Prof. Mike Svoboda
Lecturer, Contemporary Music and Trombone
Prof. Mike Svoboda
The composer, trombone player and conductor Mike Svoboda is considered among the most innovative and versatile musicians of his generation. He grew up in Chicago and, after his composition and conducting studies, came to Germany with the help of a BMI Award to Young Composers in 1982. From 1984 to 1996 he worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen; during this time he stopped composing. His collaborations with Stockhausen and composers like Eötvös, Haas, Hosokawa, Lachenmann, Rihm, Smolka and Zappa have led Svoboda to premiere a plethora of new works over the last 35 years. After a self-imposed break of close to 20 years, Mike Svoboda began composing again in 2000. Since then, he has received commissions from festivals, orchestras and theatres, includes the State Opera Hannover and Stuttgart, the National Theatre Mannheim, the Südwestrundfunk [public broadcaster in southwest Germany] the ECLAT Festival and Lucerne Festival.
Mike Svoboda is a Professor at the FHNW Academy of Music in Basel. Together with his colleagues Marcus Weiss and Jürg Henneberger, he oversees the artistic direction of the MA in Performance, with a Major in Contemporary Music.
Prof. Marcus Weiss
Lecturer, Saxophone and Contemporary Music
Prof. Marcus Weiss
Having studied the saxophone at the FHNW Academy of Music in Basel under Iwan Roth, Marcus Weiss moved to Chicago where he studied philosophy und saxophone (under Frederick L. Hemke) at Northwestern University. In 1989 he won the Soloist Prize of the Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein [Association of Swiss Musicians]. During his soloist career, he performed with an array of European orchestras and ensembles, as well as the Trio Accanto chamber ensemble and the saxophone ensemble Xasax/Paris. He has collaborated with a variety of composers, who have written works for him. They include Aperghis, Cage, Furrer, Globokar, Haas, Hosokawa, Kyburz, Lachenmann, Netti, Prins, Saunders, Sciarrino, Stockhausen and Vassena. His textbook ‘The Techniques of Saxophone Playing’ was published by Verlag Bärenreiter.
Prof. Weiss also gives masterclasses at European universities (e.g. Paris, Madrid, London, Berlin, Vienna, Porto and Riga) and US universities. He has worked for many years as a lecturer at the Darmstädter Ferienkursen für neue Musik [Darmstadt summer university for New Music] and at the Ensemble-Akademie IMPULS in Graz, Austria. He continues to curate New Music festivals (Rümlingen and Zurich). Marcus Weiss is a professor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at the FHNW Academy of Music in Basel.
Yaron Deutsch (Tel Aviv, 1978) is particularly known for his work in the field of contemporary music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Quartet Nikel and a frequent guest with the most renowned European ensembles and orchestras in the field of contemporary music. He plays regularly with the ensembles Klangforum Wien and Musikfabrik. As a soloist he has performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Turin), the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has played under the conductors Sylvain Cambreling, Titus Engel, Peter Eötvös, Zubin Mehta, Emilio Pomàrico, Peter Rundel and Ilan Volkov, to name a few. He has released recordings on the Col Legno, Kairos, Neos, Sub Rosa and Wergo labels. In addition to his artistic activities, he is a lecturer in the guitar class at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and has also curated and directed the international festival for contemporary chamber music in Tel Aviv - "Tzlil Meudcan" ("updated tone") - since 2010.
Sarah Maria Sun is known as one of the foremost vocal performers in the contemporary music scene. Her repertoire currently spans more than 1000 compositions from the 16th to the 21st century, including 350 world premieres. She regularly performs as a soloist in renowned concert halls and festivals worldwide. At leading opera houses and stages she created complex female figures in music theaters, operas and monodramas. For her role as Elsa in Sciarrino’s Lohengrin (2017) as well as for her performance in Philip Venables 4.48 Psychoses (2019) she was nominated as singer of the year. From 2007-2014, she was the first soprano of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, a chamber ensemble of seven singers that has been one of the world’s leading pioneers of contemporary music for decades.
Sarah Maria Sun’s discography includes more than 30 CDs, some of which have been awarded prizes. In 2017, four of her six new releases were nominated for the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik prize. In spring 2020, some most contrasting albums were released: HARAWI with songs by Olivier Messiaen (mode records, awarded with the “What a performance!” award) and KILLER INSTINCTS (mode records), a Rock-Pop-Satire on a new generation of narcissistic demagougues, with songs by Joe Walshe, Randy Newman, Alan Price and many more. The album Les Espaces électroacoutiques (col legno) was awarded with the „Deutsche Schallplattenpreis“.
Sarah is also an illustrator and author of children’s books and releases songs with the band Titillating Tofu.