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Iris ter Schiphorst

 b. 1956Iris ter Schiphorst (Photo © Silvia Beck)


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As a composer, Iris ter Schiphorst is influenced by years of experience as a classical pianist, a bass player, percussionist, keyboard player and sound engineer in various rock and pop bands * the large list of her works encompasses all genres * studied theatre and culture studies and philosophy in Berlin and attended classes with Dieter Schnebel, Luigi Nono and Helga de la Motte * concurrently, she worked intensively with electronical music and sample techniques (1992 first prize in the third composition competition for synthesizer and computer music) * in the late eighties, she became a co-founder of the association ‘zeit-Musik’ together with the composers Mayako Kubo, Franz-Martin Olbrisch and Berthold Türcke as well as the musicologists Frank Hilberg and Gian Mario Borio * her compositions from that period centre mainly around the relation between manuscript and sound * 1990 founded  the electro-acoustic ensemble intrors, with which Iris ter Schiphorst received an award at the international composition competition BLAUE BRÜCKE * 2001 shortlisted for the Prix Italia for her orchestral piece Hundert Komma Null * Iris ter Schiphorst’s works have been performed at numerous festivals including those in Donaueschingen, Witten, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Porto, Paris (Festival d’automne), Munich (musica viva), Bielefeld (visible music), Forbach (festival rendez-vous musique nouvelle), Berlin (Klangwerkstatt), Cologne (Forum neuer Musik), at the Hanover Expo 2000, the European Month of Music Festival in Basle, in Glasgow and at the Kassel Documenta * since 2013 member of the Berlin Academy of Arts * 2015 Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis

Works by Iris ter Schiphorst include:
Zerstören (2005) for ensemble
La Coquille et le Clergyman (2004) film music for ensemble
Hundert Komma Null (1999) ballad for orchestra
Dislokationen (2008/09) for orchestra and amplified piano
Die Gänsemagd (2009) opera for children
Aung (2011) chamber opera

Looking Ahead: Zurich Opera opens the 2014/15 season with a new production of Die Gänsemagd (with a total of 20 perfs until June 2015); Austrian premiere of her ensemble piece Breaking... (Jan 2015); 2015 Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis

“It is direttissima music, flaring up, in love with life and death alike; for all the instrumental tricks and extravagancies, there is not a trace of lifeless paperwork… Iris ter Schiphorst must be regarded as one of the most promising figures in the jungle of orchestral composition in central Europe.” – Frankfurter Rundschau

Please also visit Iris ter Schiphorst’s homepage at

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