April 7, 2009

Hans Thomalla Named MacDowell Colony Fellow

EVANSTON—Hans Thomalla, assistant professor of composition, has been named a fellow by the MacDowell Artist Colony in Peterborough, NH.  He will be in residence there this summer to work on a piece for the Munich Philharmonic, slated to be premiered at the Munich Biennale on April 30, 2010. Colonists are chosen on the basis of having exceptional talent in their area of endeavor and have been Pulitzer, National Book Award, and Rome Prize winners, as well as Guggenheim, Fulbright, and MacArthur Fellows.

Hans Thomalla is a native ofBonn, Germany.  He studied composition at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and received a DMA in composition from Stanford University. During his studies, he was a fellow of the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, and the Stanford Humanities Center. He has also been the recipient of the renowned Kranichsteiner Musikpreis (2204) and the Christoph-Delz-Prize (2006).

Thomalla’s music has been performed at many major festivals, including Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, Witten, Ultraschall Berlin, ECLAT-Festival, Takefu, and Steirischer Herbst. The Festival d’Automne á Paris in 2006 presented a two-concert portrait of his music, featuring the Ensemble Recherche.  In summer 2008, a CD of his chamber music, performed by the Ensemble Recherche and Lucas Fels, was released on the Wergo label.  Thomalla has also served as First Assistant Dramaturge, Dramaturge, and Artistic Advisor to the Director for the Stuttgart Opera, where he worked on the new productions of Lachenmann’s Maedchen mit den Schwefelhoelzern and Schreker’sGezeichnete among others. Current projects include a commission from the Stuttgart Opera for a new opera that will be premiered in 2011.  Thomalla will also serve on a panel at the 2009 Salzburg Festival discussing the future of contemporary opera.

The MacDowell Colony was founded in 1907 to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which to work.   More than 250 writers, composers, visual artists, photographers, printmakers, filmmakers, architects, interdisciplinary artists, and those collaborating on creative works come to the Colony each year from all parts of the United States and abroad.  Past colonists have included Aaron Copland, Milton Avery, James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Jules Feiffer, Frances Fitzgerald, Oscar Hijuelos, Arthur Kopit, Studs Terkel, Barbara Tuchman, and Alice Walker.Thornton Wilder worked on Our Town at the Colony; Virgil Thomson worked on Mother of Us All; and Leonard Bernstein completed his Mass there.

In 1997, The MacDowell Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts for “nurturing and inspiring many of this century's finest artists,” and offering outstanding artists of all disciplines “the opportunity to work within a dynamic community of their peers, where creative excellence is the standard.”