Stefan Hakenberg - The Egg Musher 
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Stefan Hakenberg: "The Egg Musher" PDF Print E-mail

Memoirs of Elagabalus", "The Egg Musher", and "Mio Passar Solitario" have been performed for the first time by the El Cimarrón Ensemble at the festival "Sommerkonzerte im Altmühltal" (Audi Forum Ingolstadt, Germany) on July 12th, 2007.

Baritone, Sopran, Violin, Guitar, Flute, Percussion, Director.
Stefan Hakenberg
An egg musher drives in winter 1900 a load of fresh eggs down the frozen Yukon river from Lake Linderman to Dawson city. There, people became wealthy in the gold rush but couldn’t raise hens to provide them with fresh eggs. If the egg musher brings his cargo to Dawson undamaged, he has made his fortune, if not, he might be finished. In the year 2050 the mayor of Dawson City unveils a monument in honour of this last egg musher, but much has changed since the golden times.

The river does not freeze any more, sometimes it even runs out of water, there are no hens and chickens any more, and the glaciers will soon be melted artificially in order to provide the continent with fresh water. Far in the north, in Barrow, tourists can visit a reservation, where "good old Alaska" has remained. The baritone switches constantly from the part of the mayor to that of the musher and back and therefore stands for two extreme opposite positions. The soprano mimes in a touching serenade the chant of a sled dog that in the moonshine has discovered one of is relatives, the white wolf.

The Egg Musher (Teatro Civico, Sassari, November 2008) - Clip 1

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The Egg Musher (Teatro Civico, Sassari, November 2008) - Clip 2

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Composer Stefan HAKENBERG was born in 1960 in Wuppertal, Germany. His work includes a wide variety of musical media. The integration of players of non-western classical background has particularly shaped HAKENBERG's creative thought. Reviewers have praised his music as "highly original," "dramatic and memorable," "creating strong musical expressions in a densely contrapuntal style." Full of innovations his work is an ongoing reflection on the musical styles of today that he culls along an international career that has taken him from Cologne's experimental 80s New Music scene to Boston's 90s multicultural academic world, to the particularly Asian combination of influences in Seoul, Korea at the turn of the millennium.
Amongst the presenters of his music are the "Cube" ensemble from Chicago, the "Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra Chamber Ensemble," the "El Cimarron Ensemble" from Salzburg, "IIIZ+," "Sagye" from Seoul, "ALEA III," "Dinosaur Annex," "BMOP," and "Arcadian Winds" from Boston, "re-sound" from Melbourne, "Ensemble Phorminx" from Darmstadt, "The New Millennium Ensemble" from New York, the "Bangkok Saxophone Quartet," "Duo Contemporain" from Rotterdam, "UnitedBerlin," and "AsianArt Ensemble" from Berlin; the "BundesJazzOrchester," the "Gürzenich Orchester der Stadt Köln," the "Heidelberger Sinfoniker;" and the "Landesjugendorchester NRW;" conductors like Stewart EMERSON, Thomas KALB, Jeffrey MILARSKY, Roger NELSON, Richard PITTMAN, Morris ROSENZWEIG, Carl ROSMAN, Peter SELWYN, Johannes STERT, Markus STENZ, George TSONTAKIS, Timothy WEISS, Stephan WINCKLER, and Thomas WISE; and soloists like Claudia BUDER, Phoebe CARRAI, Il-Ryun CHUNG, DAI Xiaolian, Makiko GOTO, JI Aeri, KIM Woongsik, Marco LIENHARD, Dimitris MARINOS, MEI Han, Marlene MILD, Heather O'DONNELL, Frances PAPPAS, SAITOH Tetsu, Robert SCHULZ, Jeremias SCHWARZER, Janet UNDERHILL, Olaf VAN GONNISSEN, WANG Changyuan, Laura YOUNG, and Martin ZEHN amongst many others. HAKENBERG'S work has been featured in portrait concerts by the Folkwang Music School in Essen, Germany, by Greenwich House Arts in New York City, by the Academy for Musical Arts in Darmstadt, Germany, and in a weekend focussing on his music presented by Landesmusikrat NRW and European Capital of Culture Ruhr.2010 in Witten, Germany.
Films by Theo LIPFERT with scores by Stefan HAKENBERG, "The Displacement Map" and "Taubman Sucks," won awards at festivals in Kansas City, Honolulu, at Portland's Northwest Film festival in Oregon, and three screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival among many more places. Films with his music can be seen on US television channels regularly and "From th Mekong to Montana" was screened at the Park City Film Music Festival 2012. In 2007 HAKENBERG was credited with having written the first "climate opera" with his chamber work "The Egg Musher," libretto by Michael KERSTAN, on the topic of global warming. His last opera "Schau nicht zurück, Orfeo!" on a libretto by Patricia Anne SIMPSON was premiered to great acclaim in 2010 at the International Gluck Opera Festival in Nuremberg, Germany.
HAKENBERG attended the conservatories of Düsseldorf and Cologne where he studied composition with Hans Werner HENZE. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied with Bernard RANDS and Mario DAVIDOVSKY. Other grants and fellowships brought him to the summer festivals in Tanglewood (where he studied with Oliver KNUSSEN on a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship), Aspen (where he studied with John HARBISON), and Fontainebleau (where he studied with Betsy JOLAS), to the artist colonies "The MacDowell Colony" in New Hampshire, "Yaddo" in Saratoga Springs, and the "Atelierhaus Worpswede" in Lower Saxony. MeetTheComposer, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, various Alaskan arts and humanities councils, the State Music Council of North-Rhine Westphalia, and the Endowments for the Arts in North-Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony have directly sponsored his work repeatedly.
HAKENBERG serves as the director of the Public Music School Division of the Darmstadt Academy for Musical Arts. He is also a founder of the Alaskan contemporary music organization "CrossSound," which won a 2002 ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, and in 2005 received an NEA Creativity Grant for a program including HAKENBERG's pansori “Klanott and the Land Otter People” on an Alaska Native story.
HAKENBERG has followed invitations to present about his own music and give masterclasses at universities around the world such as the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Conservatory in Istanbul, Turkey, MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, Germany.
HAKENBERG's music is published by AUGEMUS Musikverlag, Bochum, Germany and TONOS Musikverlag, Baden-Baden, Germany. Recordings are available on Capstone Records, Brooklyn, New York, VDM Records, Rome, Italy, and Horncastle Verlag, Munich, Germany.





...Virtuos das Zusammenspiel der Musiker, die ihre ‚Rollen’ blind verstehen und verfolgen, die den Wechsel zwischen durchkomponierten Partien und improvisatorischen Einlagen routiniert bewältigen...Hervorragende Musiker und ein Kunstwerk, das am beschaulichen Bodensee durchaus Wellen schlagen darf.

Thurgauer Zeitung