Echos einer Stadt Echoes of a City 城市回音
A co-production with the Bavarian Radio, Germany
Funded by the Department for Culture and the International Office of the City of Nuremberg.
In Autumn 2005 the guitarist Stefan Grasse traveled as a member of a delegation led by the Nuremberg Lord Mayor, Ulrich Maly, to Glasgow, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the twinning agreement between Nuremberg and Glasgow. One official part of the celebrations was the concert with Stefan Grasse and the Glasgow composer and flautist Eddie McGuire which took place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD).
„I was mentally running through our concert once again when I suddenly felt that something was missing: there wasn't yet a composition which gave a musical portrait of Nuremberg and its history. Back in my room I sketched out on one of those typical hotel note blocks a six-movement Nuremberg suite, a musical portrait of the city. Each movement was to be written by a different Nuremberg composer, the suite to be a collaborative work by Nuremberg composers“, says Stefan Grasse.
Within a few minutes he had noted down the themes and knew which composer would be suited to which theme. The themes vary from a Renaissance dance with variations (Heinrich J. Hartl), to Volker Blumenthaler’s inspirations about Albrecht Dürer’s mathematical affectations, to reflections on Johann Pachelbel (Vivienne Olive), Nuremberg in the industrial era (Dieter Buwen), the city of the Nazi Party (Stefan Hippe) and the city of Human Rights (Heinrich J. Hartl).
The other pieces on the CD are dedicated to composers with whom Stefan Grasse has been friends for many years. These include „Coplas del Ruiseñor“, which was composed by Thomas Wilson originally as film music for a BBC documentation about Antoni Gaudí. There are also the two celtic-inspired „Callanish“ compositions by John Maxwell Geddes and the „Chinese Dances“ by Eddie McGuire, especially arranged for Grasse’s China debut. The CD concludes with two settings of poems by Donny O‘Rourke about his „Nuremberg Nights“-experiences, sung by Timothy Hamel.
The CD is therefore a very personal artistic document, something that was „A must for myself!“, as Stefan Grasse stated.
28-page booklet (German / Englisch / Chinese)
Total playing time: 64:00 min.
Stefan Grasse - guitar
was born in Munich, Germany in 1962 and studied jazz and classical guitar with Peter O’Mara (Munich Jazz School), Kurt Hiesl (Nuremberg Conservatory), Phillip Thorne (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow) and Pepe Romero (International Summer Academy, Salzburg).
He has been awarded Bavarian Radio scholarships, the Royal Scottish Academy’s „Guitar Challenge Prize 1991“, the „Scottish Society of Composers’ Award 1991“, the City of Nuremberg Cultural Award (Nuremberg Scholarship 1996) and the Cultural Award 2004 of the Kulturforum Franken.
Concert tours have taken him to many European countries, Australia, China and the USA (including the „Concierto de Aranjuez“).
Festival appearances and concerts: Goethe-Institut, Glasgow; East-West Folkfesztivál (Hungary); Skopje Summer Festival and International Autumn Festival (Macedonia); Contempofest James Cook University (Australia); Middle Franconian Guitar Festival; Schwabach New Music Festival; Musica Franconia; Munich Gasteig, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, 8th Guitar Festival 2005 Weisenheim a.B., University of Central Oklahoma (USA), Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, 12th International Guitar Festival Dresden, Int. Guitar Festival Bath and 3rd Int. Guitar Festival The Sage Gateshead/Newcastle, England, Opera of State, Nuremberg and the Fringe Festival Edinburgh.
Stefan Grasse lives as a freelance concert guitarist and producer in Nuremberg, Germany, where he is also artistic director of the "Nuremberg Guitar Nights" and teacher at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.