About 

Michael Ostrzyga has gained international reputation as a composer of choral music in particular, being commissioned by festivals like the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival and renowned performers around the globe like the Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), the Vienna Chamber Choir, latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, via-nova-chor Munich, the Harvard Summer Chorus, and Chamber Choir Consono.

Upcoming Projects & Performing

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  • Michael Ostrzyga
  • michael@ostrzyga.de
  • Collegium musicum
    Universität zu Köln
    50923 Köln

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The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science.

Albert Einstein

Short Biography

Michael Ostrzyga, composer, conductor and music theorist, known in particular for his choral music, was commissioned by the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, the World Symposion on Choral Music (2020 in Auckland, NZ), as well as performers around the globe like Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), Latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, and Kammerchor Stuttgart, among others. Performers include the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Jeaner Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Concerto Köln, New Dublin Voices, Australian Chamber Choir, CHORWERK RUHR and MDR-Rundfunkchor. In recent years, extensive analytical and style comparative studies of Mozart’s musical language lead to his completion of Mozart’s Requiem, merging, for the first time, musicological approaches with artistic practise in composition, arrangement, instrumentation etc. as well as historically informed music theory. His edition will be released by acclaimed publishing house Barenreiter. The first CD recording is nominated for an Opus Klassik as „Editorial Achievement of the Year“.

Besides, he serves as Music Director at University of Cologne, where he currently leads the Collegium Musicum, an organization housing the university’s major musical ensembles and conducts Choirs and Orchestras. As a guest conductor, he collaborated with ensembles like Boston Modern Orchestra Projekt, Bochumer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Musikfabrik, Alabany Consort, and Kölner Vokalsolisten and appeared in festivals like Acht Brücken. He has also regularly commissioned and premiered numerous new works by composers such as Martin Herchenröder, Friedrich Jaecker, Jan Masanetz and Anno Schreier.

 

 

Long Biography

Composer, Conductor, and music theorist Michael Ostrzyga has gained international reputation for his choral music in particular, being commissioned by Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, World Symposion on Choral Music (2020 in Auckland, NZ), as well as performers around the globe like Kammerchor Stuttgart and director Frieder Bernius, Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), Latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, via-nova-chor Munich, and Chamber Choir Consono, to name a few.

His works are performed by ensembles like Rheinisches Klavierduo, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, Jeaner Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Concerto Köln, New Dublin Voices, Australian Chamber Choir, Swedish choirs Kammarkören Pro Musica, Allmänna Sången and S:t Jacobs Vokalensemble, Chorwerk Ruhr and MDR-Rundfunkchor. His full-length Oratorio „Puer natus est“ for soloists, chorus and large orchestra, libretto by Winfried Böhm, was hailed as „resounding success“ by Bavarian Broadcasting. In recent years, extensive analytical and style comparative studies of Mozart’s musical language lead to a completion of Mozart’s Requiem fragment merging, for the first time, musicological approaches with artistic practise in composition, arrangement, instrumentation etc. as well as historically informed music theory. His edition will be released by acclaimed publishing house Barenreiter. The first CD recording is nominated for an Opus Klassik as „Editorial Achievement of the Year“.

Besides, he serves as Music Director at University of Cologne, where he currently leads the Collegium Musicum, an organization housing the university’s major musical ensembles. As conductor of Orchestras and Choirs, he has appeared in concerts in the Cologne area, as well as abroad and in several national and international festivals. Developing partnerships with organizations and creative artists of all kinds and launching the concert series Universitätskonzerte when he took his duties in 2008, he firmly established the Collegium Musicum at Cologne University as an important and acclaimed cultural constitution.

As a guest conductor, he collaborated with ensembles like Boston Modern Orchestra Projekt, Bochumer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Musikfabrik, Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, The Albany Consort, and Kölner Vokalsolisten and appeared in festivals like Acht Brücken. As a formerly active pianist, he co-founded the chamber music ensemble Sforzato presenting concerts combining music of all eras and genres. Throughout all of these various positions, he has regularly commissioned and premiered numerous new works by composers such as Michael Gees, Martin Herchenröder, Friedrich Jaecker, Jan Masanetz, Anno Schreier, and Gerhard Stäbler.

Ostrzyga was born in Castrop-Rauxel, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, where he was initially trained in piano, organ, and choral duties by Bruno Zaremba before studying conducting with renowned conductor Marcus Creed, music theory with Friedrich Jaecker, and piano with Peter Degenhardt.

 

German Biography

 

Michael Ostrzyga, Dirigent, Komponist und Musiktheoretiker, ist international bekannt vor allem für seine Chormusik. Kompositionsaufträge erhielt er u.a. vom Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, 12. World Symposion on Choral Music 2020 (Neuseeland), der Freiburger und Kölner Dommusik, dem YL Male Voice Choir (Finnland), „Kamer…“ (Lettland) und dem Kammerchor Stuttgart. Zu Interpretierende zählen das Raschèr Saxophon Quartet, die Jenaer Philharmonie, das Rheinische Klavierduo, Concerto Köln, der MDR-Rundfunkchor, Chorwerk Ruhr, Kammarkören Pro Musica, Allmänna Sången, New Dublin Voices und der Australian Chamber Choir. Früher als Pianist und Organist aktiv, hat er das Kammerensemble sforzato mitbegründet.

2008 wurde er zum Universitätsmusikdirektor der Universität zu Köln und Leiter des Collegium musicum berufen. Hier dirigiert er Orchester, Chor, Kammerchor und Kammerorchester. Als Gast dirigierte er u.a. die Bochumer Sinfoniker, die Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, das Boston Modern Orchestra Project, die Musikfabrik, das Albany Consort und die Kölner Vokalsolisten. Chor-Einstudierungen machte er u.a. für Pablo Heras-Casado (mit ensemble intercontemporain), Duncan Ward (mit Ensemble modern) und François-Xavier Roth (Gürzenich Orchester Köln). Beim renommierten ACHT BRÜCKEN Festival hat er in den letzten Jahren mehrfach mitgewirkt und Vokalwerke Ligetis und Morton Feldmans „Rothko Chapel“ dirigiert.

Ostrzyga hat in seinen verschiedenen Positionen viele neue Werke in Auftrag gegeben, einstudiert und/oder uraufgeführt, u.a. von Manfred Trojahn, Gerhard Stäbler, Michael Gees, Jan Masanetz und Anno Schreier. Sein abendfüllendes Weihnachtsoratorium „Puer natus est“ (2017) mit Libretto von Winfried Bohm beschrieb der BR als „durchschlagender Erfolg“. Kompositionen sind bei Breitkopf & Härtel, Carus und Helbling verlegt. In den letzten Jahren hat er sich intensiv mit der Tonsprache Mozarts auseinandergesetzt und erarbeite nach umfassenden analytischen und stilkomparativen Studien eine Ergänzung von Mozarts Requiem-Fragment, die erstmals musikhistorische Perspektiven mit Praxis in Komposition, Arrangement, Instrumentation etc. sowie historisch informierte Musiktheorie zusammenführt. Sie erscheint in Kürze im Bärenreiter-Verlag. Die erste CD Einspielung der Edition wurde 2021 als „Editorische Leistung des Jahres“ für einen Opus Klassik nominiert. 

Seine erste musikalische Ausbildung (Orgel, Klavier, Chor) erhielt er von Bruno Zaremba, bevor er in Köln bei Marcus Creed (Dirigieren), Friedrich Jaecker (Tonsatz) und Peter Degenhardt (Klavier) studierte und 2005 abschloss.

Upcoming projects

My Edition and Completion of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem fragment was nominated for an Opus Klassik as „Editorial Achievement of the Year“. The music will be released by Barenreiter publishing house in May/June 2022.

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Sep 4th,Sankt Martin Linz, 18:30: World premiere of „Ein Totentanz“ for vocal quintet. Kölner Vokalsolisten. https://www.linz-kirche-sankt-martin.de/

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SEP 19th 2021, 18:00,Trinitatiskirche Bonn: World premiere of „Droga / Weg“ for Choruses, Clarinet and Accordion https://liedwelt-rheinland.de/termine/3687/

Supported by BTHVN2020 Beethoven-Jubiläumsgesellschaft mbH
 
Originally commissioned for 2020 and to be premiered in Katowice, to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, commissioned by DialogFelder e.V. for choruses Voci di Fuoco and University Choir at University at Economics Katowice
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Sep 24th to 26th 2021 I am invited as presenter to the chor.com.
 
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Due to the pandemic projects were cancelled or delayed, including:
 
THE SILENT CITY (finished), commissioned by Stuttgarter Kammerchor and Frieder Bernius for 24-part chorus and overtone soloist Anna-Maria Hefele, to be premiered an performed in Stuttgart, Singapore, and New Zealand.
 
I ADD MY BREATH TO YOU BREATH (finished), commissioned by World Symposium of Choral Music in New Zealand 2020 was to be premiered by VOCES8 but is delayed to an unspecified time in 2022.
 
CD Production with compositions of mine only, performed by Kammerchor der Hochschule Hamburg and Ensemble vokal dir. by Cornelius Trantow was supposed to be released in summer 2021, but is delayed to 2022.
 
I was invited to the 12th World Symposion on Choral Music 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand to present workshops on my choral music. The festival was cancelled early in 2020.

Commissions

 

New a cappella works commissioned by chor.com 2021 to be presented in a workshop there.
 
Uranus is commissioned by https://www.hamburgvokal.de dir. by Matthias Mensching to be premiered in 2021 as part of their program HIMMELWÄRTS celebrating the 10th anniversary of the choir.

Mariposa (eventually a three-movement-work for chorus a cappella with texts by Homero Aridjis for chamber choir Consono conducted by Harald Jers – first movement premiered in 2019) – world premiere of movement two and three was originally coming up in second half of 2020, but delayed to 2022/2023.

 

 
 

Performing 

 

On a regular basis I am working with the Kölner Vokalsolisten and Fabian Hemmelmann.

In recent years conducting and chorus master duties included projects as part of festivals like Brühler Schlosskonzerte and Acht Brücken, like preparing the Kölner Vokalsolisten for performances of world premieres by Manfred Trojahn (with ensemble modern) and of Passagio by Luciano Berio (with ensemble intercontemporain) as well as conducting Feldman’s Rothko Chapel and Ligeti’s vocal works. For the Lab.Oratorium project in 2019 with composer  Philippe Manoury, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and IRCAM I was chorus master for the assembled Lab.Chor.

Additionally, I was artictic director for almost 12 years of the http://www.oratorienchor-bruehl.de presenting works such as Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Elias, Bach’s Johannespassion, Verdi’s Reqiem and Brahms‘ Ein Deutsches Requiem.

As Music Director at University of Cologne most of the concerts I am involved in as performer are part of projects and programs of the Collegium musicum, a department I am head of.

The current program of the Collegium musicum is available here:

http://www.collmus.uni-koeln.de/konzerte.html

To stay tuned about forthcoming concerts follow the Collegium musicum at University of Cologne on Facebook: