Austria’s Young Composers: Michael Wahlmüller

Michael Wahlmüller is without doubt one of the greatly ambitious and upcoming composers in this country. Despite his young age, Michael Wahlmüller can already look back on numerous sensational performances of his compositions. Reason enough to portray him in the new mica series “Austria’s Young Composers”.

Fast Facts
Michael Wahlmüller, born 1980 in Linz, studied at the former Bruckner Conservatory, at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the University of Vienna (composition, conducting, music education, philosophy, psychology, cello). He is director and founder of the Orchestra Ex Tempore Vienna and the Ensemble Lentia Nova, a member of MedellinQuartettes, as well as board member of the ÖGZM.
As a composer: performances in all provinces of Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and South America; commissioners were the project Uraufführung Wien, the City of Linz, Ensemble Colore, Avantgarde Schwaz, CD production ORF/AKM/ÖGZM (2004); works for various instrumentations (including two symphonies, two oratorios, masses, cello concerto, chamber music, choral music, piano pieces, songs).

Michael Wahlmüller tries to achieve a combination of emotion and rationality with his compositions – or with the words of Giacomo Leopardi “a deep breath of the soul”. As presented in his concertino for cello and chamber orchestra, he bases his compositions on various concepts inspired by the history of the West: Martin Luther’s praise of love plays as much as an important role as the search for knowledge in Augustine and Friedrich Schiller. Also, ancient theories of rhetoric and theory of four temperaments and Günter Anders’ “The Outdatedness of Human Beings” are included. As broad as the extra-musical references are the musical implementations. Michael Wahlmüller connects tonality and atonality to a personal system, refining and adapting the rules. He integrates aleatory and religious symbolism of numbers, traditional forms and improvisation. In a sensual musical language, these different approaches merge into a whole and unfold their effect, even without knowing the meanings behind it.

Important Compositions

“…daß die Welt keine Ränder hat” (2010)
Three songs by Erich Fried
Instrumentation: mezzo soprano, piano
Premiere: 19 May 2010, Klaviergalerie Wendl & Lung

“Streicheleinheiten für Streichorchester” (2010)
Instrumentation: string orchestra
Premiere: 23 January 2011, Beethoven Hall Vienna Heiligenstadt

“Narcissus und Echo” (2009)
Opera in three acts based on the Metamorphosis
Ovid’s libretto: Michael Wahlmüller
Duration: 130 minutes

“Missa cum grano salis” (2008)
Commissioned by the Upper Austrian Provincial Exhibition 2008
Instrumentation: S/ A/ T/ B – Fl./ Ob./ Klar./ Fag. – Viol./ Vla./ Vlc./ Kb
Duration: 40 minutes
Premiere: September 2008, Hallstatt

Michael Wahlmüller