With Gegenklang the contemporary avantgarde music scene has gained a very exceptional and unusual aspect.
Gegenklang is an association of eight young international composers (from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain, and Venezuela) who met in Vienna during their student days in the middle of the 1990s.
Moved by the idea to establish a lively communication between composers, musicians and audience, the composers of Gegenklang started to organize concerts with their music in exceptionally intensive cooperation since 1997.
Gegenklang tries on the base of long-standing friendship to go a common way of its own in the new music business. By mutual support the composers have realized more than 20 concerts of most different manners within the last four years covering musical areas like concerts with children, improvisations, collective compositions and joint ventures with poets and writers next to the more common concert forms of chamber, vocal and ensemble music.
Internationally renowned concert organizers increasingly get interested in Gegenklang (performances, commissions etc. by the Viennese Concert House, the Concert House Berlin, Salzburg festival, JEUNESSE, by the Essl-Foundation among others).
Since the first Gegenklang concert already, the mediation of the presented music to the audience plays an essential role. Special concepts of conversation concerts, (introduction) lectures, exhibitions of the scores, workshops and similar events very much help to make new music a lively experience. The work with children and youths ("Musikpalette", the project "Schlag auf Schlag") also arises from this need.
Since most group members are or were also instrumentalists, the music of Gegenklang itself is very much characterized by an instrument-specific thinking. The often high degree of technical virtuosity is therefore in the service of a musical design which is developed from the possibilities of the respective instrument. On the other hand there is a close collaboration with many instrumantalists that, in the meanwhile, has already lead to the compostion of more than a dozen solo pieces, each of which puts particularly various challenges to the premiere-interpreters like Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Sylvie Lacroix, Ernesto Molinari and many others.
Gegenklang is not obliged to any aesthetic manifesto but sees openness as a chance. For this reason composers who are not members of the group are fairly often introduced in the context of Gegenklang-concerts (eg. Colourscape 1999, Gegenklang & Guests 2001, Asylum 2002).
Besides their work with Gegenklang all eight composers can list quite a lot of international performances and important comissions (among others of the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, Radio Symphonie Orchester Vienna, Orquestra Nacional de Madrid, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Collegium Novum Zürich, Steirischer Herbst, Festival Wien Modern...).