October 30, 2014 | Concert | STRING ACTION with traditional and contemporary Austrian music

with traditional and contemporary Austrian music

The ALEA-Ensemble was founded in 1988 by Gerhard Praesent (composer, conductor) and his wife Sigrid Praesent (violinist), basically consisting of strings with or without piano. Today it is the only string ensemble from Graz, performing in Austria and internationally regularily for over 25  years.

It was always the goal of the ensemble to promote and stimulate the understanding, acceptance and consideration of contemporary works, either in programs of solely modern compositions of high rank or in well-thought combinations with carefully chosen traditional works, performing also with piano, singers and winds.

The ensemble performed – in mixed or solely contemporary programs – e.g. at the festivals „Austria Today“ und „Hörgänge“ in the Vienna Concert Hall, at the festival „Nuovi Spazi Musicali“ in Rome, the „Lutoslawski-Festival“ in Lublin/Poland, in the „Carynthian Summer“, in the „Judenburg Music Summer“, in the „Styriarte“ in Graz , in the „Music-Forum Munich“, in the “Austrian Cultural Forums” in New York and London, in the Bavarian Radio, in the ORF (Austrian Radio) as well as in numerous concerts in Austria and abroad (Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary). The musicians have recorded 15 CDs and are also very well-known through their manyfold acitivies in other musical genres.

Sigrid PRAESENT – violin: born in Weiz/Austria, studied with Christos Polyzoides in Graz, teaching qualification in 1986, graduated in 1988 with honours, Appreciation Award of the Federal Minister for Education and the Arts, 1989 „Master of Arts“ with a thesis on the violin music of Beethoven, multiple award-winner at "Young Musicians“, courses with M. Pogacnik, E. Sellheim, I. Seyfert and the Franz Schubert Quartet, perennial activity as concert master in various orchestras and ensembles, extensive chamber music activities in various ensembles, particularly in the field of contemporary music - with many world premieres, founding member of the ALEA-Ensemble (since 1988) with a variety of concerts, radio- and CD-recordings in Austria and abroad (Rome, Munich, London, New York, Lublin, Maribor, Genova etc.). Member of the tango ensemble "Ars Harmonia", teaching a master class at J. J. Fux Conservatory in Graz. She plays a violin by Antonio Gagliano, Naples app. 1810.

Igmar JENNER - violin: b.1980 in Berlin/Germany, concert and paedagogic studies at the University for Music Graz with Anke Schittenhelm, since 2009 chamber music with Stefan Goerner. 2005 Winner of a scholarship for the "Henry Mancini Institute" in Los Angeles. As part of the USA-stay studio work and concerts with Vince Mendoza, Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Peter Erskine etc. Founder and Head of the String Ensemble "String Syndicate". Projects and bands: String Syndicate, Radio String Quartet Vienna, Duo Igmar Jenner & Borut Mori, Shenanigans, Capella Calliope, Roland Neuwirth Extremschrammeln, concerts and / or recording with Michael Mantler, Christoph Ogiermann (Bremen), Robby Musenbichler, Peter Gruber, Ed Partyka , Vince Mendoza, Patrick Williams. In 2010 he won the Austrian World Music Award as a duo with Borut Mori (accordion). He plays a violin by Joannes Eberle, Prague 1750.

Tobias STOSIEK – violoncello: b. 1971 in Schwerin/East-Germany. Cello studies in Görlitz, then at the Special School of Music "Carl Maria von Weber" and the Academy in Dresden. From 1990 onwards studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Prof. Tobias Kuehne). 1998 diploma with honors and Appreciation Award of the Federal Ministry of Science. Fellowship of the Alban Berg Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Radio recordings for the ORF, Station Dresden, German Radio Berlin and MDR Culture. Sony CD-recordings 1995, 1997 at Kalrec with works by Dvorak, Schumann, Fauré, Kreisler, Piazzolla et al, 1999 on behalf of the Ministry for Culture in Chile with compositions by Luis Saglie. Since March 2003 Professor at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz, jury member at several international competitions (eg. the Int. Brahms Competition in Portschach). Stosiek plays a cello by Don Nicolo Amati (Bologna app. 1720).

Gerhard PRAESENT – composer and conductor: born in 1957 in Graz/Austria, studied composition under Iván Eröd and conducting under Milan Horvat in Graz (graduated with honors in both subjects in 1982 and in 1985 resp.); lectureship in 1985, assistant 1986-92, since 1992 professor (music theory, analysis, conducting, ensemble for contemporary music, chamber music) at the “University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz“. More than 1000 performances of his works in 20+ countries (including numerous composer´s portraits and radio-broadcastings) give evidence of his extraordinary compositional activities. Many commissioned compositions (e.g. for the „Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde“ in Vienna, for the „Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft“,  the „Austrian Chamber Symphony“, the University of Graz, the „Mürztaler Werkstatt“ in the festival „Styrian Autumn“, the „Internat.Cello-Competition“ in Liezen, the „Styrian Choir Association“ and for many performing artists), numerous concerts (e.g. at the „ISCM-World Music Festivals“ 1982 in Graz and 2002 in Hong Kong, „Carinthian Summer“, „Salzburg Aspects“, the „Musikverein“ in Vienna, the festivals „Austria today“ and „Hörgänge“ in the Concert Hall Vienna, the festival „Nuovi Spazi Musicali“ in Rome, at „Carnegie Recital Hall“ and the “Austrian Cultural Forum” in New York, at the „Graham Gallery“ Washington DC, at the „Lutoslawsky-Festival“ in Lublin/Poland, the “Musikforum Munich”, at the „Domaine de la Romanée-Conti“ in Burgundy/France etc.) and several distinctions and awards (City of Graz, Austrian State-scholarship, CA-Prize, Composition-Prize in Berlin, Federal Music Award for „Symphonic Fragment“ in 1992, Reindl-Prize for „La Tâche“ and Prize of the City of Vienna in 1996, Theodor Körner-Prize for „Sonata del Gesù“ in 1997); 2010/11 finalist „International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition“ and Honorary Associate of the „National Academy of Music“. Since 2003 vize-president, since 2005 president of the „Styrian Tone Arts Association“. Comprehensive activity as conductor, especially with contemporary music and own works, radio- and CD-recordings. Married to Sigrid Präsent-König/violinist; founder and leader of the „ALEA-Ensemble“ for contemporary music. „My work does not aim at fulfilling the requirements of avant-garde or traditional rules, but at creating a personal intensity that touches both the audience and the musicians.“

When: Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 7.30 pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum | 3524 International Court NW | Washington, DC, 20008
Tickets: FREE | Please register at