© Joachim Liebe, 2014
Alex Nowitz is a composer of vocal, instrumental and electroacoustic music. He writes concert music and creates works for opera, dance and theatre, commissioned by institutions like the Staatstheater Braunschweig, Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin, Theater Osnabrueck, Schaubuehne Berlin, fabrik Potsdam, and ensembles like Ensemble Mosaik Berlin, Curious Chamber Players Stockholm, Maulwerker Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam, and work-in-progress Berlin.
Alex Nowitz is also 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 also presents a wide array of various extended voice techniques.
Currently he's in the process of completing his PhD Monsters I Love: On Multivocal Arts at the Stockholm University of the Arts.
From May to Oct. 2014, Alex Nowitz is artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, provided by the Minister of Culture and Media of the Federal Government of Germany to work on new pieces. During summer, together with Sukandar Kartadinata, Chi ha ucciso il conte? and Frank Baldé, he worked at STEIM in Amsterdam, provided by the 'inter-Stip', a grant by the Ministery of Science, Research and Culture of Land Brandenburg (MWFK) to develop and build a backup version of the strophonion.
<<< More information about his WORKS or NEWS can be found here: Werke or Aktuelles >>> (in German only!)
Since the mid-nineties, Alex Nowitz gives concerts in Europe and North America at prestigious festivals, such as Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Week Amsterdam, Total Music Meeting Berlin, Jauna Musika Vilnius, Fresh Sound Series San Diego, Musica Viva Lissabon, Multiplace Festival Bratislava, Oslo, Stockholm, or universities like Newcastle upon Tyne or Brunel University London. He interprets composed new music and performs in the context of improvised and experimental music as well. He has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as the theatre director Thomas Ostermeier, choreographer Marie-Josée Chartier, conductor Hermann Bäumer and many other musicians and composers of contemporary music.
© Joachim Liebe (Alex Nowitz and the Strophonion, 2014)
Since autumn 2007 Alex Nowitz has been invited by STEIM (STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam, mainly collaborating with sound artist and composer Daniel Schorno, to develop a setup for live electronics as extensions for his vocal performances, which he calls Stimmflieger (voice kite). He uses two gestural controllers (Wii-Remote controllers), a computer (MacBookPro) and STEIM-software (LiSa, junXion). In 2009 Alex Nowitz wins 2nd European Competition for Live-Electronic Music Projects der ECPNM. With kind support of the MWFK Brandenburg (Germany), EMS Stockholm and STEIM Amsterdam, he premiered the new work "Minotaurus", for amplified voice and live-electronics with gestural controllers (Stimmflieger), at the final concert of the ISCM (International Society of Promoters of New Music) World New Music Days 2009 in Gothenburg/Sweden. For more information about the instrument Stimmflieger read article: Voice and Live-Electronics Using Remotes as Gestural Controllers, published at eContact! by the Communauté électroacoustique canadienne.
© Frank Baldé (Alex Nowitz with the Stimmflieger at the Frascati, Amsterdam during Steim-Festival 'Patterns and Pleasure' 2011)
From 2010 to 2011, the staff at STEIM (Frank Baldé - software/programming, Byung-Jun Kwon, Mr. Stock- hardware/electronics), visual artist Florian Göttke (ergonomics/design) and Alex Nowitz developed a new instrument which contains of two controllers which are built from scratch, without using any commercial components provided by the game industry: the Strophonion. The premiere of the prototype, the so-called Shells, took place as part of the HOMO LUDENS show, for voice and live-electronics, at the Radialsystem Berlin, curated by Gerhardt Müller-Goldboom (Amuse-Gueules Neuer Musik). The final version of the instrument is called Strophonion and was premiered at the LIG Art Hall in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2011.
More information on design and the practice of playing the instrument at eContact!: Designing and Playing the Strophonion: Extending vocal art performance using a custom digital musical instrument.
© Frank Baldé ( premiere of the so-called Shells, the prototype of the Strophonion in Berlin 2011)
© Frank Baldé: the Strophonion, 2011
© Sonja Kloevekorn, 2009
CD-Release of Homo Ludens in November 2010:
Now available on nowitz-records (LC 24489 / founded 2010):
(19,98 € plus packaging and postage 2.-€ within Germany, 4.- Europe and 6,50 outside Europe)
Sound samples and more information on: stimmkunst
In 2009, he 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 on Nov.21, 2009.
More infos on: stimmkunst
The Vancouver Sun writes about the dance show Screaming Popes by choreographer Marie-Josée Chartier (Toronto) touring through Canada in spring 2007: "German composer Alex Nowitz performs the live and recorded score, a brilliant aural architecture that gives the piece its unhurried but sure pace. The surround-sound comes at you from all directions: piano (strings as well as keys), whistling, a haunting vocal falsetto, gongs, the scrabbling of rats." And the Sun Media Winnipeg remarks: "German virtuoso Alex Nowitz -- call him The Man of 1,000 Noises -- provides a live soundtrack that fuses opera, whistling, scatting, beat-boxing, piano and pre-recorded sounds to parallel each complex emotional display. But, surprisingly enough, there's not a scream to be heard."
Currently he's performing as musician, actor, voice artist and countertenor with extended voice techniques at the Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz/Berlin in A Summer Night's Dream, an adaptation from Shakespeare directed by Thomas Ostermeier and Constanza Macras: Ein Sommernachtstraum.
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. Premiere was in 2006 on April 8th at the theatre in Osnabrueck. Libretto: Ralph Hammerthaler.
See Reviews (in German only!) >>>
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) and classical singing with Floyd Callahan (USA), Michael Büttner and Gerold Herrmann (both GER). In 2000 he gratuated "with first class honours" as Diplommusikpaedagoge (major subject: voice) at the Institute for Music and Music Education at the University of Potsdam (GER).
In 2014, he is artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, provided by the Minister of Culture and Media of the Federal Government of Germany, and at STEIM (Amsterdam), provided by the 'inter-Stip', a grant to work abroad, from the Ministery of Science, Research and Culture of Land Brandenburg (MWFK). He was also artist in residence at the Schloss Wiepersdorf (2002/06), Kuenstlerhaus Lukas Ahrenshoop, Leighton Studios Banff Center for the Arts (Canada, 2005/07), STEIM (Amsterdam, 2007-2011), at EMS (Electroacoustic Music in Sweden/Stockholm, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), and received grants by the Stiftung Kulturfonds Berlin/Brandenburg, the Ministery of Science, Research and Culture of Land Brandenburg (MWFK), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Berlin and the Ministry of Culture of Land Niedersachsen (Künstlerhäuser Worpswede).
Complete list of awards, grants and residencies can be found here: Preise & Stipendien (in German only!)
On following links you will find scores (pdf files), sound samples (flash player) and more information: Aktuelles, werke, stimmkunst, "Die Bestmannoper".