Georg Friedrich Haas
born on 16/8/1953 in Graz, Steiermark, Austria
Georg Friedrich Haas
Georg Friedrich Haas (born 16 August 1953 in Graz, Austria) is an Austrian composer of spectral music.
Education and Career
Georg Friedrich Haas grew up in Tschagguns (Vorarlberg) and studied composition with Gösta Neuwirth, Iván Erd, and piano with Doris Wolf at the Musikhochschule in Graz, the capital of the Austrian federal state of Styria. Since 1978, he has been teaching at the Hochschule as an instructor, and since 1989 as an associate professor in counterpoint, contemporary composition techniques, analysis, and introduction to microtonal music. Haas is a founding member of the Graz composers' collective Die andere Seite. He composes in a cottage in Fischbach, Styria.
Haas completed two years of postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha, participated in the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (1980, 1988 and 1990), and the computer music course at IRCAM (1991). He received a fellowship from the Salzburg Festival (199293), was awarded the Sandoz Prize (1992) and a music grant from the National Ministry of Science, Research, and Culture (1995). Works by Haas have been on the programs of the following festivals: Wien Modern (Vienna), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Witten, Huddersfield, Royaumont, Venice Biennale, Festival d'Automne (Paris), as well as at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse and the Salzburg Festival 2011. Since 2005, he has lectured at the Hochschule in Basel, Switzerland; from September 2013 on, Haas has been a Professor of Composition at Columbia University, New York.
Aesthetics and Work
Haas' style recalls that of György Ligeti in its use of micropolyphony, microintervals and the exploitation of the overtone series; he is often characterized as a leading exponent of spectral music. His aesthetics is guided by the idea that music is able "to articulate a human being's emotions and states of the soul in such a way that other human beings can embrace these emotions and states of the soul as their own" ("Emotionen und seelische Zustände von Menschen so zu formulieren, daß sie auch von anderen Menschen als die ihren angenommen werden können"). Thus Haas has disavowed the intellectualism of some strands of the modernist musical avantgarde (such as serialism and deconstructivism). The emotional atmosphere of many of his works is sombre. Haas' operas have been criticized for giving away themes like suffering, illness and death to aesthetic voyeurism: "the piece [Haas' opera Thomas (2013)] comes dangerously close to a kind of palliative care ward tourism."
Writings and Compositions
- Adolf Wölfli, chamber opera (Graz 1981)
- Sextet for 3 violas and 3 cellos (1982)
- Drei Hommages für einen Pianisten und zwei im Abstand eines Vierteltons gestimmte Klaviere (1985)
- ...Schatten...durch unausdenkliche Wälder for 2 pianos and 2 percussionists (1992)
- Descendiendo for orchestra (1993)
- ...., Double Concerto for accordion, viola and chamber ensemble (1994)
- ...Einklang freier Wesen... for various instrumentations, each titled ...aus freier Lust...verbunden... (1994)
- Nacht-Schatten (1994 Bregenz)
- Nacht, Chamber Opera in 24 scenes (UA konzertant 1996 Bregenz, szenisch 1998 Bregenz); libretto by the composer after texts by Friedrich Hölderlin
- Fremde Welten, Concerto for piano and 20 stringed instruments (1997)
- Concerto for violin and orchestra (1998)
- Nach-ruf...ent-gleitend... for ensemble (1999)
- Torso for large orchestra after the unfinished Piano Sonata in C major, D.840 by Franz Schubert (1999-2000)
- in vain for 24 instruments (2000/02)
- ...sodass ichs hernach mit einem Blick gleichsam wie ein schönes Bild... im Geist übersehe (2001)
- tria ex uno for ensemble (2001-2002)
- de terrae fine for violin solo (2001)
- Blumenstück (2001)
- flow and friction for sixteenth-tone piano 4-hands (2001)
- String Quartet No.3 "In iij. Noct" (2003)
- Die schöne Wunde, Opera after Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe and others (2003, Bregenz)
- Natures mortes for orchestra and accordion (UA Donaueschingen Festival 2003)
- String Quartet No.4 (2003)
- Opus 68 for large orchestra after Piano Sonata No.9 by Alexander Scriabin (2004)
- Concerto for cello and large orchestra (2004)
- Haiku for baritone and 10 instruments (2005)
- Ritual for 12 bass drums and 3 wind ensembles (2005)
- Sieben Klangräume (UA Salzburg 2005)
- ....... for viola and 6 voices (2006)
- Hyperion, Konzert für Lichtstimme und Orchester (UA Donaueschingen Festival 2006)
- Bruchstück for large orchestra (2007)
- Concerto for piano and orchestra (2007)
- Les temps tiraillés for 2 violas, bassoon and electronics (2008)
- Thomas, opera (2013)
- Georg Friedrich Haas, 'These shadows of memory'. Über das Finale des ersten Abschnitts meiner Oper die schöne Wunde, in Andreas Dorschel (ed.), Resonanzen. Vom Erinnern in der Musik (Vienna London New York: Universal Edition, 2007) (Studien zur Wertungsforschung 47), pp. 197204, p. 203
- Alex Ross, Darkness Audible, 2010-011-29. URL accessed on 2011-01-24.
- Shirley Apthorp, 'Première of Georg Friedrich Haas, Thomas, Schwetzingen Festival, Germany', Financial Times (Europe), Tues. 28 May 2013, p. 13
- Georg Friedrich Haas biography and works on the UE website (publisher)
- (French) A biography of Georg Friedrich Haas, from IRCAM's website.