Monday, 31 May 2021
Composer meet-and-greet: Stefan Prins (Belgium)
In his compositional work Prins seeks to critique received convention, to break the framework of the usual, and dispose of aesthetic axioms. He envisions a musical art form beyond the safe confines of the »scene«, wherein the connection to the larger cultural discourse has gotten lost. A central precondition for the making of a new music with a future is the role of the aware, critical observer, one who is prepared to exploit the technologies and mechanisms of the prefabricated media with a view to their possibilities for new music. – Stefan Prins lives up to this calling. (Michael Rebhahn, 2012).
After graduating as an engineer, Stefan Prins (Kortrijk, Belgium, 1979) studied piano and went on to study composition at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, graduating magna cum laude. Concurrently, he studied “Technology in Music“ at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels,“Sonology“ at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, as well as “Philosophy of Culture” & “Philosophy of Technology” at the University of Antwerp. In 2011 he moved to Cambridge, Mass., USA, to start a PhD in composition at Harvard University under the guidance of Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku, which he obtained in 2017. Currently he lives in Berlin.
As a composer he received several important international awards, such as the “Berliner Kunstpreis für Musik” (2016), “ISCM Young Composer Award” (2014), “Kranichsteiner Musikpreis für Komposition” (Darmstadt, 2010), a “Staubach Honorarium” (Darmstadt, 2009) and the “International Impuls Composition Award” (Graz, 2009). In 2014 he became laureate of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for the Sciences and Arts in the Class of the Arts.
In 2012 the “Union of Belgian Music Journalists” elected him “Young Belgian Musician of the Year”.
Stefan Prins is, together with Pieter Matthynssens, artistic co-director of the Nadar Ensemble, and was one of the founders of the long-standing trio for improvised music “collectief reFLEXible” and the band “Ministry of Bad Decisions” (this last one together with percussionist Brian Archinal and e-guitarist Yaron Deutsch).
He regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses in festivals such as Impuls Academy, Darmstadt Summer Courses, Nadar Summer School, and at universities world wide. He’s guest-professor Composition at the Hochschule der Künste Bern in the department of Theatre Musical, and appointed Professor of Composition and Director of the Hybrid Music Lab at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria Von Weber” Dresden.
His music has been played by a.o. Klangforum Wien, Nadar Ensemble, Ictus Ensemble, Nikel Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Trio Accanto, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Recherche, Athelas Sinfonietta, Decoder Ensemble, Zwerm Electric Guitar Quartet, Champ d’Action, Black Page Orchestra, Container Ensemble, Stephane Ginsburgh, Severine Ballon, Rei Nakamura, and many others on festivals such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, Eclat, Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Festival, Musica Strasbourg, Ars Musica, Tzlil Meudcan, impuls Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Ultima Festival. CD Labels such as Sub Rosa, Neos, Wergo and Kairos have released his music.
His preferred color is blood-red.