Jörg Widmann: Zirkustänze

composer bio

Jörg Widmann is one of the most versatile and intriguing artists of his generation. As a clarinetist, Widmann studied with Gerd Starke in Munich and Charles Neidich at the Juilliard School in New York. He performs regularly with leading world orchestras, such as Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestra National de France, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph von Dohnányi. Several clarinet concerti have been dedicated to and written for him, including Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Klarinette und Orchester (1999) and Aribert Reimann’s Cantus (2006).

Jörg gave the world premiere of Mark Andre’s new Clarinet Concerto at the 2015 Donauerschinger Musiktage. Amongst his regular chamber music partners are renowned soloists and ensembles such as Sir András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mitsuko Uchida, and the Hagen and Arcanto quartets. 

Jörg’s compositions are performed regularly by conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle, and premiered by orchestras such as the Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and many others. Widmann has been Artist in Residence at leading orchestras and festivals such as Lucerne and Heidelberger Frühling, and has been featured in artist portraits at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall, where his music was featured for an entire season under the motto, “Making Music: Jörg Widmann.”

Most recently, Jörg was commissioned to write a full-length oratorio for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie, an acoustically groundbreaking concert hall in Hamburg. The oratorio, ARCHE, received its world premiere on January 13, 2017 to great acclaim. Widmann’s connection with the Elbphilharmonie continues with a concert series entitled “Portrait Jörg Widmann” which continues through June 2017. Jörg was Composer in Residence at Yellow Barn in 2015 and 2017, and in April 2017 his song cycle Das heisse Herz was the focus of his Yellow Barn Artist Residency with William Sharp and Seth Knopp.