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Georg Friedrich Hass with students
One of the most exciting aspects of contemporary music is to be able to personally meet the composer. This is exactly what happened for several students during rehearsals for the performance of the Cello Concerto by Georg Friedrich Haas under the direction of Jonathan Nott. In a workshop prior to the planned visit to the rehearsal, the composer spoke about his work, about this composition, and also about technical concepts such as overtones, vibrations and micro-tonality. Those who had a guitar could try out some interesting new things. At the end of his presentation, Georg Friedrich was bombarded with questions from his young audience as challenging as any professional journalist could have asked.
Students: What are you specifically trying to express with this composition? Haas: Not something specific, but express something, yes. If I wanted to say something specific I would have become a writer. Composers can express things, and I feel that one can be more expressive with music than with words.
Students: Do you compose everyday?Haas: I would like to, but I can't sit down like I have a desk job and do the same thing every day. There are days when I sit in concentrated phases for 14 hours in front of the computer, although that is not always pleasant. And there are creative days. It was one of those days on which this piece was conceived. I met a good friend in Brussels, and he told me something which I found very moving. The next day I was free, so I took the train out to the ocean and went walking on the beach. The business with my friend really affected me, and suddenly the form of the piece was clear in my mind. After finding the beginning very easily, then the difficult detail work began.
Students: Which instrument do you play?Haas: I used to play piano, but I haven't practiced in twenty years. I had to decide between being a good composer and an average pianist, so I chose to compose.