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 and conductor, was commissioned by Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, 12th World Symposion on Choral Music (2020, in Auckland, NZ), Alte Oper Frankfurt, as well as Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), Latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, StimmGold Vokalensemble (Bavaria), and Kammerchor Stuttgart, among others.

Performers include the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Jeaner Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, New Dublin Voices, Kammarkören Pro Musica and Allmänna Sången (Sweden), the Australian Chamber Choir, Chorwerk Ruhr and MDR-Rundfunkchor.

Ostrzyga presented a completion of Mozart’s Requiem fragment based, for the first time, on music-historical and (historically informed) music-theoretical perspectives as well as artistic practice. The edition was published by Bärenreiter Verlag. The first CD recording was nominated for an Opus Klassik as „Editorial Achievement of the Year“ in 2021.

He is Music Director at University of Cologne. As a guest conductor, he collaborated with ensembles like Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Bochumer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Musikfabrik, and Kölner Vokalsolisten. He appeared in festivals like Brühler Schlosskonzerte and Acht Brücken, conducting for instance Feldman’s Rothko Chapel and vocal works by Ligeti. He has also regularly commissioned and premiered numerous works by composers such as Martin Herchenröder, Jan Masanetz, and Anno Schreier.

Long Biography

Composer and conductor Michael Ostrzyga was commissioned by Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, 12th World Symposion on Choral Music (2020 in Auckland, NZ), Alte Oper Frankfurt, Kammerchor Stuttgart and director Frieder Bernius, Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), Latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, via-nova-chor Munich, StimmGold Vokalensemble (Regensburg, Bavaria), 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, Freiburger Barockorchester, 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.

Ostrzyga presented the first completion of Mozart’s Requiem fragment merging musicological with historically informed music theoretical approaches and artistic practise (in composition, arrangement, instrumentation). The Edition is published by Barenreiter. Its first CD recording was nominated for an Opus Klassik as „Editorial Achievement of the Year“ in 2021.

Ostrzyga serves as Music Director at University of Cologne, where he is head of 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. 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 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, and Kölner Vokalsolisten. He appeared in festivals like Brühler Schlosskonzerte and Acht Brücken, conducting for instance vocal works by Ligeti and Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel. 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, prepared and/or premiered numerous new works by composers such as Martin Herchenröder, Friedrich Jaecker, Jan Masanetz, Marcus Schmickler, Anno Schreier, and Manfred Trojahn.

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

German Biography

Michael Ostrzyga, Dirigent und Komponist, erhielt Kompositionsaufträge u.a. vom Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, 12. World Symposion on Choral Music 2020 (in Neuseeland), YL Male Voice Choir (Finnland), vom Kammerchor Stuttgart, der Alten Oper Frankfurt, der Freiburger und Kölner Dommusik und dem StimmGold Vokalensemble (Regensburg). Zu Interpreten zählen das Raschèr Saxophon Quartet, die Jenaer Philharmonie, das Rheinische Klavierduo, Concerto Köln, das Freiburger Barockorchester, der MDR-Rundfunkchor, Chorwerk Ruhr, Kammarkören Pro Musica und Allmänna Sången (Schweden), New Dublin Voices, „Kamer…“ (Lettland) und der Australian Chamber Choir. Früher als Pianist und Organist aktiv, hatte er außerdem 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 und die Kölner Vokalsolisten. Chor-Einstudierungen übernahm er u. a. für Pablo Heras-Casado (mit ensemble intercontemporain), Duncan Ward (mit Ensemble modern) und François-Xavier Roth (Gürzenich Orchester Köln). Er erschien bei verschiedenen Festivals wie die Brühler Schlosskonzerte und beim ACHT BRÜCKEN Festival, wo er u.a. Vokalwerke Ligetis und Morton Feldmans „Rothko Chapel“ dirigierte. Ostrzyga hat in seinen verschiedenen Positionen viele neue Werke in Auftrag gegeben, einstudiert oder uraufgeführt, u.a. von Manfred Trojahn, Gerhard Stäbler, Martin Herchenröder, Jan Masanetz, Anno Schreier und Markus Schmickler.

Sein abendfüllendes Weihnachtsoratorium „Puer natus est“ (2017) mit Libretto von Winfried Bohm beschrieb der BR als „durchschlagender Erfolg“. Kompositionen sind bei Breitkopf & Härtel, Carus, Helbling und Bärenreiter verlegt. In den letzten Jahren hat sich Ostrzyga 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 historisch informierter Musiktheorie und künstlerischer Praxis (in Komposition, Arrangement, Instrumentation) zusammenführt. Die Edition ist im Bärenreiter-Verlag erschienen, die erste CD Einspielung wurde 2021 als „Editorische Leistung des Jahres“ für einen Opus Klassik nominiert. 

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

Upcoming projects

PUBLICATIONS / COMMISSIONS / PREMIERES

My Edition and Completion of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem fragment is out! Released by Barenreiter publishing house in June 2022, performances are coming up in Switzerland, Germany, and France.

Uranus for chorus a cappella, commissioned by hamburgVOKAL, will be premiered and performed several times in and around Hamburg in the second half of 2022.

Junges Ensemble Berlin directed by Vinzenz Weissenburger commissioned a new two-part piece for choruses and small organ, cello, double bass, and viola. The two parts will be performed between the parts of Schütz‘ Musikalische Exequien. Premiere: November 13th 2022 with members of Staatskappelle Berlin.

via-nova-chor München commissioned Mars and Venus for chorus a cappella to be premiered in 2023 (originally slated for October 2022 but delayed due to the pandemic) on the occassion of the 50th anniversary of the choir. With both compositions my cycle Planets and Gods (covering all planets in our solar system as well as other objects and Gods) will be complete.

StimmGold Vokalensemble commissioned „Allein“ (based on a piece by Max Reger) and an arrangement of organ chorale „Gott des Himmels und der Erden“ by Max Reger for Vocal Sextett, to be premiered and recorded in 2023 as part of the project „150 Jahre – Max Reger und der Klimawandel“.
 
Alte Oper Frankfurt commissioned a new piece for large chorus and orchestra to be premiered on 29 April 2023.
 
 
 

CHORUS MASTER

I assembled and prepared a new choir, the Bürgerchor Köln, for the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln and François Xaver Roth to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In December 2022, the new chorus will appear again in christmas concerts presented by the Gürzenich Orchestra.
 
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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 as of yet unspecified time in 2022 or 2023.

Performing 

As Music Director at University of Cologne I regurlarly conduct the University’s symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, grand chorus, and chamber chorus.

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:

 
Ensembles I conducted include Bochumer Symphoniker Musikfabrik, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, The Albany Consort, among others. On a regular basis I am working with the Kölner Vokalsolisten and Fabian Hemmelmann.

In recent years conducting and chorus master duties included projects in festivals like Brühler Schlosskonzerte and Acht Brücken, like preparing the Kölner Vokalsolisten for performances of a world premiere 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. In 2022, I assembled and prepared the Bürgerchor Köln for the Gürzenich Orchestra Köln and conductor François Xavier Roth for a celebrated performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the Kölner Philharmonie.

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.