Mahler Forum

for Music
and Society

für Musik
und Gesellschaft

Foto: Claudia Bosse

Günther Auer

Günther Auer is a composer and live electronics performer. Since the mid-1990s he has dealt with sound and space in the context of diverse architectural constructs, from the basements of abandoned office buildings and deserted mining caves to newly built museums, old customs office cafeterias, and dilapidated large-capacity movie theaters. He sees his compositions as ways of communicating with space, time, and their dynamics and energies, which span entire structures and spacious premises. Over time, he has added such media as animation, video, and digital image generation to his compositional tools. In 2006, Auer was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Multimedia, and in 2001 he received the Austrian Museum Prize. Collaborating with stage director and visual artist Claudia Bosse, he primarily works on expansions based on vocal and sound architecture in public and private spaces.
Foto: Ella Okazaki

Claudia Bosse

Claudia Bosse, an artist, director and choreographer, heads theatercombinat in Vienna. She works with bodies, constellations, and raw materials in places that can be art rooms, architectural sites, landscapes, or urban spaces. She creates “spaces of time” in which choreography, installation, and language intertwine in a very distinctive manner. Her works might be referred to as walk-in assemblages allowing visitors to enter and stay in her performative worlds and to become visible parts of them. Myths, rituals, the uncanny and surreptitious, forms of cohabitation with nonhuman beings, as well as organs and forces are the matter her work is made of. She is currently working on the cycle ORGAN/ism – poetics of relations and on (the multiple-format performance series) haunted landscape/s.
Foto: Andrej Grilc

Catalina Butcaru

The Romanian-born pianist studied at the Universities of Music in Vienna and Graz with Jürg von Vintschger and Alexander Satz, as well as with Meira Farkas. She received her master’s diploma in 2006. Her artistic development was also influenced by such renowned musicians as Elisabeth Leonskaja. Performances as a soloist and chamber musician in the series Musica Juventutis at the Wiener Konzerthaus and the ORF RadioKulturhaus were followed by invitations to the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Romanian Atheneum and Radio Hall in Bucharest, the Liszt Center in Raiding, the Muth, the Arnold Schönberg Center, and the Ehrbar Hall in Vienna, Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, the Martinů Hall in Prague, and other venues. Catalina Butcaru’s first solo CD Diversions, recorded at Wigmore Hall and released by Divine Art, attracted international attention. Many successful projects brought Catalina Butcaru together with musicians like Volkhard Steude, concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic, Valentin Erben, cellist of the Alban Berg Quartet, and violinist Emmanuel Tjeknavorian. Catalina Butcaru is a founding member of the chamber music ensemble Korngold Ensemble Wien, which has existed since 2019. “Catalina Butcaru is at one with the music and can stand comparison with the best who have ventured forth into the territory.” (Alan Becker, American Record Guide, 2008)
Foto: Marius Bărăgan

Roxana Constantinescu

The Bucharest-born mezzosoprano and former soloist with the Vienna State Opera is now acclaimed as one of today’s leading vocal artists in both concert and opera. Recent highlights include performances such as Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Bellini’s I puritani, and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Dresden Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem in Bilbao, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in Bucharest, as well as recitals in Paris and Vienna. She has performed extensively in renowned opera houses like the Paris Opera, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Theater an der Wien, Los Angeles Opera, La Fenice, Zurich Opera House, Bavarian State Opera, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Tokyo Opera. She has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Concertgebow, and Walt Disney Hall. Roxana Constantinescu has worked with some of the foremost conductors of our time, including Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Muti, Fabio Luisi, James Conlon, Helmuth Rilling, Gustavo Dudamel, Kirill Petrenko, Marek Janowski, Sir Neville Marriner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bertrand de Billy, Manfred Honeck, Masaaki Suzuki, Marco Armiliato, Riccardo Frizza, and others. Numerous recordings and a Grammy nomination confirm her versatile repertoire and exceptional artistry.
Foto: Roberto Kusterle

Michele Drascek

Michele Drascek is an Italian curator. He has been working in curatorial collectives, developing projects for private and public institutions. His interests include researching and viewing archives, supporting scholarly research in the field of art history as well as publishing and collaborating with museums and collections. Artistic director of the David Gothard Archives (London and Gorizia), curator of the Anna-Mahler-Archive and curator of projects of the Marignoli di Montecorona Foundation (Spoleto, Italy). He is a member of IKT International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (Liechtenstein) and of the Europeana Network Association (The Hague, Netherlands). In 2015 he was the curator of the Pavilion of the Republic of Slovenia at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, entitled All the World’s Future, directed by Okwui Enwezor.
He has collaborated with such institutions as: Villa Manin Center for Contemporary Art, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Balkan Observatory (Italy); Moderna Galerija, Narodna Galerija, SCCA Center for Contemporary Arts, Kino Šiška Center for Urban Culture, Galerija Tobačna, MGLC International Center of Graphic Art, MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Cukrarna (Ljubljana, Slovenia).
Foto: Valentina Belej Son

Alja Klemenc

Alja Klemenc, originally from Slovenia, is currently pursuing her master’s degree in conducting at the Gustav Mahler Private University for Music. During her studies she has had the remarkable opportunity to work as an assistant conductor with the Slovenian Philharmonic for performances of Helmut Lachenmann’s My Melodies, as well as with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. In 2022, Alja established the Alma Mahler Musikverein and ensemble of the same name, which devotes itself to the performance of classical and contemporary music in fresh, innovative formats. The Alma Mahler Musikverein strives to continue the gifted musician’s legacy by creating innovative and educational projects that integrate painting, literature, and architecture with music.
Contributors: Kristina Presker (soprano), Irina Otto (mezzo-soprano), Igor Golob (tenor), Marijan Novak (baritone), Lukas Aldrian (percussion), Valeria Liaskovets (piano), Nikola Meyer (contrabass), Andi Pogačnik (violoncello), Ivana Tripković (piano), Steven Vrabanec (tuba), Alja Klemenc (Director)
Foto: Mahler Foundation

Paul Lester

Paul Lester was raised in an artistic family in Los Angeles and Vienna. His father was professor for German and French at UCLA and later at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles whilst running a business in Austria; his mother was an opera singer. He is the godson of Alma Mahler-Werfel. He received a degree in chemical engineering from the Rheinland-Pfalz University of Technology in Germany. Finding his education one-sided, after returning to Vienna he wished to study at the Academy of Applied Arts and was admitted. After graduating he started to work in Switzerland, where he also took a postgraduate degree in business administration in St. Gallen. He retired in 1997, following a career in industry, most recently as head of design and product development at Laufen Europe, an international company headquartered in Switzerland. He is a patron of the Royal Opera House in London and of the Salzburg Festival.
Foto: Yiannis Katsaris

Marina Mahler

Marina Mahler, granddaughter of Gustav Mahler and Alma Mahler and daughter of sculptor Anna Mahler and conductor Anatole Fistoulari, created and launched the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2004 together with Ernest Fleischmann, executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Bamberg Symphony. Prestigious prizewinners include Gustavo Dudamel, Lahav Shani, Kahchun Wong, and Finnegan Downie Dear. Another notable prizewinner is Oksana Lyniv, founder of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. In 2010 she founded the Anna Mahler Association in Spoleto, Italy, which in turn gave birth to the Mahler & LeWitt Studios international artist residencies.
In the United States she founded the Mahler Foundation in 2014, followed by a branch in Amsterdam, with the intent to harness the transformative power of art to take Mahler beyond cultural and geographic venues and borders by fostering emerging talent and encouraging community, thus reflecting the universal idea that art can create light, hope, and positive action.
In the understanding that all future begins in childhood, in 2017 she founded Project Infinitude for children in Singapore with Kahchun Wong: “Childhood, a fount of dream, energy and future, is a map of the possible.” It continues to this day, funded by the government.
Marina Mahler, in her concern about the degradation of nature and the social pact between people, has created the concept The Song of the Earth/SongS of the Earth to sound a far-reaching call to action. This idea began in 1992 working together with Jill Segal and thinking together with Jörn Weisbrodt.
In December 2021, Marina Mahler received the Freedom of the City Medal from the City of Marseille, France.
Foto: Clemens Fantur

Christine Scheucher

Christine Scheucher is an editor and host in the cultural department of Austria’s public radio station Ö1. She presents the radio features Diagonal, Die Literarische Soiree, and Ö1 Artist Talk. She has also produced cultural programs for the national broadcasting station ORF, such as kulturMontag, and the program Kulturzeit for 3sat. Christine Scheucher studied comparative literature in Vienna and Berlin and has published on the aesthetics of the avant-gardes in digital space. Numerous internships in media and cultural institutions took her to Berlin and London. Between 2008 and 2011 she reported from Paris for the Ö1 radio feature Diagonal. In 2017 she was awarded the Dr. Karl Renner Prize for Journalism for her feature on Silicon Valley. In 2011, she and her Diagonal editorial team received the Walther Rode Prize. She is a member of the artistic advisory board of the festival sommer.frische.kunst in Bad Gastein.
Foto: section.a

section.a, Co-Kurator*innen, Projektorganisation

The curatorial collective has worked as a flexibly acting team since 2001, developing custom-made concepts for clients from diverse fields. Its strength lies in the conception of unconventional approaches, in sharpening thematic focuses, and in building and accompanying the teams involved. All considerations are based on the awareness of the complex potential of art. From the very outset, section.a has been part of the core team of the Mahler Forum as co-curator and project manager.
section.a is: Julia Bildstein, Katharina Boesch, Christine Haupt-Stummer, Andreas Krištof, and Ina Sattlegger.
Foto: José Luís Ortín

Miguel Segura-Sogorb

Miguel Segura-Sogorb is a composer, music theorist, and acoustic engineer born in Spain. Before studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw), he gained experience as a choir singer, film and theatre composer, and as a drummer, songwriter, and arranger with his symphonic rock band Edhellen. In 2018 he took the preparatory course for composition with Herbert Lauermann at the mdw and the following year began his MA studies in composition with Dietmar Schermann. He continued his studies with Detlev Müller-Siemens and Clara Iannotta, as well as Annegret Huber and Frauke Jürgensen in music theory, whilst receiving further training in piano, pipe organ, violoncello, and electronics.
He was awarded the composition prize of the mdw’s International Summer Academy (ISA) two years in a row (2022/23), where he worked with Ensemble Fractales from Belgium and conductor Jean-Bernard Matter. He is currently beginning his collaboration with the Vienna-based Platypus Ensemble, is part of the organizing team of the Sounds of Now Vienna festival for new music, and teaches at the mdw as a tutor in the central artistic subject of analysis in composition studies.
Foto: Mahler Foundation

Morten Solvik

Morten Solvik is a Norwegian-American musicologist and international educator based in Austria. He received a Bachelor of Arts in music and intellectual history at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation on Gustav Mahler. His areas of research also include Anton Bruckner and Franz Schubert, among others. He has lived in Vienna since 1990, where he taught at the University of Music and Performing Arts. He played an instrumental role in developing the Department of Music at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna starting in 1999, where he served as Center Director between 2009 and 2022; since then, he holds the positions of Dean and Liaison to the Provost for IES Abroad. Solvik serves on the board of the International Gustav Mahler Society, as Vice President of the Mahler Foundation, and on the editorial board of the Anton Bruckner Urtext Complete Edition. He is co-initiator and artistic director of the Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach am Attersee and, together with Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, of the Mahler Forum for Music and Society, Klagenfurt.
Foto: Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein

Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein

Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein is a curator, art historian, and professor at the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She heads several research projects, such as the Cathrin Pichler Archive for Art and Sciences (CPA) and The Dissident Goddesses’ Network. Her expansive teaching, research, lecturing, and exhibition activities focus on contemporary art, modern art, arts-based research, and feminist theory and art practice. In 2019 she was curator of the Austrian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. She is a member of the curatorial board of the mumok – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien and a board member of Cukrarna Gallery, Ljubljana. Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein is the author and editor of numerous texts and publications. She is the initiator and together with section.a artistic director of the Mahler Forum for Music and Society, Klagenfurt.
Foto: privat

Tanja Traxler

Tanja Traxler is an award-winning science journalist, university lecturer, and book author based in Vienna. Being the head of the science department of the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard, she is one of Austria’s leading science communicators for a broader audience. She is also co-host of the weekly podcast Rätsel der Wissenschaft, one of Austria’s most popular science podcasts. Tanja studied theoretical quantum physics and philosophy at the University of Vienna. She held research positions at the University of California in Santa Cruz (USA) and at Twente University in Enschede (The Netherlands). Since 2019 Tanja has been affiliated with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, departments Art & Science and Cross-Disciplinary Strategies. Previously she taught at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics. Tanja’s research, writing, and teaching focuses on epistemological issues of quantum physics, concepts of space and matter, feminist science studies, history and philosophy of science, and science, philosophy and society. She is involved in several artistic research projects that combine science, philosophy, and the arts. Recently, she co-curated the exhibition Radical Matter: When Materialism Is No Longer Enough at the Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab. Her work was awarded several prizes, including Austria’s Science Book of the Year Award, the Award for Science Journalism presented by the Association of Austrian Newspapers, and the Austria’s Award for Environmental Journalism.