KlangHaus / Adventures In Sound

Stadthaus Ulm / photo: Martin Duckek

KlangHaus is a festival that presents contemporary music in a wide spectrum of forms and traditions. Intention of the festival is giving an invitation to everyone to embark on the adventure of experiencing innovatove music.
KlangHaus stands for openness: masterpieces of chamber music from the 20th and 21st centuries meet works by young composers; elements of pop and club music can be found directly next to avant-garde contemporary compositional aesthetics;  experimental approaches stand alongside traditional playing techniques from other cultures.

New, open forms of presentation are an elementary part of the concept. The conventional, spatial separation of musicians and audience is often dissolved, either in the hall itself or by playing on all levels of the Stadthaus. It almost seems self-evident that cooperation with musicians and  from other artists from other areas of the contemporary art and dance scene is also given space.

Ensemble-in-residence, is the European Music Project with its core of outstanding musicians coming from contemporary music and improvisation, from classical, innovative jazz and club music.

However, Richard Meier’s modern architecture, which inspires musicians and audiences alike, is of particular importance to the festival. This creates an ideal forum for new music in the heart of the city, in the immediate vicinity of the gothic cathedral of Ulm.

Through this combination of architecture and music, as well as the creative programmes, in the 20 years of its existence a festival for new music of supra-regional importance and often referred to as a „small, fine and different“ festival was created. The audience is invited to join in the adventure of experiencing new music through a variety of guided tours.

The festival has been under the artistic direction of J. G. since its inception in 1996. It has been taking place biennially since 2014.

Festival-Homepage:  https://stadthaus.ulm.de/klanghaus-festival

Comments on the festival

At least two things were remarkable about the performance of my „Sonetti Lussuriosi“ in Ulm: firstly, that Juergen Groezinger dared to include such a controversial piece in his programme, and secondly, and even more remarkablely, that the performance by the European Music Project exceeded my wildest hopes. I look forward to working with these musicians again soon and as often as possible.

Michael Nyman, composer, London

What Juergen Groezinger does is to try to appeal to an audience outside the mainstream that does not belong to the narrower circle of new music listeners. He succeeds extraordinarily well. Ulm is far away from any centre of contemporary music. It is all the more astonishing that this works in such an extraordinary way that, despite many difficulties and cutbacks, he can maintain the festival in Ulm over such a long period of time – and appeals to an audience that I usually don’t find in concerts of contemporary music – and I visit a lot of them.

Rolf W. Stoll, editor-in-chief „Neue Zeitschrift für Musik“, Label Manager WERGO, Schott-Musik

I remember the performance of my music in the Stadthaus Ulm with pleasure. The audience was great and, of course, it’s a beautiful building.

David Lang, composer, New York

The new music in the Stadthaus is a pleasingly undogmatic and exciting company that has made an excellent name for itself and is perceived throughout Germany.

Moritz Eggert, composer, pianist, author, festival director, Munich

The concerts of contemporary music make it possible to experience how ideas of space, music and architecture can relate to each other. I hope that these concerts will be heard in the Stadthaus for a long time to come.

Richard Meier, architect, New York

The concept and Profil of the New Music Festival in the Stadthaus are unique in the festival landscape, especially since the venue of the event, the modern Stadthaus, is located opposite the cathedral, and the refreshing creative programme design reinforce each other synergistically.

Frank Thoenes, Solo Double Bassist of the North German Philharmonic Rostock

The festival „neue musik im stadthaus ulm“ has been reported very positively both regionally and nationally. In addition to the local press, the „Neue Musik“ magazine regularly reports on the Ulm festival and, for example, the Augsburger Allgemeine, the Memminger Kurier, the Reutlinger Nachrichten, the Ludwigsburger Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also reported on the festival. The concert series is also occasionally mentioned in the magazine Der Spiegel, Veranstaltungskalender Kultur, and the festival is regularly listed in the Kulturkalender Baden- Württemberg. The concerts were and are recorded by the radio stations SDR, SWR, BR and Deutschlandfunk. CD productions of some concerts have been released under the renowned label WERGO. Extensive program booklets and flyers provide detailed information about the upcoming festival a few weeks in advance.
The festival ’neue musik im stadthaus ulm‘ has developed into a qualitatively reliable event in terms of new music in the region and as a cultural treasure it is hard to imagine the city without it.

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik /New Magazine For Music, Schott-Verlag

These concerts have supra-regional class, are by no means elitist, introduce unknown sound worlds and open the ears.

Südwest Presse Ulm

Impeccable interpretations of new ideas of modern music that don’t want to be pushed into a drawer – those who weren’t there really missed something.

Neu-Ulmer Zeitung

A gift, not less, that was the finale evening of the star nights, which should radiate actually whether the quality ordered there far beyond Ulm and the region.

Südwest Presse Ulm

Groezinger relies on the immediacy of musical experience, on transfers that emerge from the programmatic context. He draws a bow between different genres, times, aesthetic ideas and philosophies.
Space is always present in the concepts of the festival. Also important: space and music should even be physically perceptible. For the festival, sensuality is not the end of intellectual music, but the beginning!
Grözinger wants to involve young audiences and overcome the stiffness and distance of the concert business.
The hierarchical seating order, the severity of the bourgeois concert form, which dates back to the late 18th century, at the latest the 19th century, is dissolved. Instead, Grözinger focuses on more freely conceived forms of presentation, as they were customary in previous centuries, and transfers them to the present. Parents with children sit there on stools, visitors look at the instruments, one comes into contact with interpreters.

Rainer Schlenz, Deutschlandfunk

The festival is generously supported by „freunde der neuen musik im stadthaus ulm e.v.“