The German-Austrian composer Brigitta Muntendorf creates music that exists at the intersection of various art forms and modes of expression, a web of multi-layered references and connections. A multimedia and interdisciplinary artist by default and steeped in the theatrical tradition, she aims to create a space for experimentation, both in her compositional work and as Artistic Director of Ensemble Garage. She treats music not as pure sound art, but as a social and aesthetic phenomenon in a society characterized by new digital media.
Brigitta Muntendorf completed her composition studies with Younghi Paagh-Paan at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen, as well as with Krzysztof Meyer, Rebecca Saunders and Johannes Schöllhorn at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. She has received grants from the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris (2010), Ensemble Modern Akademie (2012), Villa Concordia Bamberg (2014/15) and Villa Kamogawa Kyoto (2017). In 2014 shereceived the Ernst von Siemens Composers Prize in connection with the release of her CD It may be all an illusion. Most recently, she was awarded the 2017 German Music Authors’ Prize by GEMA in the Young Talent category. Since 2013 Brigitta Muntendorf has been teaching composition at the University of Siegen, since 2017 she has been Professor of Composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.
In many of her works, Brigitta Muntendorf’s confrontations with communication are reflected in the reality-virtuality continuum: starting 2013 with Public Privacy, a series of six parts in which she combines amateur music videos of Youtubers with musicians acting in real time on stage, as well in other experimental music theatre formats including for the Taschenopernfestival Salzburg (2011-2015) and the Munich Biennale 2016 or with the Social Media Opera iScreen, YouScream! which premiered in 2017 with great success at the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart. In 2018 the piano duo GrauSchumacher premiered the third part of Muntendorf’s Trilogy for two grand pianos at the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, thus presenting the trilogy, which began in 2015, in its entirety for the first time. From 2018 Muntendorf created PLUG & PLAY ME with Ensemble Garage and Electric Indigo for Ruhrtriennale, Keep quiet and Dance with Kamilya Jubran at the Cairo Contemporary Music Days and in HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts as well as Ballet for Eleven with Ensemble Modern in Donaueschingen. Brigitta Muntendorf has a close collaboration with the choreographer Stephanie Thiersch: commissioned by the Philharmonie Köln and the Bundeskulturstiftung, they presented City Dancesby Anna Halprin, a city-happening that was celebrated in Cologne in 2016 and Birmingham in 2018. In 2019 they presented Bilderschlachten, a work for the dance company Mouvoir, the orchestra Les Siécles and the Asasello Quartett with great success in Nîmes and at Beethovenfest Bonn. A third joint project is planned for Ruhrtriennale in 2020 in collaboration with Sou Fujimoto (architecture). End of September, her song performance about the centers of resistance in-between escapism and agitation Songs of Rebellionwill be premieredat the Berlin Festival for Contemporary Music Theatre (direction: Michael Höppner).
Brigitta Muntendorf has produced numerous works with Ensemble Garage, which consists of ten musicians from seven different nations. Ensemble Garage has already made a name for itself in the new music community with performances at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, Ruhrtriennale, Ultraschall Festival Berlin, aXes Festival Krakow, De Bijloke Ghent, Spor Festival Aarhus and at the Philharmonie Köln. Commissions and performances by leading new music ensembles have also taken Muntendorfs composition to international festivals such as the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Festival d’Automne Paris, Festival Musica Strasbourg, Acht Brücken Festival in Cologne, Gaudeamus Muziekweek Utrecht, Warsaw Autumn, Klang Festival Copenhagen and Wien Modern. In addition, she works on projects with artists from across various genres, including directors Thierry Bruehl and Abdullah Kenan Karaca, sound architect Cio D’Or, the electro duo Mouse on Mars or choreographer Anna Konjetzky. She has curated the FRAU MUSICA NOVA series for Deutschlandfunk Köln since 2013.