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Gerhard PRAESENT
composer, conductor
Foto Heran

Gerhard PRÄSENT – composer and conductor, music theorist, 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, 1986-92 assistant in the conducting masterclass, with the university orchestra and in musik-theory, since 1992 professor (music-theory, forms, analysis, conducting, ensemble for contemporary music, string 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. Several 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 and performances (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.).

Comprehensive activity as conductor, especially with contemporary music and own works, radio- and CD-recordings. Multiple distinctions and awards. Married to Sigrid Präsent-König/violinist; founder and leader of the „ALEA-Ensemble“ for contemporary music. Since 2003 vize-president, since 2005 president of the „Styrian Tone Arts Association“.


„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.“


Important works:

Orchestral works:

„Symphonic Fragment (Half Symphony)“ (1991/92), „Hermitage“ – concerto for small orchestra (1992/93), “Partita sagrada” for chamber orchestra (2010/15), „Chaconne“ for 14 instruments (1996/97), Violin Concerto (2015), „Heaven´s Light“ for trumpet and orchestra (or brass-ensemble)(1986/87), „Configurations“ for piano and orchestra (1981/82), „Song“ for soprano and small orchestra (1981), “Music for Big Band and Orchestra“ (1980), „La Tâche“ and “Missa” for string orchestra, „Marcia funebre“ for chamber ensemble (1992/97).

Chamber music:

4 string quartets (No.2 „La Tâche“, No.3 „Missa“, No.4 „Big Apple“), 4 piano trios (No.1 „Trio intricato“, No.4 „Extravaganza“), 3 string trios („Sounds of Wood“, „Big Ben“, „Tres Dados“), „Sonata del Gesù“ for violin & piano, „Sonata al dente“ for violoncello & piano, „Erödiana“ & „Voices of Venice“ für violoncello & piano, „Sonata regina per S.F.“ for violin solo, „A Rayas“ for Vc solo, „Sonatina gemella“, „Arietta ritmica“, „Rondino“ for violin & piano; multiple further works for strings, winds and brass.

Vocal works:

„Half-dark Songs“ for middle voice and piano-quartet (or with piano)(2004), „Songs from the Hut“ for soprano & chamber ensemble,, „Song“ for soprano, violin & piano (also with orchestra), „Melodies“ for solo voice;

Works for choir: „Phantasie on a Bach-Choral“, „Missa minima“, „Pater noster“, „Psalm“, „s´Geld“ after Nestroy, „Fine sign“, „The Little Vapire“ for upper voices.

Solo works for piano, organ, guitar ... strings ...
Arrangements: J.S.Bach, G.Mahler, F.Schubert, W.A. Mozart, G.Gershwin, E.Satie etc.

Works published by Doblinger/Vienna, Edition Helbling/Germany, ergeo/Graz, STB-Edition/Graz, Edition Schreiner/Ligist, Assoziazione Farra d´Isonzo, Styria Cantat and Praesent Publications.

See detailed LIST OF WORKS