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Premiere in Innsbruck of an orchestral and extended version of María de Alvear’s “Ahnen”.

This evening, at 20:00, the House of Music in Innsbruck will host the premiere of the orchestral version of Ahnen [ancestors, in German], a new and extended version o the work entitled Solo für Zwei – AHNEN; Eine Hommage an Hildegard von Bingen, that the Spanish-German composer María de Alvear premiered on 17 May 2007 at the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne, it consisted of a piece for two voices (those of María de Alvear herself and the German Maria Jonas, one of Europe’s leading interpreters of medieval chant), hurdy-gurdy and video.

Winner of the 2014 Spanish National Music Prize in the Composition category, De Alvear lives between Germany and Spain and combines different cultures and art forms in her work, collaborating regularly with her sister Ana, an artista curator and video artist.

This Ahnen will be premiered in Innsbruck as an orchestral work by the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck, conducted by the Austrian Rupert Huber, of whom World Edition, María de Alvear’s record label, will soon release an album on his composer side: Die Verwandlung / Des Zornes [the transformation / of wrath, in German].

Regarding this new work, De Alvear has issued a brief statement: “At the beginning of the work Ahnen (Ancestors) was Ana’s idea to make a video with all the different excavated prehistoric Venuses that exist. They are very small figures created by humans and found in various places on Earth. They all represent a kind of ‘feminine principle’, or rather the principle that we humans call ‘feminine’, the principle as a mental concept, by creating a plastic form out of it, thus expressing the human capacity to invent, to create and to recognise. That is why these Venuses are so important to us”.

“It is from Ana’s idea,” she continues, “that it occurred to me to put music to this work and, as Ana and I always do, we first work independently of each other, naturally thinking of each other’s work, and then we unite them, respecting times and ways of working, and adapting them to the place of the premiere. It’s like a kind of haute couture that sometimes works well and other times is more difficult to carry out, depending on the situation of the place where the premiere/concert takes place”.

© Photograph by Philip Lethen, provided by the composer’s communications department.