Austrian Music Highlights: April 2024

Album cover - Paisajes Interrumpidos
Album cover - Paisajes Interrumpidos (c) Roberta Lazo Valenzuela

In German, they say “April does what it will”, which seems to be particularly true this year. We’ve hardly had time to take note of the weather, though – we’ve been out in the great wide open, fulfilling our raison d’être of representing Austrian music to the world. Curious? Then scroll on, gentle reader – it’s your Austrian Music Highlights for April.

Making the rounds

Photo of the Austrian Heartbeats stand at jazzahead! 2024, (c) Philip Yaeger
Austrian Heartbeats stand at jazzahead! 2024, (c) Philip Yaeger

We spend most of our time in Vienna, but in the last few weeks, we’ve been getting out a lot – to Estonia for Tallinn Music Week, to the spring meetings of networks we’re members of, like EMEE and IAMIC. Your humble correspodent traveled to Bremen last for jazzahead! 2024, and the excitement is continuing: in the coming weeks, we’ll be in Ireland for NMDx, the New Music Dublin Exchange, to Berlin for our Building Bridges project (more below), to Cologne for c/o Pop (also more below) and, in May, for Classical:Next in Berlin…in short: we’re not letting any grass grow under our feet.

Adventures in Germany, Part I

Banner Bridges Berlin

For the last year or so, we’ve been facilitating meetings between Austrian music professionals and their counterparts abroad – it started last year in Switzerland, continued last fall with a songwriting camp in Vienna, and now phase 3 – a mentoring program with German business experts – is about to reach its climax. For the last couple months, Austrian professionals have been working with experienced colleagues in Germany, learning how to best position themselves on the German market. This weekend, the participants will be traveling to Berlin for the culmination, consisting of workshops and panel discussions with Berlin-based business representatives, a Berlin edition of the famed Vienna “Michels Musikstammtisch” event, and a visit to Spotify’s All Music Friday.

Adventures in Germany, Part ii

c-o pop header

Not a week later, a different crew of Austrians will be headed to the annual Cologne showcase festival c/o Pop – Austria always rolls deep, and this year’s no exception: the slate of Austrian artists includes BEX, Filly, Endless Wellness, Bibiza, NESS, and Eli Preiss – plus an Austrian Heartbeats reception for the social animals and business types. Want to know more? All the intel can be found in our recent article on Austrian Artists at c/o Pop.

Out and about

Mia Zabelka

Photo of Mia Zabelka (c) Dario Nigredo
Mia Zabelka (c) Dario Nigredo

We’re going to be honest: touring isn’t getting any easier. That’s why we’re especially excited when we hear someone has put together a string of concerts like the multidisciplinary violinist and composer Mia Zabelka – she’s going to be cutting a wide swath through Europe in the next weeks – after a show on her own in Ostrava on April 30th, she’ll be heading out on the road with Philadelphia percussionist Tracy Lisk:

  • May 1 – Klub Baza, Krakow
  • May 2 – MÓSG, Bydgoszcz
  • May 3 – Kühlspot, Berlin
  • May 4 – Hanse 3, Dresden
  • May 5 – Petersburg Art Space, Berlin
  • May 6 – Impro Mondays, Zagreb
  • May 9 – Mirage Bar, Manchester
  • May 10 – St. Columbas Church, Oxford
  • May 11 – Pied Nu, Le Havre
  • May 19 – Vortex Jazz Club, London
  • May 22 – Casa do Comum, Lisbon

Peter Jakober

Peter Jakober (c) Franz Reiterer
Peter Jakober (c) Franz Reiterer

Composer Peter Jakober is clearly a lover of brass instruments and the outdoors, as a pair of upcoming international performances demonstrate: his piece “little beauty” will be performed by the 8 trumpets of Ensemble Monochrom and 60(!) further brass players at New Music Dublin on April 27th. The al fresco festivities continue on May 5th at the New Chamber Music Days in Witten, where his piece “Town Cry” will be premiered by the Ensemble Monchrom and the 80(!?) musicians of the “Witten Blow” wind orchestra. If you’re there – or anywhere nearby – you’ll know.

Briefly Noted

Photo of Roberta Lazo Valenzuela by Daniela Canales

Roberta Lazo Valenzuela is a Vienna-based Chilean composer, singer, and visual artist who has worked with ensembles including airborne extended and Ensemble Platypus. Her latest work, Paisajes Interrumpidos (Interrupted Landscapes) is a collaboration with Norwegian flautist Hanne Jones Rekdal and bass clarinetist – and world traveler – Anna Koch. The two multi-part pieces comprising the album require the composers to gradually disassemble their instruments and play pieces of them, symbolizing a nature walk interrupted by climate change. The album is out now as a digital release and will be appearing as a limited-edition 10″ record with original artwork in May.

Gotta run! Thanks for your attention, enjoy the occasional moments of sun and warmth, and we’ll see you next month! – Philip Yaeger