February 19 – March 13, 2016
Wilfried Hiller – Music Meets Sculpture and Painting

Munich composer Wilfried Hiller celebrates his 75th birthday on 15 March 2016. To mark the occasion, the Münchner Stadtmuseum Music Collection is holding two concerts in his honor. At Hiller’s request, it has organized a small exhibition of bronze sculptures and paintings by Antje Tesche-Mentzen which will be on display during the period between the two concerts. Visitors will have the opportunity to stand next to the sculptures and use audio stations to listen to the Hiller compositions that they inspired.

Wilfried Hiller was born in 1941 in the Swabian town of Weißenhorn. After studying piano at the Augsburg Conservatory, he worked as an organist and ballet répétiteur before going on to study composition, opera direction, percussion and music theory at the Munich Academy of Music. From 1967, Hiller was employed as a percussionist by various institutions, including the Bavarian State Opera and the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. In 1968, he founded the “musik unserer zeit” (music of our times) concert series that, in 1981, would be renamed the “Münchner Musiknächte” (Munich Music Nights). He also worked as music editor at Bayerischer Rundfunk radio station and lectured at the Munich Academy of Music, in addition to teaching composition at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich.

Hiller worked in close artistic collaboration with Carl Orff until the latter’s death in 1982. From1978, his joint music theater projects with Michael Ende also provided him with an important source of artistic inspiration. Their partnership produced works such as “Vier musikalische Fabeln” (Four Musical Fables), "Der Goggolori" (The Goggolori, first performed at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in 1985), “Das Traumfresserchen” (The Dream Eater) and “Der Rattenfänger” (The Rat-Catcher). Hiller’s other works for stage include “Die Geschichte vom kleinen blauen Bergsee und dem alten Adler” (The Tale of the Small Blue Mountain Lake and the Old Eagle, with Herbert Asmodi), “Eduard auf dem Seil” (Edward on the Tightrope), “Pinocchio” (with Rudolf Herfurtner), “Der Schimmelreiter” (The Rider on the White Horse, with Andreas K. W. Meyer), “Wolkenstein” (with Felix Mitterer) and the church operas “Augustinus” and “Der Sohn des Zimmermanns” (The Son of the Carpenter, with Winfried Böhm).

Wilfried Hiller with singing bowls (for his work „Hoffnung” (Hope), a scenic cantata inspired by the work of Antje Tesche-Mentzen for violin, percussion, harp and mixed choir, librettoby Winfried Böhm, commissioned by the Bayerischer Rundfunk radio s
Hannelore Gassner: Wilfried Hiller and Carl Orff in Diessen at Lake Ammer, 1980, © Hannelore Gassner
Antje Tesche-Mentzen: Schulamit, sculpture inspired by a composition by Wilfried Hiller, 2014 bronze, 2.05 x 0.94 x 0.5 meters, © Antje Tesche-Mentzen
Antje Tesche-Mentzen: Goggolori, 2013, bronze, 59 x 50 x 30 cm, © Antje Tesche-Mentzen

Hiller, the winner of multiple awards and recipient of several international bursaries, was President of the Bavarian Music Council from 2005–2008, artistic director of the Nuremberg International Organ Week from 2009–2012 and currently serves as Director of the Carl Orff Foundation and President of the German Jean Sibelius Society. Schneider Verlag Tutzing publishers recently dedicated Volume 56 (2014) of its “Komponisten in Bayern” (Composers in Bavaria) series to the multi-award-winning composer. His most recent works include his 2011 “schaem-Aias” for Japanese bunraku chanters (for the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation), his 2013 “Der Flaschengeist: ein Singspiel aus Ozeanien” (The Bottle Imp – a Musical Comedy from Oceania) for the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and, in 2015, the incidental music for the Salzburg State Theater’s production of the opera “Der verlorene Sohn” (The Prodigal Son) in collaboration with Hellmuth Matiasek.

Hiller’s collaboration with Carl Orff has also led to his work being influenced by ancient myths and Greek mythology. In the museum’s Music Collection, a special connection can be traced between its display of musical instruments from all over the world and the paintings and sculptures that accompany them. Hiller was first inspired with admiration for the sculptures of Antje Tesche-Mentzen after the death of his wife, the actress Elisabet Woska, in March 2013. “Ancient myths are no mere modish fad,” says the Kiel-born artist. “Things written 2,000 years ago are still relevant to us today.” Accordingly, her work is never abstract, nor is it consistently figurative – instead, it is predominantly fragmentary and symbolic. Tesche-Mentzen was awarded a grant for highly gifted students from the City of Kiel to study painting, and then went on to study ballet and singing at the Munich Academy of Music, trained in ceramics and opened her own workshops in Munich and Venice in 1973 and Hafendorf am Simssee in 1990. She created her first life-sized ceramic and bronze sculptures in 1982. Her multi-award-winning works can be found in private and public collections and have been shown at exhibitions at home and abroad (Venice, Brussels, Florence, New York, Marseille, Paris, etc.). The display features bronze sculptures including “Lilith”, “Goggolori”, “Schulamit”, “Orpheus” and “Allegorie der Musik” (Allegory of Music), as well as paintings such as “Bali-Impressionen” (Impressions of Bali) and works inspired by Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony.

„Music is a sensory art form, perhaps the most sensory of all, and as such must grip the listener or spectator.” (Wilfried Hiller)

Opening concert:
The opening concert, at 7.30 pm on February 18, 2016, offers the opportunity to hear some of Hiller’s works illustrating his interest in cultures from around the world, including his “Studie für japanische Trommeln” (Study for Japanese Drums; Thomas Sporrer, Carl Amadeus Hiller) and pieces of traditional gamelan music (performed by the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s gamelan orchestra, conducted by Dr. András Varsányi). The influence of antiquity on his work is reflected in compositions such as DAPHNE (Franziska Strohmayr, violin and Diliana Tschervenkova, double bass) or LIEBESLIED DES ORPHEUS FÜR EURYDIKE (Orpheus’ Love Song for Eurydice), inspired by Ovid’s METAMORPHOSES (Gudrun Haag, harp), while his interest in myths can be seen in GOGGOLORI, LILITH and SCHULAMIT (Franziska Strohmayr, violin). There will also be performances of KLEINER WALZER (Little Waltz), MONDSICHEL IN FRAUENHAND (Crescent Moon in Woman’s Hand) and ORGHELUSE – TANZ AM RANDE DES ABGRUNDS (Orgeluse – Dance on the Brink of the Abyss) from the piano cycles KOSMOS I and II (Amadeus Wiesensee, piano).

Anniversary concert:
This concert will be held at 11 am on Sunday March 13, 2016. It will mainly feature a chamber music cycle played by members of the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz orchestra, with DAS GROSSE LÄCHELN (The Big Smile) for descant zither (harp) and string quintet, EURYDIKE (Eurydice), WASSERSPIEGELUNGEN (Reflections in Water; Ann-Katrin Naidu, mezzo-soprano and Anke Schwabe, piano) and LILITH (violin, viola, violoncello, double bass and piano). During the performance of NACHTSCHATTENTÄNZEN IM SKULPTURENGARTEN (Nightshade Dances in the Sculpture Garden) for descant zither (harp) and string quintet, the audience will have the first-ever opportunity to hear the Münchner Stadtmuseum Music Collection’s “skeleton string quartet” of “silent violins” that have been specially restored to playability for this occasion.