Montag, 15. 7. 2013, 20:00 Uhr

Moritz Eggert / Shiau-uen Ding

Piano Duo

Moritz Eggert
Shiau-uen Ding


Moritz Eggert Janus (2012)
Frederic Rzewski Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (1980)
John Adams Hallelujah Junction (1996)

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Moritz Eggert
Shiau Uen Ding
Shiau-uen Ding


4 Hände, 2 Pianisten, 2 Klaviere, eine Musik.
Shiau-uen Ding (Taiwan), Moritz Eggert (Deutschland).

Stücke von John Adams, Fredric Rzewski und Moritz Eggert

Wir haben uns daran gewöhnt, dass bei zwei Klavieren die Pianisten gegenüber, manchmal auch nebeneinander sitzen, jeder an seinem eigenen Klavier. Was wäre aber wenn die Pianisten beide zwischen den Klavieren sitzen, Rücken an Rücken, die Hände auf beiden Tastaturen gleichzeitig, Hinterkopf an Hinterkopf, wie eine Verkörperung des alten römischen Gottes Janus, dem bis heute durch die Namensgebung des Monats „Januar“ gehuldigt wird?

So ist es zum Beispiel in Moritz Eggerts Stück „Janus“, das in Bayreuth zum ersten Mal aufgeführt werden wird. Abgerundet wird das Programm durch das gewichtige Minimal-Werk „Hallelujah Junction“ von John Adams und die virtuose Bearbeitung von Fredric Rzewskis berühmtem Stück „Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues“ für 2 Klaviere.


Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues

According to Rzewski, Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues dates from the 1930s, but is of unknown origin. Its text reflects the exploitive working conditions in the textile mills of North Carolina. The rapid bass register clusters which open the work mirror the relentless hammering noise made by rivets in a textile machine to frightening effect. Soft, but no less intense blues-tinged episodes provide the only respite in this chillingly effective sound portrait. More than anything, Frederic Rzewski’s piano music from the seventies cogently demonstrates that one could be a radical in the grand manner, that innovation and accessibility were plausible bedfellows.

Jed Distler, excerpt from liner notes for North American Ballads Hyperion Records release

Hallelujah Junction

Hallelujah Junction was written at the request of Grant Gershon and Gloria Cheng, two musicians with whom I have had a long and fruitful history. When they asked me to compose a “short” piece for a special concert at the Getty Museum in 1998 I simply could not decline.

Hallelujah Junction is a tiny truck stop on Route 49 on the Nevada-California border, not far from where I have a small mountain cabin. One can only speculate on its beginnings in the era of prospectors and Gold Rush speculators (although a recent visit revealed that cappucino is now available there). Here we have a case of a great title looking for a piece. So now the piece finally exists: the ‘junction’ being the interlocking style of two-piano writing which features short, highly rhythmicized motives bouncing back and forth between the two pianos in tightly phased sequences. This is a technique I first used in the 1982 Grand Pianola Music and later expanded in orchestral pieces.

The “hallelujah” is for another Los Angeles friend: Ernest Fleischmann. Like many composers, conductors, and performers, I have benefitted immeasurably over the years by Ernest’s friendship and by his unflagging advocacy. As we all think back over the extraordinary tenure of his service as managing director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “hallelujah” seems to be the only appropriate word. We all owe him a debt of deep gratitude.

Hallelujah Junction lasts approximately fifteen minutes and is in four parts, linked one to the other. The first section begins with a short, exclamatory three-note figure which I think of as “-lelujah” (without the opening “Hal-”). This energized, bright gesture grows in length and breadth and eventually gives way to a long, multifaceted “groove” section.

A second, more relaxed part is more reflective and is characterized by waves of triplet chord clusters ascending out of the lowest ranges of the keyboard and cresting at their peak like breakers on a beach.

A short transitional passage uses tightly interlocking phase patterns to move the music into a more active ambience and sets up the final part. In this finale, the “hallelujah chorus” kicks in at full tilt. The ghost of Conlon Nancarrow goes head to head with a Nevada cathouse pianola.

John Adams

Moritz Eggert

Moritz Eggert (*1965, Heidelberg) studied piano and composition at Dr. Hoch’s Konservatorium in Frankfurt (with Wolfgang Wagenhaeuser and Claus Kuehnl), at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt (with Leonard Hokanson) and in Munich at the Musikhochschule Muenchen (with Wilhelm Killmayer). He also played keyboard in various bands, together with guitarist Marcus Deml. Later he continued his piano studies with Raymund Havenith and Dieter Lallinger, and his composition studies with Hans-Jürgen von Bose in Munich. In 1992 he spent a year in London as a post-graduate composition student with Robert Saxton at the Guildhall School for Music and Drama.

Moritz Eggert has covered all genres in his work – his oeuvre includes 9 operas as well as ballets and works for dance and music theatre, often with unusual performance elements. 1997 German TV produced a feature-length film portrait about his music.

As a pianist he regularly collaborates with many artists, as soloist with orchestra, as chamber music partner in various formations and as a Lied accompanist. In 1996 he presented the complete works for piano solo by Hans Werner Henze for the first time in one concert, in 1989 he was a prizewinner at the International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Contemporary Music. He is a regular guest artist at festivals around the world and has been commissioning composers for various chamber music projects (like “Neue Dichter Lieben” or “Pop Aid”). He lives in Munich, Germany.

As a composer Moritz Eggert has been awarded with prizes like the composition prize of the Salzburger Osterfestspiele, the Schneider/Schott-prize, the “Ad Referendum”-prize in Montréal, the Siemens Förderpreis for young composers, and the Zemlinsky Prize. 2003 he became a member of the “Bayerische Akademie der Schoenen Kuenste”.

1991 he founded – together with Sandeep Bhagwati – the A*Devantgarde festival for new music, which took place for the 11th time in June 2011.

His concert-length cycle for piano solo, “Haemmerklavier”, is among his best known works and has been performed around the world. He wrote 11 operas and countless works for dance and music theatre.

Moritz Eggert’s music has often been at the center of media attention. He wrote a “soccer oratorio” and the music for the opening ceremony for the German FIFA World Cup 2006 (Director: Christian Stueckl, Design: Marlene Pohley). The German yellow press berated his opera “The Snail” (librettist and director: Hans Neuenfels) as a “vile porn opera”. Another of his operas, “Freax” (libretto: Hannah Du?bgen), created a scandal around its director Christoph Schlingensief. A collage of all 22 Mozart operas for the Salzburger Festspiele (“Oral Pole Mazy Brats – All Operas by Mozart) was greeted with controversial reactions as well as the “Foot Ballet” for the Viennese Opera Ball (seen as a “sacrilege” by the conservative part of the audience). For the Pop Duo 2raumwohnung he created new songs as well as orchestral remixes. Since recent years he has also incited a heated discussion about the state of contemporary music, both as creator of the “Bad Blog of Musick” and in articles and lectures for various publications. Among his next projects are an international collaboration with Belgian artist Jan Fabre, new operas for Bremen (“All These Days”, Premiere April 2012), Berlin (Komische Oper) and Regensburg and a “Faust”-project with German TV talk show host Harald Schmidt and the Bochumer Symphoniker with Steven Sloane.

In October 2010 he took on a composition professorship at the University for Music and Theatre in Munich, Germany.

Premieres by Moritz Eggert were mentioned on national TV news as well as the sports news.

Shiau-uen Ding

A native of Taiwan, pianist Shiau-uen Ding is a rising presence on the new and electro-acoustic music scenes, and an original and energetic performer of traditional solo and chamber repertoire. She studied piano with Eugene Pridonoff, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Lina Yeh, computer music with Mara Helmuth and Christopher Bailey, and contemporary improvisation with Alan Bern at National Taiwan Normal University and University of Cincinnati, where she received her doctoral degree. She lives in New York City.

She has performed in France, Germany, Belgium, China, and throughout the US and Taiwan. Her virtuosic and sensitive interpretations have won standing ovations. She was called a daredevil by the New York Times for her performance at Bang on a Can Marathon and a powerful force on the new music scene by Array for her performance at Spark Festival in Minneapolis. She has collaborated with internationally renowned performers and composers, including Steve Reich, Michael Kugel, George Tsontakis, who refers to her performance of his Ghost Variations as a monster performance, and Moritz Eggert, who dedicated his Hämmerklavier XIX: Hymnen der Welt (Afghanistan bis Zimbabwe) to her. She has recorded for Capstone, Centaur, Innova and Electric Music Collective.

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