Hans Thomalla

“New Music is often beautiful in its otherness, but it can just as much be challenging, disturbing, and it can confront us with our own contradictions and those of our time. But nevertheless it seems to respond to a human desire to face these contradictions, and sometimes the energy, with which one pursues this desire radiates and amplifies: all of a sudden there are not a few performers and composers anymore but many, they connect with one another and with a growing audience, a community, and before you really notice you are in the middle of a movement. This seems to happen in Chicago's New Music scene right now, and Ear Taxi Festival gives this movement a platform. What an exciting moment in time!”
Photo: Manu Theobald

Photo: Manu Theobald

Hans Thomalla, born in Bonn, Germany, is a Chicago based composer. He is Associate Professor of Composition at Northwestern University, where he also codirects the Institute for New Music. His works explore the double-bind character of music as acoustic reality as well as culturally and historically formed expression, constantly following materials transform from one form of musical experience to the other. He has written chamber music as well as orchestral works, and a particular focus of his activity lies in composing for the stage: his opera “Fremd” for soloists, choir, large orchestra and electronics, was premiered at the main stage of the Stuttgart Opera in July 2011. Hans Thomalla received degrees from the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and from Stanford University. He has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, among others the Composer Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, and the Christoph-Delz-Prize. During the academic year 2014/15 he is a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.