Alex Nowitz

Alex Nowitz

Alex Nowitz is a composer of vocal music, chamber music, electronic music as well as music for dance, theatre and opera. Ensembles and institutions such as the Kammerakademie Potsdam or the Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin commissioned his works. In spring 2006 his first opera of an entire evening's length, for vocal ensemble, choir, orchestra, piano, harmonium, toy-piano and theremin, was premiered at the Theater Osnabrueck: "Die Bestmannoper" [The Best Man Opera], which is about Nazi criminal and mass murderer Alois Brunner and Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld.

Furthermore, he is a voice artist, whistling and singing virtuoso who is performing in collaboration with musicians from various stylistic areas as well as interpreting composed new music. He is a tenor and countertenor who presents a great array of extended techniques, which are beyond the scope of purely classical singing.

Since the mid-nineties he gave concerts in Europe and North America at prestigious festivals, such as Warsaw Autumn or Paradiso/Gaudeamus Week Amsterdam, or universities like Newcastle upon Tyne. He also appears in the context of dance such as Screaming Popes (Marie-Josée Chartier/Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Québec-City) and theatre as well like the Summernight’s dream (Thomas Ostermeier/Schaubuehne Berlin, Hellenic Festival Athens, Théatre National de Chaillot Paris, etc.). He has developed a solo show: Studies for a Self-Portrait, a theatrical concert for voice, live-electronics, piano, toy piano and turntable, that he premiered at the Schaubuehne Berlin.

From 2007 to 2009 Alex Nowitz was a visiting artist and since 2010 he is artist in residence at STEIM in Amsterdam. With the composition and performance of his piece Minotaurus in 2009 he won the first prize of the ECPNM (European Conference for Promoters of New Music) in Gothenburg during the ISCM in Sweden.

He appears on various CD productions, such as the New York based, new music label Mode Records (as whistler in George Crumb’s Makrokosmos) or labels for improvised music such as Leo-Records from London. In 2010 he founded his own label: nowitz-records to make some of his music accessible to an audience that appreciates diversity of sound and music and the juxtaposition of heterogeneous, uncompromising and unique material. The first release in 2010 is the CD Homo Ludens which consists of compositions presenting a variety of human expressions and a wide range of vocal possibilities. Instruments performed by first class interpreters of New Music from Berlin (bass and contrabass clarinets, percussion, strings), extended piano, synthesizer and, last but not least, live-electronics using gestural controllers complete the compositions.

Alex Nowitz studied music in Munich, Berlin, Potsdam (USA) und Potsdam (Germany): composition with Gerhard Rosenfeld (GER) and David Heinick, electronic composition with Paul Steinberg (both USA), classical singing with Floyd Callahan (USA), Michael Buettner and Gerold Herrmann (both GER). In 2000 he gratuated "with first class honors" at the Institute for Music and Music Education at the University of Potsdam (GER).

He was artist in residence at the Schloss Wiepersdorf (GER, 2002/06), Kuenstlerhaus Lukas Ahrenshoop (GER, 2003), Leighton Studio - Banff (Canada, 2005/07), EMS (Electroacoustic Music in Sweden/Stockholm, 2009/10) and STEIM (Amsterdam, 2007-2011). For the creation of new works he received long-term grants by the Stiftung Kulturfonds Berlin/Brandenburg, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Berlin and the Ministery for Science, Research and Culture of Land Brandenburg (MWFK).