York Höller - Der Meister und Margarita

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York Höller (°1944) is a German composer and teacher of composition at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. In the 70s he was a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the most controversial composers of the 20th century. Later he would succeed Stockhausen as artistic director of the WDR-Studios für elektronische Musik from 1990 to 1999. It gives an indication of the direction in which his work would develop: electronic, serial music asking quite some efforts from its listeners.

In 1989, Höller composed Der Meister und Margarita, an opera in two acts, which was premiered on May 20, 1989, in the Palais Garnier of the Opéra de Paris, the biggest opera building in the world where is situated the famous story of Le fantôme de l'opéra. Der Meister und Margarita by York Höller would be the last opera performed in the Palais Garnier, since the opera company would move to the Opéra de la Bastille after this performance.

On November 1, 1991, the opera had its German premiere in the famous Opernhaus in Cologne. Both the performance in Paris and in Cologne were conducted by Lothar Zagrosek.

On September 14, 2013, the opera came back to Germany at the Staatsoper in Hamburg, with a new adaptation by the dramaturges Kerstin Schüssler-Bach and Michael Winrich Schlicht. The director was Jochen Biganzoli,, and the orchestra's conductor was Marcus Bosch.

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Siglind Bruhn, full-time researcher in 20th century musicology at the Institu-te for the Humanities of the University of Michigan and “chercheur perma-nent” on the Institut d’esthétique des arts contemporains of the Sorbonne, made a comparative study of the opera's of York Höller, Rainer Kunad and Sergey Slonimsky.

Siglind Bruhn's study is downloadable in the archives section

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