Conductor Ondrej Adámek in his 2021 cello concerto " Illusorische Teile des Mechanismus ". In it, as if under a burning glass, he looks at the creation of music and at the same time asks the question of how music, how the sounding tone makes our soul "ring".
Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Acht Brücken, 28.04.2022 Björn Woll
The composer and conductor Ondrej Adámek develops a musical language that unfolds as a dialogue with more distant cultures. Directness and finely formed moments of expression with artfully composed timbres characterize his works, which include orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electroacoustic music.
Born in Prague in 1979, Ondrej Adámek studied composition at the Academy of Music in Prague and at the Conservatory in Paris. In 2010, he came to Berlin as a guest of the DAAD’s Berlin Artists’ Program, where he has lived ever since. During longer stays in France, Africa, Spain, Japan, India, and Italy, he immersed himself in the musical cultures of these countries, which subsequently shaped his own music time and again. The play with language(s) also emerges as a structuring element in many ways.
As part of a new cycle of approaches to different musical cultures, Ondrej Adámek conducts Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s new work Whence Comes the Voice?, which explores Qawwali music, to open the season in September 2022. Korean Pansori singing is the focus of a new work to be launched by Ensemble Modern under Tito Ceccherini at the Tongyeong International Music Festival in spring 2023, where Ondrej Adámek will also be represented with other works as artist-in-residence. Also in September, his music theatre Reaching out will be given its Italian premiere at the Biennale Musica Venezia. The vocal ensemble N.E.S.E.V.E.N., which he founded, premiered the work with Eric Oberdorff, choreographer, two dancers, and two percussionists in Marseille in May 2022.
With N.E.S.E.V.E.N., Ondrej Adámek explores the authenticity and originality of the voice as well as scenic possibilities. The a cappella opera Seven Stones, premiered in 2018 at the festival in Aix-en-Provence and shown again in January 2022 at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, was the initial spark for the founding of the ensemble, which has since premiered several works: Alles klappt for 6 singers and two percussionists was shown with great success at the Munich Biennale in 2018; Man Time Stone Time was presented in Witten in 2019 with the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Michael Wendeberg and was again staged at the Festival Présence with the Orchestre de Radio France under Kent Nagano.
In the past season, his composition Where are you?, which was taken on a European tour by the London Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle with soprano Magdalena Kožená, received a great deal of attention. The work, which was premiered by the Symphonie Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under Simon Rattle, was heard at the Lucerne Festival, the Musikfest Berlin, as well as in Antwerp, Luxembourg, Dortmund, and Bucharest. The cello concerto Illusorische Teile des Mechanismus was also premiered by Jean-Guihen Queyras with the Ensemble Resonanz under the direction of Ondrej Adámek and was performed at the Acht Brücken festival in Cologne and at the Elbphilharmonie.
In 2019, it was his Sheng concerto Lost Prayer Book that toured Europe with performances at the WDR Funkhaus, the Philharmonie de Paris, the Southbank Centre London, as well as in Leicester, Den Bosch, and Amsterdam. The soloist Wu Wei performed with the Ensemble Musikfabrik conducted by the composer, the ensemble 2e2m under Pierre Roullier, the London Philharmonia Orchestra under Jonathan Stockhammer, and the Ensemble Asko/Schönberg under Bas Wiegers. Follow Me, the violin concerto for Isabelle Faust premiered in 2017 by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Peter Rundel, was performed with the Orchestre de Strasbourg at Festival Musica and with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Susanna Mälkki.
Always in search of sounds that go beyond the conventional orchestral apparatus, Ondrej Adámek developed the installative musical instrument Airmachine through years of experimental work. The mechanical apparatus with rubber gloves, horns, hoses, and all kinds of valves had been created for the work Körper und Seele, which premiered in Donaueschingen in 2014 with the SWR Vokalensemble and the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg under François-Xavier Roth. In the meantime, it has taken on a musical life of its own, and has been constantly used and developed in further compositions.
Ondrej Adámek’s works have been awarded numerous prizes, including the Prix de Bourges (IMEB, 2003), the Prix Métamorphoses (Belgium 2002, 2004), the Hungarian Radio Prize (2004), the Composer Prize of the Brandenburg Biennale (2006), the Prix Hervé-Dugardin (SACEM, 2009), the Grand Prix Tansman (Lodz 2010), the Prix George Enesco (SACEM, 2011), and the Composition Prize of the City of Stuttgart 2018. In 2014-2015 Ondrej Adámek was a fellow of the Académie de France at the Villa Medici in Rome. From September 2022 till June 2023, Ondrej Adámek is a fellow at Villa Massimo in Rome.
© karsten witt music management, 2022/23 season
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