Frédéric D’Haene and Vykintas Baltakas have long been familiar favourites with Transit audiences. D’Haene had written Fluxus-Static-Friction for het Collectief two years ago, but until now, the work had not been performed in Belgium. This shortcoming had to be remedied, and Transit is happy to take on the task, because this is a sizzling, fascinating work. A world premiere by Baltic ‘Leuvenaar’ Vykintas Baltakas, whose Recitativo was recently the required piece for semi-finalists in Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth Competition, occupies the second half of the programme.
Frédéric D’Haene: Fluxus-Static-Friction
Vykintas Baltakas (world creation)
Klaas Coulembier, 14:00
FRÉDÉRIC D’HAENE (1961) grew up in Kortrijk, where he had his first music lessons before attending the Conservatory of Ghent. He entered the University of Liege in order to study with Frederic Rzewski and Walter Zimmerman, and was supervised there by Henri Pousseur and Vinko Globokar. In 1986 he also received a degree in musicology for his thesis on Webern’s Variationen für Orchester. In 1988, bitten by the new-music bug, he attended the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. After several years of teaching in various institutions, he decided to devote himself completely to composing. Most of his work has been commissions, and his music has been performed by many soloists and ensembles such as James Wood, Frederic Rzewski, Wibert Aerts, Marianne Schroeder, Claude Coppens, ChampdAction, Contrechamps, Ensemble Modern, Danel Quartet, Q-02, Collectief and Musiques Nouvelles. D’Haene integrates all possible types of material in his music, in both traditional forms as well as experimentally. His music aims to be pluralistic.
Born in Vilnius in 1972, Vykintas Baltakas already caught attention as a musician and leader of two vocal ensembles, as well as a competition award winner, before studying composition with Wolfgang Rihm and conducting with Andreas Weiss in Karlsruhe from 1993 to 1997. He subsequently studied in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur and took a one year course at IRCAM. Conductors and composers make up two sides of the coin for the busiest of musicians. “One composes through playing, one plays through composing,“ he says – an attitude shared by Peter Eötvös who was his teacher between 1994 and 1997.
In the meantime he is a regular guest at festivals and with ensembles throughout Europe. Institutions that have commissioned works by Baltakas include the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Biennale, the Wiener Festwochen/Klangforum Wien, the Ensemble Modern and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/musica viva.
Vykintas Baltakas has in recent years conducted renowned orchestras such as the RSO and DSO Berlin, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra as well as ensembles including Ensemble Resonanz, the Ensemble Modern and Scharoun Ensemble. He has also collaborated with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Georg Friedrich Haas and Dieter Schnebel. In 2009 he founded the Lithuanian Ensemble Network (LEN) of which he is the driving force.
The chamber music group Het Collectief was founded in 1998 in Brussels. Working consistently from a solid nucleus of five musicians, the group has created an intriguing and idiosyncratic sound, achieved by an unfamiliar mix of strings, wind instruments and piano.
In its repertoire, Het Collectief returns to the Second Viennese School, the roots of modernism. Starting from this solid basis, it explores important twentieth century repertoire, including the very latest experimental trends. The group also creates a furore with daring crossovers between the contemporary and the traditional repertoire and with adaptations of ancient music.