beyond II (bridge over troubled water)
for Flute, Viola, and Harp (2020)
Matthias Pintscher, born in Marl, Germany, in 1971 received piano, percussion, and violin lessons as a child. After conducting the local youth orchestra at the age of 14, he developed an interest in writing music himself. He began his formal education as a composer in 1988 with Giselher Klebe in Detmold, followed by studies with Manfred Trojahn in Düsseldorf. Following encounters with Helmut Lachenmann and Peter Eötvös, two major influences on his early artistic development were Hans Werner Henze and Pierre Boulez. His works, honored with a series of awards and prizes, were featured in several portrait concerts at the 1997 Salzburg Festival, among them Five Orchestral Pieces and the string quartet Figura II / Frammento. The 1998 premiere of the opera Thomas Chatterton at Dresden’s Semperoper marked his international breakthrough. From the beginning of his career, other art forms and media have been an important source of inspiration for Matthias Pintscher. The cycle Monumento I–V, written in the 1990s, and his second opera, L’Espace dernier (2002–03), for example, draw on the life and art of poet Arthur Rimbaud; the five-part cycle Figura is influenced by the iconic sculptures of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. Other points of reference include Joseph Beuys (Dernier espace avec introspecteur), Cy Twombly (Study I–IV for Treatise on the Veil), E.E. Cummings (Lieder und Schneebilder, among others), and Anselm Kiefer (Chute d’étoiles). The son of a Jewish family who learned Hebrew early on, Matthias Pintscher has repeatedly explored the spiritual and poetic potential of Old Testament texts, most recently in the fourth and final part of his cycle Shirim for baritone, choir, and orchestra (2008–19). In addition to his work as one of today’s leading composers, Matthias Pintscher also maintains an active career conducting some of the most renowned ensembles and orchestras. His most recent engagements include the world premieres of Beat Furrer’s opera Violetter Schnee at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando at the Vienna State Opera. Since 2013 he has been music director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, which was founded by Pierre Boulez in 1976 and with whom he appears regularly at the Pierre Boulez Saal. He has conducted several concerts of the Boulez Ensemble, including the 2018 world premiere of his piano concerto NUR with Daniel Barenboim as the soloist.