Konstantia Gourzi – Composer & Conductor

Konstantia Gourzi can often be experienced in the double role of composer, and conductor of a concert and her musical and artistic desire is to create connections.

As a composer, she connects different cultures and musical traditions. As a conductor, she establishes points of emphasis through new concepts and series, also in connection with other art forms. In addition to classical compositions and collaborations with contemporary composers, project work plays an important role in her work. She engages with current societal issues, and lets them flow into her musical work.

Konstantia Gourzi’s compositional work includes works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and solo pieces, as well as works for music theatre and film music. She has been commissioned by the Staatsoper Berlin, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble Musica Nova Israel, the Moscow New Music Ensemble, the Athens State Orchestra, the Kasseler Musiktage, the Bavarian State Opera, the Lucerne Festival, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, the Patrimonio Nacional of Spain, the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition, and the ARD Music Competition.

Radio recordings, television broadcasts and live streams document her artistic path. She regularly works with labels such as NEOS, NAXOS, Sony Classical and ECM.

Always searching for new performance concepts in contemporary music, she has initiated and directed various ensembles. The first of these, in Berlin, were the ensemble attacca berlin and the ensemble echo. After teaching at the Hochschule Hanns Eisler Berlin, she was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich in 2002, as a conductor of new music. Soon after this appointment, she founded the ensemble oktopus für musik der moderne at the Munich Hochschule. The network and ensemble opus21musikplus followed – with the aim of expanding new music across borders, by fusing it with other art forms and musical styles.

Supporting young musicians is important for Konstantia Gourzi, which she brings to life in master classes, competitions and project work. Her former students can now be found in all the major European contemporary music ensembles.

Konstantia Gourzi was born in Athens in 1962. She studied piano, composition and conducting in her hometown, and from 1988 to 1992 at the HdK (UdK) Berlin. She lives and works in Munich and Aegina, Greece.

After a successful past season with numerous world premieres, her 2019/20 season also features many new works. These include commissions for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition, for Niklas Liepe with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, and for Nils Mönkemeyer and William Youn. Another highlight is Konstantia Gourzi’s second album on ECM. In Grafenegg, Konstantia Gourzi is Composer in Residence 2020; she will contribute to the festival as a composer and conductor. Here, she is working with soloists Simon Höfele and Sarah Maria Sun as well as with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, among others.

February 2020