Konstantia Gourzi – Composer･Conductor
Konstantia Gourzi, who was awarded the “Opus Klassik” in 2023, is one of the most important female composers of our time. For more than 30 years, the composer, conductor and university professor has enriched contemporary music in a unique way with her world-exploring sound cosmos and authentic language. In Konstantia Gourzi’s music, one experiences an inner glow and a great dramatic power that does not shout, but comes from silence and centering. Her compositional work includes works for orchestra, chamber ensemble and solo pieces as well as music for music theater and film music. Gourzi repeatedly engages with social challenges and timeless natural themes: she feels an inner urge to transform these themes through the unique energy of music.
Konstantia Gourzi studied piano, composition and conducting in her home city of Athens and at the University of the Arts in Berlin. She was influenced by composers such as Péter Eötvös, Sofia Gubaidulina, Hans Werner Henze, Aribert Reimann, Iannis Xenakis, Isang Yun and György Kurtág, with whom she worked closely from 1991 to 1996; and by conductors such as Sylvia Caduff, Michael Gielen, Carlos Kleiber, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Günter Wand, and Claudio Abbado whom she assisted with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1995. Since 1991, Konstantia Gourzi has founded and directed various ensembles, including attacca berlin, ensemble echo, ensemble oktopus and the network and ensemble opus21musikplus. She taught at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and has held a professorship for ensemble conducting at the Academy of Music and Theater in Munich since 2002.
Konstantia Gourzi’s clients include the BBC, the Bavarian State Opera, the Venice Biennale, the Grafenegg Festival, the Berlin State Opera, the Tonkünstler Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival. She has composed for countless ensembles as well as for soloists such as Simon Höfele, Anastasia Kobekina, Francois Leleux, Nils Mönkemeyer, Julian Prégardien and William Youn. Several albums with her music on ECM and Sony Classical, among others, have been nominated for the International Classical Music Awards and the German Record Critics’ Award. Two new albums and countless world premieres, including with the Bach Choir Salzburg and at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, are planned for 2024.
Dr. Susanna Schulz, November 2023