Thursday, May 25, 2023

June in Buffalo 2023 Senior Composer: Robert HP Platz

This year marks the first “in person” visit by composer and conductor Robert HP Platz to June in Buffalo as a JiB senior composer. Robert was a virtual member of our faculty of senior composers in 2020, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to welcome him to campus and to Buffalo.

Born in Baden-Baden in 1951, Robert HP Platz studied music theory, piano, and conducting in Freiburg im Breisgau with Wolfgang Fortner, musicology with Elmar Budde, and for some time, parapsychology with Hans Bender. He then moved to Cologne to study with Karlheinz Stockhausen and completed training in conducting with Francis Travis in 1977 in Freiburg. He lives and works in Cologne.

Since 1989, Platz’s compositions have formed parts of a diary-like collection that consists of associative leaps in which individual works stand for themselves but are closely connected structurally and can be to some extent played simultaneously. For this “polyphony of forms,” performers are spread around the room in such a way as to allow the individual works to polyphonically percolate and overarch one another.

Robert HP Platz has received commissions from SWR, WDR, Saarländischer Rundfunk, the Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Staatstheater Cottbus, Klangforum Wien, the E-MEX-Ensemble, the Adritti Quartet, Ensemble Alternance, and many others as well as festivals including the Donaueschingen Festival, ECLAT, Wien Modern, the Beethovenfest Bonn, and ACHT BRÜCKEN.

In 1978 and 1979 he received a scholarship from Südwestfunk’s Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung and lived for a long time afterwards in the USA and Paris, where he worked at IRCAM. Platz lived at the Künstlerhof Schreyahn in 1989-1990 and was composer in residence at Villa Serbelloni in 1990 on invitation from the Rockefeller Foundation. Two years later he had a long and formative stay in Japan.

From 1980-2001 Platz directed the Ensemble Köln, commissioning compositions from many renowned colleagues. Platz has worked with a number of ensembles and orchestras as a guest conductor, including Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Musikfabrik, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the orchestras of SWR, SR, and NDR, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the Bamberg Symphony, and Bayerische Staatsoper, as well as at international festivals in Salzburg, Helsinki, Donaueschingen, and Strasbourg. Platz’s conducting has been documented on numerous CDs. His portrait CD on Mauro Lanza with the Ensemble Alternance received an award from the Académie Charles Cros, and his first Hosokawa CD on NEOS received a Clef d’Or as the “CD of the Year 2009.”

Lecturing and teaching has brought Platz to many European countries, as well as the USA, Mexico, Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan; he has also been a lecturer at the Darmstadt Summer Course on a number of occasions. Between 2000 and 2007, Platz was artistic director of the Schreyahner Herbst festival. Pfau Verlag published the volumes “TOP: Skizzentagebuch” and “…weil die Welt und wir mit ihr so sind“ (Texte zur Musik 1972–2014). In 2013 Bärenreiter Verlag published “Technik des Violinspiels” (with Irvine Arditti). Another publication about Robert HP Platz is in the works for 2021 (Pfau Verlag, ed. Gordon Kampe). Since 2016, piano maker Steingraeber has been building the first ever MIDI grand with permanently installed transducers according to the composer’s specifications.

Platz has been a member of the Bureau du Directeur of the Henri Pousseur Electronic Studios, Liège, since 2005, and has been Professor of Composition and Ensemble Direction for New Music at the Musikhochschule Würzburg since 2018.

Platz was working on the ensemble cycle 6 Welten: Container, that premiered at the Kölner Philharmonie in 2022, as well as on the (chamber) musical theatre piece Anderswo, and a work for solo violin and chamber orchestra.
(Source: )

Robert HP Platz - Anderswo: Wand für Kammerorchester

Broken Book Skizze (1999)
for flute, violin, viola and Violoncello by Robert HP Platz

June in Buffalo is pleased to present the world premiere of vl2 for violin duo performed by Irvine Arditti and Ashot Sarkissjan of the Arditti Quartet on the Wednesday, June 7th, 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall. Also featured on this program Platz’s Maro for solo violin played by Irvine Arditti.

Robert HP Platz’s work can be found here:


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