Illés, Márton (*1975)
Photo © by Robert Máté, Berlin
Homepage von Márton Illés
Illés, Márton: Scene polidimensionali X 'Vonalterek'
Illés, Márton: Scene polidimensionali VIII 'Vonalmezök'
Asasello Quartet, Trio Catch
Basel, Gare du Nord (Switzerland)
|1975||Born in Budapest on 12 December |
|1981–94||Basic musical training in piano, composition and percussion in various Kodály schools in Györ (Hungary)|
|1997–2001||Composition studies at the Musikhochschule Basel with Detlev Müller-Siemens|
|1998||Soloist's Diploma in piano under László Gyimesi at the Musikakademie Basel|
|2001–05||Composition studies at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe with Wolfgang Rihm and Michael Reudenbach (music theory)|
|2005||Christoph and Stephan Kaske Award|
|since 2005||Lecturer for music theory at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe|
|2008||Advancement Prize of the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikstiftung Schneider Schott Award Paul Hindemith Award|
|2009||Scolarship holder of the Villa Massimo in Rome|
|2009/10||Scolarship holder of the 'Experimentalstudios der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des SWR'|
|2009/10||Scolarship holder of the Villa Concordia, Bamberg |
Performances at and commissions from many music festivals and institutions: Europäischer Musikmonat Basel, Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin Radio Orchestra and Choruses, Ultraschall Berlin, "Hommage à Bartók" Festival Budapest, Hungarian Radio, Festival Saison l’orchestre de Caen, Cairo Opera House, Creek Art Fair Dubai, Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Hessischer Rundfunk, Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg, Heidelberger Frühling, Kasseler Musiktage, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Munich Biennale, Gasteig Munich, Stiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg, Klangspuren Festival Schwaz, Swiss Radio DRS, Spoleto Festival, Eclat-Festival Stuttgart, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Südwestrundfunk, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik.
"For years I've found again and again that my most intimate musical thoughts usually appear in a couple of lines of music, either singly or simultaneously in various groupings and formal combinations. These linear events retain their own flow of tension, their musical identity, and are thus present as simultaneously occurring personalities."
Born in Budapest in 1975, Márton Illés is fond of emphasizing the independence of the linear figures in his music. As each of these lines has its own speed, its own pulse, a common tempo grid is impossible. The textures are connected less by traditional interaction than by a simultaneity defined by the composer. Illés has applied this unusual approach particularly in his large-scale cycle Scene Polidimensionali, or "Polydimensional Scenes." Often the significant role he attaches to linear structures is already apparent in the subtitles: "Crumbled Lines," "Colored Lines," "Line-Fields," or "Line-Spaces." Yet his extreme linear counterpoint is constantly interrupted by caesuras or conglomerations of sound. The result, rather than sounding brittle or fractured, is multi-colored, often almost opulent.
Illés received his musical training in various schools founded by Zoltán Kodály. At the early age of sixteen he was awarded the composition prize from Hungarian Television. Later he left his native Hungary and studied composition with Detlev Müller-Siemens and Wolfgang Rihm. Today he teaches music theory at the Karlsruhe Musikhochschule and appears as a performer in his own works. In 2006 he founded a chamber ensemble that he heads as conductor and pianist and with which he frequently carries out his own projects.
Besides working with multilinearity, Illés also attaches central importance to gesture and energy: "I take a strong interest in the physicality of music, with its energies, its subjective gestures and motion." Especially important in this connection is a technique he refers to as "energy coverage." By this he means that every acoustical detail in a composition must have a "transcendental substance, a conserved amount of energy that projects itself and justifies the existence of the sonic material." What may at first sound purely theoretical proves, in the acoustical experience, to be the distinguishing feature of a natural musician capable of uniting the structural background with a vividness of presentation that spontaneously grips the listener. The tactile quality of Illés's music - his expressively surging gestures and conglomerations of sound - often recalls the works of his teacher Rihm. But Illés long ago forged his own musical personality, so that his music has other points of emphasis and follows other laws. The pieces in his Torso cycle, for example, with their powerful rhythms and insistent virtuosity, have a direct appeal that is both repeatedly called into question and reflected in the music itself.
That so many of Illés's works also involve physical space is no accident. It allows him to design the linear counterpoint of his music even with even greater clarity and to separate its various layers even more distinctly. Yet all of this is governed by an aesthetic that convinces us primarily through intensity and articulates the composer's need to express himself in clear structures and logical formal processes.
(Martin Demmler, Ernst von Siemens-Music Foundation 2008)
„Ich bin ein absoluter Organiker“. Márton Illés im Gespräch mit Burkhard Schäfer, in: ensemble (2011), Heft 3, S. 24-27
Musik als klingende Energie. Hans-Dieter Grünefeld im Gespräch mit dem Komponisten, in: Musik & Theater, Juli? 2012, S. 32-34
Writings on Márton Illés
Hiller, Egbert: „Manische Entwicklungslinien“. Der ungarische Komponist Martón Illés, in: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 172 (2011), Heft 1, S. 46-49
Introducing Márton Illés. Radioportrait von Michael Rebhahn, Erstsendung HR, 2.12.2008