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ECLAT 2009: Shaping Stuttgart's New Music Scene

img  Tobias

The 2009 edition of "Eclat" sees a prominent return of musical theatre into your programming. Why are you emphasising this aspect especially this year?
Since 1986 ECLAT has presented more and more new musical theatre in its experimental events. It is part of the character of the festival to present new directions in this genre. This year there are 4 projects which tackle musical theatre and “chamber music theatre” in radically different ways. In one the operatic dominates, in another the confines of a small “chamber” or room – the chamber play which is neither a drama nor a piano duet. In one, three works with one director and an overarching theme are compared and contrasted. Finally there is also a real-time theatre event in the form of a video performance in which reality and media dominance compete.

The main concept of „Eclat" is the idea of "monochromatic" concerts. Where do you see the advantage over a more varied programming?
The term “monochromatic” is either unfortunate or ironically intended. What is meant is that all 11 concerts centre almost exclusively around one composer. In this way the audience experience an individual musical language in all its richness. The listener is not required to readjust his concentration during the concert, where in other cases several works are performed or premiered. It is not about an advantage, but rather a different way of accessing the music. And this year the motto is large-format compositions. Next year, the motto will be different. This is what keeps the festival and its organisers on the ball.

Stuttgart has a long and proud tradition in the field of contemporary composition. In which way, would you say, is your festival embedded into this tradition – and in which way is it an active alternative to it?
ECLAT has been helping shape this tradition for almost 30 years. It is also the only big event for New Music in the city. Its reputation stems from its almost 30-year history and the sensational premieres that have taken place during this time. From today’s point of view they are breath-taking and have always had a wide-ranging influence.

As part of the program, Thuon Burtevitz will be awarded an award for her compositional work. How important would you rate the fact the prize is going to a comparitively young composer?
ECLAT provides the Stuttgart Composition Prize with a venue. The jury for this prize doesn’t have any direct connections with ECLAT. For this reason the prize for a young composer is nothing unusual, especially since it is almost always young composers who win the prizes.

How would you describe the ambience of the festival at the Theaterhaus to someone who's never been there?
There are four or five halls in which different sound groups, theatre projects, media or electronic works can be presented. Thus, in the Stuttgart Theaterhaus everything from a choral-orchestral concert to an intimate chamber play can take place simultaneously, as can the rehearsals. In addition, the Theaterhaus has a foyer in which people can eat and drink while discussing, thinking about and even arguing about what they have experienced long after the end of the concerts.

Image: Andreas Feucht

Homepage: Eclat Stuttgart

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