Tuesday, June 4, 2024

June in Buffalo 2024: Karola Obermueller

We're excited to welcome composer senior composer Karola Obermueller to her first June in Buffalo! Below is Obermueller's biography, written by her.

Karola Obermueller’s composing, described by the New York Times as "hyperkinetic music”, is

constantly in search of the unknown, often with layers and layers of obscured material buried

deep underneath a surface, which is at times sumptuous and other times bristling with rhythmic

energy. Her unique voice began forming in collages of sound made with tape recorders as a

child and evolved later with composition degrees from the Meistersinger-Konservatorium

Nürnberg, the Hochschule für Musik Saar, and the University Mozarteum Salzburg. Her sense

of rhythm and form was forever changed by studying Carnatic and Hindustani classical music in

Chennai and Delhi, India.

A Ph.D. at Harvard University brought her to the US where she taught at Wellesley College and

at the University of New Mexico, co-directing the composition area and the annual John Donald

Robb Composers’ Symposium music festival, before joining the Department of Music at UC San

Diego. She also lives and works part of the year in Europe and has been a visiting artist at ZKM,

Deutsche Akademie Rom, Centro Tedesco di studi Veneziani, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Eisler

House (International Hanns Eisler Scholarship), and IRCAM.

Her music, often political, always dramatic, includes operas for Staatstheater Nürnberg, Theater

Bielefeld, Theater Bonn, Theater Heidelberg, Theater Aachen, and Stuttgart’s Musik der

Jahrhunderte. The emotional juxtapositions of story suspended in a tableau architecture that one

finds in her operas can be heard in her concert works as well. These include commissions from

the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fromm

Music Foundation, New Music USA, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Saarländischer Rundfunk, and

numerous renowned soloists and ensembles.

Her music can be heard on CD (WERGO, New Focus Recordings, Brilliant Classics) and online

at karolaobermueller.net. 

Coiling and Swaying

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