René Wohlhauser


René Wohlhauser was born in Zurich and raised in Brienz. A musician with many talents and a broad stylistic spectrum, René Wohlhauser has created an extensive body of some 1000 works across various genres. Long-term experience as a rock and jazz musician, improviser, song accompanist and composer of music for radio plays constitute(s)d his primary activities as a composer of contemporary music.
1975 until 1979 conservatory (music school) basel: counterpoint, harmony, analysis, score playing, instrumentation and composition under the tutelage of Thomas Kessler, Robert Suter, Jacques Wildberger and Jürg Wyttenbach further studies in electronic music (under David Johnson), film music (under Bruno Spörri), non-European music (under Danker Shaaremann), song (under David Wohnlich), algorithmic programming (under Hanspeter Kyburz), improvisation (under Ruedi Lutz), piano (under Stéphane Reymond), Max/MSP (under Volker Böhm) directing (under Thüring Bräm) and philosophy (under Hans Saner) teacher's diploma in music theory followed by courses in composition given by Kazimierz Serocki, Mauricio Kagel, Herbert Brün and Heinz Holliger; in-depth studies in composition under Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough.
1978 Valentino Bucchi Prize for Composition, Rome for 'Souvenirs de l'Occitanie' for clarinet
1981 Association of German Music Schools' Prize for Composition for 'Stilstudien' for piano, 4 guitars and 2 percussionists
1983 VJMZ Prize for Composition, Zurich
1984 City and Canton of Fribourg Prize for Composition for 'Fragmente für Orchester'
1987 Salzburg Diocesan Chapter Prize for Composition for 'Orgelstück'
1988 Kranichsteiner Stipend Prize of the 'Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt' for 'Adagio assai' for string quartet (world premiered by the 'Arditti-Quartett')
1990 East Switzerland Foundation for Music and Theatre St. Gallen Prize for Compostition: 1st prize for 'Klarinettentrio Metamusik'
1991 Cultural Sponsorship Prize offered by the canton of Luzern
1992 the Swiss Society for Music Pedagogical Research Tribute Prize, Zurich, for the severalfold-published essay 'Von einfachen graphischen Notationen und Verbalpartituren zum Denken in Musik'
1996 'Selection' Prize from Swiss Radio International for the portrait CD 'in statu mutandi'
1998 Cultural Sponsorship Prize offered by canton Basel-Landschaft
composed solo, chamber and orchestral music, works for organ and musical theatre.
numerous performances at home and abroad including at the Schauspielhaus Berlin, Nôtre-Dame-de-Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Tokyo, Rome, Toronto, New Castle, Azerbaijan, Scandinavia, Basel, Zurich, Frankfurt, Speyrer Cathedral, Glinka-Saal St. Petersburg, the 'Herkules-Saal' of the 'Residenz' in Munich, and frequently at such festivals as the 'Darmstädter Ferienkursen für Neue Musik', the 'Tagen für Neue Musik Zürich', the internationalen festival in Odessa, Sofia, Cardiff, Brisbane and the 'Schweizerischen Tonkünstlerfest' scores of portrait concerts
collaborations with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Biel Symphony Orchestra, 'Sinfonietta Basel', 'Klangforum Wien', the clarinet ensemble of the Ensemble Modern, 'Ensemble Köln', 'Arditti-Quartett', 'Modigliani-Quartett', 'Schweizer Klarinettentrio' and other renowned soloists and ensembles from the international music scene.
guest lecturer for composition at the 'International Ferienkursen Darmstadt' (1988-94), at the festival in Odessa (1996-98) and the International Composer's Atelier in Lugano (2000).
extensive talks, mainly on the subject of his own work (also on radio)
publications on compositional, aesthetic and philosophical aspects of new music in, for example: 'MusikTexte' Cologne, 'Neue Zürcher Zeitung', 'Darmstädter Beiträge zur Neuen Musik', 'New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century'.
commissions for compositions at home and abroad, production of works through national and international radio events and portrait broadcasts; guest lectures on the radio
cultural/political engagements ('Komponistenforum Basel', 'Schweizerisches Komponisten-Kollegium', worldwide score distribution system 'Adesso'
teaches composition since 1979, musical theory and improvisation at Basel Academy of Music (and from 1979 until 1991 at the Academy in Lucerne)
lives as a freelance composer in Basel

René Wohlhauser
Schillerstr. 5
CH-4053 Basel
Fon: +41 (0)61 361 04 37



Lemuria (1977)
Ergon 1
for two flutes and playback
Order No: 5837, sFr. 49.00
A secret revelation by the oneirocritic Cayce about 'Lemuria', the continent lost under the pacific ocean - as told by Plato and here translated into acousic images.

Nesut (1977)
Ergon 2
for piano solo
Order No: 5838, sFr. 42.00
'Nesut' is a transliteration of a hieroglyph which stands as a symbol of power and repression; a relic from the study of the middle Egyptian language.

cemaltorz (1977)
Ergon 3
for soprano and piano
Order No: 5839, sFr. 42.00
Verbindung des Montageprinzips mit extremen ausdrucksmäßigen Kontrasten, in Relation gesetzt zu einer in linguistische Partikel zerlegten, imaginär-artifiziellen Sprache. In memoriam Camilo Torres.

Souvenirs de l'Occitanie (1977/78)
Ergon 4
for clarinet solo
Order No: 5801, sFr. 23.00
A musical unearthing of Kafkaesque and surrealist expressive moments, the source of the initial inspiration being hinted at by the title.

Fragmente (1979)
Ergon 6
for orchestra (3(3pic).2(
Order No: 5840, sFr. 55.00
Eleven elaborated compositional ideas in the realm of sound surfaces and sound-combinations are in a field of conflict between static and dynamic. The atmosphere is inspired by the unrolling of Ariadnes thread from the cave allegory by Plato, the imaginary land of Uqbar by Borges and "schwarze Milch der Frühe" - the first line of a poem by Paul Celan.

Klavierquartett (piano quartet) (1979-84 (rev. 1987))
Ergon 9
traditional score: violin, viola, violoncello and piano
Order No: 5802, sFr. 23.00
An exploration of form and content in borderline situations, merely pushing further into a deeper dimension while writing the music down led to a condensed duration of the music, referred to as textural polyphony.

Adagio assai (1982/88)
Ergon 16
for string quartet
Order No: 5808, sFr. 23.00
In an enveloping form all phrases and their constituent parts in the micro-parametric area of the calculation of a musical grammar are based on an anolog form of micro-harmony and micro-rhythm in relation to the other parameters; at the same time there is reference to Walter Benjamin's definition of the "capability of fantasy" as the "gift to interpolate infinitely small things".
Listen: Youtube

Schlagzeugtrio (percussion trio) (1984/85)
Ergon 10
for 3 percussionists
Order No: 5803, sFr. 60.00
Polyphonic time levels shifting within the area of tension which exists between determination and indetermination act as a multi-dimensional rhizome-Labyrinth without centre, periphery or exit and therefore potentially eternal. Based on Gilles Deleuze.

CI - IC (1985)
Ergon 11
for flute and viola
Order No: 5804, sFr. 13.00
A miniature with an extremely dense timing and concentrated structural complexity, meant as a metaphor for the fury of the disappearance of short and intensive listening experiences.
Listen: Youtube

Duometrie (1985/86)
Ergon 12
for flute and bass clarinet
Order No: 5805, sFr. 23.00
External time levels (as has been described by Stephen Hawking, with linear time comes an additional vertical imaginary time base out of which there exists a dependent area with no oppositional beginning and end and which is conceived as instantaneous) stands in relation to the piece's inner nature, its complex dramatic time organisation, which amongst other things is one of its products, and in which, for both players, time is not continuous - often with different tempi having to be played simultaneously. An expression of incompatible contradiction, so-called antimony, reminiscent of Kant's 'Transcendental Dialectic'.
Listen: Youtube

Orgelstück (piece for organ) (1986)
Ergon 13
for organ solo
Order No: 5806, sFr. 52.00
A rhapsodic circling around the source material moves in turn in ever increasing circles, gradually the tempo becomes caught up in the rolling motion and eventually leads to a standstill with zero tempo, an interesting size which the mathematician Leonhard Euler defined in his 'Algebra' (in combination with other sizes) as a symbol for infinity.

Klarinettentrio Metamusik (1986/87)
Ergon 15
for three clarinets
Order No: 5807, sFr. 23.00
An attempt to transfer the plurality of aspects - how an object can be seen from various stand points - into a musical setting. Based on the aspects of seeing as described by Ludwig Wittgenstein in his "Philosophischen Untersuchungen" (Philosophical explorations).
Listen: Youtube

Atemlinie (1988)
Ergon 17
for horn solo (and tam-tam)
Order No: 5809, sFr. 23.00
In a high range of possible subtleties in the mixing of sounds this piece arranges and deals with breathing in music. The piece is based on fine nuances between cerulean blue and manganese blue, between cadmium red and permanent red, embedded in the grammar of intensity, opacity, pigmentation of a sound colour alphabet. Micro breath-lines of various length bind to macro breath-lines by artificial extension.
Listen: Youtube

Lumière(s) (1989)
Ergon 18
for organ
Order No: 5810, sFr. 36.00
'Musical light phenomena' Aspects of the incidence of light, refraction, translucency, and opacity on the background of an intentional and so-called 'light-transcendence'. Inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet.

in statu mutandi (1991/93)
Ergon 19
for orchestra (
Order No: 5811, sFr. 39.00
Almost in the spirit of the fast growing theory of complex, physical conditions, a stubborn dialectic between chaos and order which touches on the experience of the perception of the transition between stillness, noise and an unstable developing microtonal area.
Listen: Youtube

vocis imago (1993/95)
Ergon 20
for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and violoncello
Order No: 5812, sFr. 47.00
Conception of a dialectic tension between textual narrative and formal architectonically composite parts (inspired by literary narrative forms) integrated into a system of metric modulations.

Gedankenflucht (1995)
Ergon 22
for violoncello and piano
Order No: 5813, sFr. 23.00
'Flight of thought' is a term used in psychiatry and means a mad, neurotic drifting of thoughts. The procedure of the slowed intuitive improvisation which declines all planable construction (like the crisis of analytical rationality), should lead to the formal categories of order dissolving into a flow and allow space for a new audio-experience.
Listen: Youtube

Quantenströmung (1996)
Ergon 23
for flute, viola and harp (harp trio)
Order No: 5814, sFr. 23.00
'Quantum streaming' is defined by Gilles Deleuze as the transition of one energy state to another. In this piece I am mainly interested in the different energy forms, primarily potential energy and kinetic energy: What is the nature of the positional condition and the positional orientation, resp. energy density and energy transformation capabilities which charge a potential energy and set a process in motion.

Quantenströmung (1996/97)
Ergon 23b
for flute, cello and piano
Order No: 5815, sFr. 57.00
'Quantum streaming' is defined by Gilles Deleuze as the transition of one energy state to another. In this piece I am mainly interested in the different energy forms, primarily potential energy and kinetic energy: What is the nature of the positional condition and the positional orientation, resp. energy density and energy transformation capabilities which charge a potential energy and set a process in motion.
Listen: Youtube

Entropia (1997/98)
Ergon 24
for violoncello solo
Order No: 5816, sFr. 23.00
'Entropie' (ital. entropia) Is the measure of increasing disorder in a closed system. Entropy increases in any natural concurrent process. Interesting from a compositional point of view is the autodynamic process of the disorganisation of a strict order to growing "disorder", almost immediately creating new legalities of modes of action in the context. The composer becomes the observer of the drift in the piled up energies inherent to the material.
Listen: Youtube

carpe diem in beschleunigter Zeit (1998/99)
Ergon 25
for string quartet
Order No: 5817, sFr. 65.00
This piece, written specially for the 'Arditti-Quartett', is compressed in certain core moments to a twenty-fold layer convolute which, little by little, is lost through oscillation and fluctuation to the borders, so that at the end, in a very fast tempo, nothing but a shadow of the initial material remains.
Listen: Youtube

Die Auflösung der Zeit im Raum (2000/01)
Ergon 26
for saxophone, percussion and piano
Order No: 5818, sFr. 49.00
This work, world premiered by the Oggimusica ensemble at the Expo 2002, works with various concepts of spatio-temporal relations and attempts to fathom the depth of the sound room
Listen: Youtube

Die Auflösung der Zeit in Raum (2000-2001/11)
Ergon 26f, work number 1607
for clarinet (bass clarinet), violoncello and piano
Order No: 5829, sFr. 57.00
A piece dealing with the volatility of temporal experience in the infinitude of room.

Manía (2001/02)
Ergon 28
for piano
Order No: 5819, sFr. 52.00
This piece is concerned with a compulsive obsession which should be chisselled so relentlessly and radically into the artistic expression such that it appears transformed into a completely different, transcended form.

Musik für Flöte (2002)
Ergon 29
Order No: 5820, sFr. 31.00
A sparsely elemental material should gradually develop in such a way that, through an increasingly virtuosic, ever broader striking movement, an illusion of the instrument's threshold being expanded is created.
Listen: Youtube

Gantenbein, Musiktheater (2002-2004)
Ergon 30
for 4 soloists (SMezTBar) and orchestra (fl.ob.2cbcl(cl, bcl).bn/hn.tpt.2tbn.tba/2perc/8v I.6v II.4va. 4vc.2db)
Order No: 5830, sFr. 114.00
Libretto by the composer. World premiered at Lucerne City Theatre in collaboration with the 2004 'Weltmusiktagen', this opera named after the book by Max Frisch, deals with the relationship between him and Ingeborg Bachmann. The problematisation of the identity formation is mirrored through algorithmic processes, these are critically challenged and subjectively broken.
Listen: Youtube

Rachearie aus der Oper "Gantenbein" (2004)
Ergon 30/II
arranged for soprano and piano
Order No: 5821, sFr. 31.00
Based on the novel "Mein Name sei Gantenbein" by Max Frisch. The opera "Gantenbein" saw its premiere in November 2004 at the Lucerne Theater, performed by four vocal soloists and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. The subject of the opera is the relationship between Max Frisch and Ingeborg Bachmann. In the "Rachearie" (revenge aria) she strikes back at his accusations and suspicions made out of jealousy.
Listen: Youtube

mira schinak (2006)
Ergon 33
trio for soprano, flute and piano
Order No: 5822, sFr. 47.00
Moment forms, contrasting structures and characters between complexity and simplicity combined with a particular kind of lyricism leads to changes in the perception of tempo. Parallel to the conflict with various forms of perception, there develops a grammar of constructive congruity, which should allow the beaten path to emerge as conclusive.

mikka resna (2006)
Ergon 34
for tenor and guitar
Order No: 5823, sFr. 31.00
The self-written onomatopoeic texts are semantically charged by the exaggerated gesture of the music and become thereby a farce.

Studie über Zustände und Zeitprozesse (2007)
Ergon 35
for flute and piano
Order No: 5824, sFr. 34.00
Extreme radicalness in the work with exactly measured time structures in relation to reduced yet obsessively used material.

'Srang (2007)
Ergon 36
for soprano, flute, clarinet and violoncello
Order No: 5825, sFr. 31.00
Based on an onomatopoeic text by the composer. The development of an aesthetic of fragments as a metaphor for fragmentary perception.
Listen: Youtube

Streichtrio (2007)
Ergon 37
Order No: 5826, sFr. 29.00
A dialectical dialogue between implied formal processes and an aesthetic of contrasts and opposites, and the attempt at developing a new grammar of musical form from this confrontation.

Ly-Gue-Tin (2008)
Ergon 38
for voice(s) and piano
Order No: 5827, sFr. 49.00
Based on an onomatopoeic text by the composer. A dialogue between contrasting fragments as a sounding monograph for the inauguration of Jean Tinguely's life tables in Basel, 22 May, 2008.

Sokrak (2008)
Ergon 39
for soprano, flute, clarinet, violoncello and piano
Order No: 5828, sFr. 55.00
Based on an onomatopoeic text by the composer. Sounds change from instrumental noises to sound frictions and from virtuousic buzzing to vocal noises.
Listen: Youtube

Iguur - Blay - Luup (2009)
Ergon 40
for soprano solo, soprano and baritone duo, and soprano with small ensemble (bass flute, bass clarinet and violoncello)
Order No: 5836, sFr. 62.00
Based on own onomatopoeic text. In the emblematics of the virtual language Sulavedic the word "iguur" stands as a metaphor, which has been mystified into "blay" through an unexpected resonance in order to resurrect in "luup" in a changed, purified and contextually different form.
Listen: Youtube

Charyptin (2010)
Ergon 42
for soprano, baritone, flute, clarinet, violin and violoncello
Order No: 5831, sFr. 65.00
Texts: René Wohlhauser Based on own onomatopoeic texts. This piece deals with the possibilities and impossibilities of interaction, the mixing and exchanging of roles between vowels and instrumental sounds.
Listen: Youtube

Charyptin-Fragmente (2010)
Ergon 42/Iia
for two voices: preferably soprano and baritone or soprano and alt or tenor and baritone
Order No: 5832, sFr. 36.00
Based on own onomatopoeic texts. This piece fathoms the various intermediary areas between the whispered, spoken and sung. Versions for high or deep baritone (alt).

Marakra Code Ø (2011)
Ergon 44/IV, work number 1606
for baritone solo
Order No: 5833, sFr. 34.00
Based on own onomatopoeic texts. The solo voice forms onomatopoeic language snippets with almost theatrical gestures and expressions into a discourse, thus suggesting an ambiguous subtext.

Marakra Code 1 (2011)
Ergon 44/1, work number 1603
for soprano, baritone and piano, with percussion
Order No: 5834, sFr. 47.00
Texts: René Wohlhauser Two voices on their path through various fields of expression in dialogue with scarcely breaking out piano fragments, their performance shaded by some gentle input from the percussion.

Marakra Code 2 (2011)
Ergon 44/II, work number 1604
for soprano, baritone, flute, clarinet, violoncello and piano, with percussion
Order No: 5835, sFr. 60.00
Texts: René Wohlhauser Following a double turning point (in bar 110) the onomatopoeic series of syllables at the beginning turn into semi-semantic text fragments, while reversely the instrumentalist's style of play moves from a quasi-traditional technique to sounding fragmented and noise-like.

Naschra (2013)
Ergon 47, Musikwerknummer 1652
for 16th tone piano
Order No: 5841, sFr. 62.00
Die Beschränkung des Umfangs auf eine Oktave und die extreme Ausdifferenzierung der Intervalle innerhalb dieser Oktave sind charakteristisch für diese Komposition, geschrieben für ein Sechzehnteltonklavier, und führen zu einer anderen musikalischen Wahrnehmung.

Mikosch lost in the Ultra Deep Field (2013)
Ergon 46, Musikwerknummer 1646
for piano
Order No: 5842, sFr. 55.00
The music attempts to trace the relationship between human consciousness and the universe. It endeavors to look deep into the universe with its matter and energy organised according to physical laws.

Mera gor nit (2013)
Ergon 48, Musikwerknummer 1657
for soprano and baritone
Order No: 5843, sFr. 42.00
If any text appears too profane to be set to music, all that remains is the complete absence of the text. The complete absence of a semantic text leads to a pure vocal music.


René Wohlhauser
René Wohlhauser:
carpe diem in beschleunigter Zeit
(Arditti Quartet)
(Frank Cox)
(Martin Jaggi und Anton Kernjak)
Die Auflösung der Zeit in Raum
(Trio Accanto)
Musik für Flöte
(Tabea Resin)
(Sabeth Trio Basel)
(Christine Simolka und René Wohlhauser)

Musiques Suisses Grammont Porträt
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 212
Price CHF: 30.-

Luzerner Sinfonieorchester live im Konzertsaal des Schauspielhauses Berlin
Alban Berg: Lyrische Suite
René Wohlhauser: in statu mutandi
Ernst H. Flammer: Durch die Edre geht ein Riss gegen dasFranz Schubert: Sinfonie Nr. 7, h-moll "Unvollendete"

Magnon PN 2620
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 130
Price CHF: 15.-

René Wohlhauser: Werkauswahl
René Wohlhauser:
(Racine; Clemann)
(Racine; Molinari)
Klarinettentrio Metamusik
(Schweizer Klarinettentrio)
Drei Stücke für Klavier
Adagio assai
(Arditti Quartet)
(Jakob Hefti)
Souvenirs de l'Occitanie
(Basler Schlagzeugtrio)
in statu mutandi
(Sinfonieorchester Luzern; Henzold)

Creative Works Records CW 1026
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 129
Price CHF: 30.-

CD Lehrmittelverlag Basel DDD 1993: Wer den Gesang nicht kennt
CD Ars Musici AM 1086-2: Drei Stücke für Klavier
CD Lehrmittelverlag Basel DDD 1998: Wer den Gesang nicht kennt, Eile oder weile (Metamorphose), Duometrie

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automatically generated. last update: 28.08.2015 / 2004 Theo Lustenberger