Short Biography

Michael Ostrzyga, 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), the Harvard University and renowned performers around the globe like the Finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), Latvian Youth Choir „Kamēr…“, and Kammerchor Stuttgart. 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.

Besides, he is the Music Director at University of Cologne, where he currently leads the Collegium Musicum, an organization housing the university’s major musical ensembles and serves as conductor of Choirs and Orchestras. As a guest conductor, he collaborated with ensembles like Boston Modern Orchestra Projekt, San Diego Choral Scholars, Bochumer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Musikfabrik, 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

Michael Ostrzyga has gained international reputation as a composer of choral music in particular, being commissioned by the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, the World Symposion on Choral Music (2020 in Auckland, NZ), the Harvard University 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, Kammerchor Stuttgart, and Chamber Choir Consono. 

His works are performed by ensembles like the Rheinisches Klavierduo, the 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.

The premier of his a cappella work IUPPITER was awarded the Carl-Orff Prize during the Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf in 2007. His internationally acclaimed collection of piano miniatures, “Der singende Wind”, published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 2010, received the award “Best Edition 2011.”

Besides, he is the Music Director at University of Cologne, where he currently leads the Collegium Musicum, an organization housing the university’s major musical ensembles. Serving as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, Choir, and Chamber Choir, 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, San Diego Choral Scholars, Bochumer Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Musikfabrik, Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, The Albany Consort, and Kölner Vokalsolisten and appears in festivals like Acht Brücken. As a formerly active pianist, he co-founded the chamber music ensemble Sforzato presenting extraordinary concerts combining music of all eras and regions. Throughout all of these various positions, he has also 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 activities by Bruno Zaremba before studying conducting with renowned conductor Marcus Creed, composition with Friedrich Jaecker, and piano with Peter Degenhardt.

German Biography

Michael Ostrzyga, Dirigent und Komponist, ist Leiter des Collegium musicum sowie Dirigent von Chören und Orchestern der Universität zu Köln seit 2008. Er hat als Dirigent projektweise u.a. mit den San Diego Choral Scholars, dem Boston Modern Orchestra Project, der Musikfabrik, den Bochumer Symphonikern und der Neuen Philharmonie Westfalen zusammengearbeitet. Sein Repertoire reicht von mittelalterlichen Gesängen bis hin zur Sinfonik Mahlers und Neuester Musik, darunter zahlreiche Uraufführungen, u.a. von Martin Herchenröder, Friedrich Jaecker, Jan Masanetz, Anno Schreier, Gerhard Stäbler und Manfred Trojahn. Viele Werke hat er selbst in Auftrag gegeben.

Kompositionsaufträge erhielt er u.a. vom Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, der Harvard University, dem 12. World Symposion on Choral Music 2020 in Auckland (Neuseeland) sowie von zahlreichen Ensembles wie dem YL Male Voice Choir (Finnland), Kamer… (Lettland), El Leon de Oro (Spanien) und dem Kammerchor Stuttgart (Deutschland). Zu Interpretierenden seiner Werke zählen neben vielen anderen das Raschèr Saxophon Quartet, die Jenaer Philharmonie, das Neue Rheinische Kammerorchester, Concerto Köln sowie zahlreiche Chöre weltweit, darunter der MDR-Rundfunkchor, CHORWERK RUHR, Allmänna Sången, New Dublin Voices und der Australian Chamber Choir.

Upcoming projects

Premiere and performances of Thine Eyes, commissioned by Kölner Kantorei conducted by Georg Hage in May and June 2019 as part of their Songs of Love concert series. Venues and dates here.

 

Premiere and performances of A Una Mariposa Monarca, first movement of a three-movement- cycle, commissioned by Kammerchor Consono  conducted by Harald Jers in May and June, venues and dates here. The other movements will be premiered one by one later this year and next year.

 

Premiere of And a Star over all (Two John Masefield Songs) on Sunday, June 23, 17:00, Friedenskirche Altona in Hamburg, commissioned and performed by Ensemble vocal for their 25th anniversary directed by Cornelius Trantow.

 

Premiere of C G V – Chorale à grande vitesse commissioned by Kammerchor des Collegium musicum Berlin on June 27th at Sophienkirche Berlin.

 

Premiere of Pulchra es forthcoming May 31-June 2nd as part of International Competition for Choral Singing in Florilège commissioned and perfomed by Coro El León de Oro directed by Marco Antonio García de Paz.

 

Junges Consortium Berlin conducted by Vinzenz Weißenburger  will premiere my NEPTUNUS in the second round of the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf on Sunday, June 9th, 10:25.

 

Summer/Autumn 2019 Mode Records, New York will release a CD with works by Friedrich Jaecker, among them „Harry’s Dream“ for 33 glasses, performed by University of Cologne Chamber Choir under my direction.

 

My completion of Mozart’s Requiem will be performed at Rheingau Musik Festival on August 8th 2019 by ChorWerk Ruhr and Concerto Köln conducted by Florian Helgath. Soloists are Gabriela Scherer (Sopran), Anke Vondung (Alt), Tilman Lichdi (Tenor) and Michael Volle (Bariton). Studio recordings are scheduled after the performance.

 

Arrangements of christmas songs „Still, still, still“ and „Kling Glöckchen“ for the MDR children’s choir with members of the MDR Symphony Orchestra to be published on CD in autumn 2019.

 

With a concert and workshops I am invited to the chor.com in Hannover, the major German choral worlds event taking place every two years and combining a concert festival, a trade fair and seminars/workshops for choir directors.

 

MDR-Rundfunkchor will perform my Saturn on November 15th in Peterskirche Leipzig as part of their Nachtgesang concert series. Howard Arman, conductor.

 

I am invited to the 12th World Symposion on Choral Music 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand to composer a new multi-movement a cappella work.

Commissions

New work for chorus a cappella and overtone soloist Anna Maria Hefele commissioned by Kammerchor Stuttgart.

 

All Winter long for male voice choir (TTBB) and Saxophone for the Sonux Ensemble conducted by Hans-Joachim Lustig, to be premiered on 2019.

 

Mariposa, eventually a three-movement-work for chorus a cappella with texts by Homero Aridjis for chamber choir Consonoconducted by Harald Jers, to be premiered in 2019.

 

New work for brass quintet commissioned by Navus Brass for 2020/2021 season.

 

New work for orchestra, commissioned by das junge orchester NRW conducted by Ingo Ernst Reihl, for 2020/2021 season.

 

New work for two choirs celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday commissioned by DialogFelder e.V. for Voci di Fuoco and University Choir at University at Economics Katowice.

 

Primero sueño (“First Dream”) for soloists, chorus and large orchestra. Full-length setting of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz‘ poem combined with fragments of her letters. Commissioned by the Harvard Choruses and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project for 2020/2021 season.