Posted inInterview

Conscious Decoupling

“Hi, my name is Flora and I am an instrument.” With these words, Flora Marlene Geißelbrecht introduced her program, titled “Viola and Voice, Sybils and Songs,” for the Berlin Prize for Young Artists. But it wasn’t just a welcome—it was also a description and a summary, in typically laconic Viennese fashion. The young Austrian was […]

Posted inEssay

Ethereum Voices

On March 31, 2020, the Metropolitan Opera suspended paychecks for the musicians of its orchestra as its productions ground to a pandemic-induced halt. Some performers left New York City, refinanced their mortgages, or took early retirement. Others survived on a combination of Zoom lessons and unemployment. By the end of 2020, concert venues had reopened […]

Posted inInterview

After the Silence

The 29-year-old German oboist Juri Vallentin constructed his Berlin Prize for Young Artists program around a climactic scene from Patrick Süskind’s novel Perfume, adding theatrical elements taken from our common experience of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, titled “Inner Voices,” made Vallentin one of two winners of the competition, alongside cellist Valerie Fritz.  […]

Posted inInterview

Form and Function

With a rough scratch, the young cellist Valerie Fritz drenches the hair of her bow in sticky rosin. The vibrations of this ritualistic rubbing motion are amplified for the listener via contact microphones. So begins Fritz’s own work, “Additional Value” for cello bows and electronics.   Three weeks ago, the 24-year-old Fritz won the Berlin Prize […]