Georg Friedrich Haas
A contrast of light and dark, harmony and dissonance, In Vain startles and captivates the senses. Performed by a 24-member chamber orchestra, much of this intense 75-minute composition takes place in total darkness. In this state, the musicians must perform from memory, communicating with each other and the audience only through sound. The cycles between light and darkness are accompanied by dramatic microtonal deviations in the musical plane, which underscore a desire for perfect harmony, while understanding the futility of achieving a perfect harmonic co-existence, both musically and in the world.
Georg Friedrich Haas is an internationally known composer of spectral music. Born in Graz, Austria, Haas studied composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Ivan Eröd, and piano with Doris Wolf at the Musikhochschule (Graz). He pursued graduate studies with Friedrich Cerha at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and completed composition and computer music courses at Darmstadt and at IRCAM (Paris).
Haas' style focuses on micropolyphony, microintervals, and exploitation of the overtone series. His award-winning works have been part of several festivals, including Wien Modern (Vienna), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Witten, Huddersfield, Royaumont, Venice Biennale, Festival d'Automne (Paris), and Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Haas teaches composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland, where he currently resides.
The Argento Chamber Ensemble is the performance arm of the Argento New Music Project. The group has toured widely in the US and abroad in festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Spectral Music in Turkey, the American Festival of Microtonal Music in New York, and the International Festival of Electro-acoustic music. Known for delivering unforgettable performances that demand technical preparation and a probing interpretive commitment to the music, the ensemble has worked with leading composers such as Pierre Boulez, Tania Leon, Tristan Murail, Elliott Carter, Philippe Hurel, and Philippe Leroux in performance, tours, and recordings.
Michel Galante has performed as principal, guest, and assistant conductor with orchestras and ensembles throughout North America and Europe, including with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Janacek Philharmonic, the City College Orchestra of New York, and the Columbia University Orchestra, among others. In 2002, he was one of twelve composers to be a Stagiere at IRCAM. With the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Galante has worked closely with such composers as Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, and Tania Leon, and recorded forthcoming commercial releases of CDs by Tristan Murail and Philippe Hurel.