The teaching activities and public concerts of last July’s Centre Acanthes, the first to be held in Metz, confirmed the achievements of over a quarter of a century of intense activity. The various workshops have been further enhanced for 2005 to meet the expectations of the participants, both instrumentalists and composers; the concert series at the Arsenal will also be extended, for the benefit of audiences ready for new adventures in Metz, in the region as a whole and across the border.
The guest composers for this year’s session will be Wolfgang Rihm and Pascal Dusapin, two major figures in contemporary music. They will present their own music, oversee the instrumental workshops, supervise the composition workshops and take a major role in the events open to the public. They will be at the centre of a large team of “associate composers”, instrumentalists and lecturers, supported for the entire duration of the Centre Acanthes by the Orchestre National de Lorraine and the Arditti Quartet. All these many contributors will be there to help the young professional musicians for whom the Centre Acanthes is intended to be an enriching and thought-provoking experience.
A - Composition workshops
These workshops are intended for composers who wish to present a new instrumental work and who wish to benefit during rehearsals from the experience and advice of the members of the Acanthes teaching staff.
Pascal Dusapin and Wolfgang Rihm will provide the artistic direction for the workshops with the support of Hilda Paredes, Alessandro Solbiati and Jörg Widmann.
After an initial theoretical analysis, rehearsals will provide composers with the opportunity to make final adjustments to their pieces as they hear them being played.
1) Orchestral workshops - Orchestre National de Lorraine
a) Formation A - conductor Jacques Mercier
Instruments: 1 flute + 1 flute/piccolo, 1 oboe + 1 oboe/cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 1 bassoon + 1 bassoon/counterbassoon, 3 horns, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone + 1 bass trombone, 1 timbale, 1 percussionist*, 1 harp, 19 violins, 6 violas, 5 cellos, 3 double basses.
b) Formation B - conductor Sylvio Gualda
Instruments: 1 flute/G flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet/soprano clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 percussionist*, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 double basses.
*Available percussion instruments: 1 vibraphone (F3-F6), 1 marimba (4 and a half octaves lames Kelon F2-C7), 1 glockenspiel (F5-E8), 1 set of crotales (2 octaves C to C), 1 set of tubular bells (F4-F6), 4 toms, 2 bongos, 2 tumbas, 1 tam-tam, 1 symphonic bass drum, 3 suspended cymbals, 5 temple blocks, 2 wood blocks.
Student composers may choose all or only some of the available instruments (no fewer than thirty-five musicians for Formation A, twelve for Formation B).
Concertante works will not be accepted.
Duration: six to eight minutes.
2) String quartet workshop - Arditti Quartet
Instruments: two violins, one viola and one cello.
Duration: five to ten minutes.
Note for composers selected for composition workshops
Selected composers should provided the following:
1) their score (three copies of conductor’s score plus separate parts, all legible and of good quality)
2) a short programme note in French or in English by 20 June (date of postmark) for string quartet workshop and for the orchestral workshops
Selected pieces will be performed at the students’ concert on 17 July and 19 July. All accepted pieces will have been thoroughly worked through during rehearsals and participants will be given a CD recording of their work.
The Centre Acanthes reserves the right, after consultation with the composition workshops teachers, not to produce a piece which proves technically impossible to perform.
B - Instrumental workshops
Clarinet: Jörg Widmann
Accordion: Teodoro Anzellotti
Cello: Lucas Fels et Sonia Wieder-Atherton
Piano: Siegfried Mauser et Ian Pace
These workshops are intended for instrumentalists who wish to perfect their performance of the contemporary repertoire. The participants will work intensively with the guest teachers. They should submit with their application form a programme based mainly on the works of the guest composers but also including works from the contemporary repertoire as a whole. They should ensure they know these works well before the start of the course.
Suggested works for instrumental workshops
C – Introduction to the Repertoire
One or more lectures will be held every day for the benefit of participants, during which the guest composers will analyse a number of their latest works and also discuss more general questions.
2) Listening sessions
The guest composers introduce and play recordings of some of their works, followed by a discussion with participants.
Student composers will also have an opportunity to present and discuss some of their own pieces.
3) Consultation workshop
Throughout the course participants will also be able to consult recordings of previous sessions of the Centre Acanthes: classes by Olivier Messiaen (1987), Luigi Nono (1989), Ivan Fedele (2000), Jonathan Harvey (2000/2004), Magnus Lindberg (2000), Martin Matalon (2000), Michael Jarrell (2000) et Tristan Murail (2000), Philippe Manoury (2004).