Performative Chamber Concert commemorating Robert Gerhard
The Catalan composer Robert Gerhard (1896 – 1970) was a European in the most modern sense of the word. Father from Switzerland, mother from Alsace, born in Tarragona; studied composition with Arnold Schönberg in Vienna; emigrated to England during the Spanish civil war. His compositions are a complex blend of elements of Catalan folk music and the twelve-tone technique. Practically forgotten in Germany, a modern classic in Spain — thus a young string quartet named itself after him in 2010: the QUARTET GERHARD. It is dedicated to cultivating his chamber music work, and has since become highly acclaimed. Another aspect of its creation is the continuation of his musical influence. Thus, the concert will centre on the world premiere of ‘Variations on a Theme of Robert Gerhard, for String Quartet, Video & Electronics’ by globally renowned composers and multimedia artists Óscar Escudero and Belenish Moreno-Gil. The piece is a commissioned work for the string quartet to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Gerhard’s death in 2020, and his 125th birthday in 2021. Escudero and Moreno-Gil have chosen a central motif from Gerhard’s 2nd string quartet, known as ‘Gerhard’s Theme’, building upon it with variations and forcing it to be uprooted, reflecting Gerhard’s own destiny as a political refugee. Part of Escudero’s and Moreno-Gil’s composition method involves re-writing parts of the score and audiovisual material before every concert, to align it with the location and performer. In addition to another work by Escudero, key works by Gerhard himself will also be performed.
KONZEPT, KOMPOSITION, DRAMATURGIE, REGIE, TEXT, VIDEO- & AUDIOPRODUKTION — Óscar Escudero | Belenish Moreno-Gil MIT QUARTET GERHARD | Óscar Escudero FÖRDERUNG — Botschaft von Spanien in Berlin