the trombone ensemble of Cologne University of Music on 07/07/2013 at St. Pantaleon Köln.
    • torque. For 14 instruments. (24')
      Premiered by Ensemble Sinfonietta (University of Music Trossingen) conducted by Sven Thomas Kiebler on 10/18/2013 at Erich-Kästner-Halle Donaueschingen as part of Donaueschinger Musiktage.
      on Soundcloud
    • the machinery I have made. For bass carinet, violoncello, grand piano and an agency of another kind. (15')
      Premiered by the ensemble of the International Ensemble Modern Academy conducted by Vimbayi Kaziboni on 01/19/2013 at Joseph-Joachim-Saal of Berlin University of the Arts as part of the laureats' concert of Felix-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy competition 2013.
      on Soundcloud
    • Festinger's Færce. For baritone saxophone and live-electronics. (11')
      Premiered by Philippe Bouveret (Matthias Krüger/Hans Tutschku, sound dir) on 03/23/2012 at Miller Theatre New York as part of the festival Ghost in the Instrument at Columbia University.
    • récital pour une femme seule. For 4-channel tape, talkbox and female. (11')
      Premiered by Marlene Zilias (Matthias Krüger/Marcel Schmidt, sound dir) on 05/09/2011 at Alter Wartesaal Köln as part of Acht Brücken. Musik für Köln festival. Electronic sounds produced at the former Electronic Music studio of WDR under the technical supervision of Volker Müller.
      on Soundcloud
    • à portée de souffle. For saxophone quartet. (16')
      Premiered by Fukio Ensemble on 03/26/2013 at Auditori del Conservatori de les Illes Baleras, Palma de Mallorca (E) as part of 5th Mallorca Saxophone Festival.
      auf Soundcloud
    • conTemp[s]lations. For organ (with mechanical stop actions). (16')
      Premiered by Nikolai Bogdanovskiy on 05/25/2010 at Tyska Kirkan Stockholm (SE) as part of Ljudoljud festival.
      on Soundcloud
    • Tiraillements. For 8 instruments. (9')
      Premiered by a students' ensemble conducted by the composer on 07/11/2011 at Cologne University of Music (Concert Hall).
    • Voûte déborde le gaz. For solo piano. (9')
      Premiered by Nuno Pereira (pn) on 11/24/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).
    • εx•isto•ire. For orchestra. (14')
      Premiered by a students' orchestra conducted by Thomas Jung on 02/03/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Concert Hall).
    • Le Dormeur du Val. Song for soprano, violoncello and piano based upon the sonnet by Arthur Rimbaud. (9')
      Premiered by Manon Blanc-Delsalle (sop), Dorukhan Doruk (vc) and the composer (pn) on 11/24/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).
    • 4 Epigramme. For solo piano. (7')
      Premiered by the composer on 01/07/2008 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).


    about the nomination for the 2018 Gaudeamus Award

    „Matthias Krüger is a committed risktaker. Extremely imaginative and curious. Not afraid to go the distance with an idea that “may or may not work”. This willingness to explore is convincing and draws the listener in.“ (Jury: Mayke Nas, Nicole Lizée and Richard Ayres, September 2018)

    about Patterns, patterns, oh, to break those chains (2017)

    „The intense physical energy of Matthias Krüger's quintet, fueled by its insistent pitches, amplitudes, repetitions, and high-speed dramaturgies, also challenged its listeners. Habits have thus not only the ability to make life more manageable and comfortable, but can also be the entry to hell.“ (Sylvia Systermans on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 05/28/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    about le vide à perdre (2016)

    " least as freaky as Matthias Kruger's finale "Le vide à perdre" for electronics, surround sound, prepared wind instruments, and a whole lot of percussion: like the “Grand Wazoo" of the 21st century, it borders on the threshold of pain and crawls with life. With almost feverish eyes and visibly happy to finally be able to hear his composition the way (Ensemble ascolta performing dedicatedly under the baton of Nicholas Kok) he had once imagined it, Krüger cranked the controls at the mixing desk all the way up to the max. Eclat is a festival that lives and thrives on such moments. It enables the proximity between the artists and the audience. There are no trenches." (Mirko Weber, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 02/06/017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    "... like a sound massacre: a shrill and distorted electro inferno." (Otto Paul Burkhard in Südwest Presse, 02/07/2017, Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    about Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) (2015/16)

    "... a sometimes almost paradoxical listening experience. A new sound space opens up and, very surprisingly, is immediately drawn into the increasingly obsessive soundscape. The same happens in the vocal part, which also features overtone singing. However, Krüger's musical actions do not carry their meaning within themselves; rather, the musical discourse is characterized by a compulsive obsessiveness which blusters into extreme panic. It is inherently inspired by the text, the opening chapter of Gustav Meyrink's novel The Golem, published in 1913, a classic of fantastic literature." (Ingo Dorfmüller on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 07/22/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    about renk (2015)

    "Thus the recital opened with Matthias Krüger’s renk, a work that is rather a visual than a sonic performance, judging from how much the pianist’s body—in this case Claudia Chan—is being solicited in a such an unusual way: fingernails, palm of the hand, wrist, forearm; all are deployed on the keyboard, as well as underneath and even on top of the instrument without necessarily always pressing the keys all the way down. The effect is spectacular, and invites us to consider the piano through all of its constituents, beyond the traditional keyboard." (Isabelle Stibbe in La Terrasse, 03/22/2017, Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    about LAL (First Draft) (2015)

    "Matthias Krüger came up with the idea for this composition in Istanbul. There, he had observed street musicians and was inspired by the foreign sounds and the constant interplay between musicians. The sound fields in his music therefore change accordingly. Krüger starts out with an impulsive drum solo. This is followed by a section in which the flute dominates. The music acquires an exotic character through microtonal variations, as they occur in oriental music, and through the use of the tulum, a Turkish form of bagpipes. Krüger challenges the musicians' sound sensitivity. The instrumentalists capture the fragile microtonal fluctuations with subtlety, easily intoning the melodic motifs’ filigree ornamentations. They play Kruger's composition with an improvisational fashion that makes the piece seem very much alive." (Hanno Ehrler on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 07/31/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

    "... oriental sound patterns with an anarchistic and theatrical attitude." (Bastian Tebarth in StadtRevue, 07/2017)

    about WIMP (2014)

    "At the Kunststation St. Peter, Matthias Krüger conjured up tender soundscapes. A wild and impressively contrasting Alphorn solo roared and screeched like both a ship's horn and a free jazz trumpet. The watch hands of music history are still ticking onwards." (Rainer Nonnenmann in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 05/26/2014; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)