© Manu Theobald© Manu Theobald

© Manu Theobald

Composer in Residence 2023/24: Christian Mason

The Festival Musikdorf Ernen promotes new music. Every year a composer receives a commission for a new work with the opportunity to spend 3 months working in Ernen.

For the Festival Musikdorf Ernen Christian Mason is writing a chamber music work for clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano – the same group of instruments as in Olivier Messiaens Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1940). The work is called «Figures in a landscape (awaiting eternity)». It will be premiered on Saturday, 3 August 2024, 6pm, in the Chamber Concert 4. 

At the bottom of the page: video-interview with Christian Mason in Ernen.

Christian Mason

«This is music of atmosphere and hallucinatory powers that grows in volume and density… music that seems extemporised yet deep-down is highly organised.»
Classical Source, Mai 2018

«This music is delicate, initially nearly tender, self-aware, shimmering, yet never boastful. …The young winner of the Composers‘ prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation stands for finest listening experiences. Rarely has the music of a young composer managed to radiate such magic»
Fono Forum, May 2016

Christian Mason (*1984) is one of the leading composers of his generation. A 2015 winner of an Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung Composer Prize, Christian is a visiting teacher of composition at the University of Cambridge, and mentor for the LSO Panufnik Young Composers Project, the Philharmonia Composers’ Academy and the Hong Kong Composers Scheme. 

His works have been premiered at the Lucerne Festival (Ensemble Intercontemporain), BBC PROMS (London Sinfonietta), Donaueschinger Festspiele, among others by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Philharmonia Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France, chamber works by the Arditti String Quartet and the Ligeti String Quartet.

Christian completed a Ph.D at King’s College London with George Benjamin and worked as Composition Assistant to Sir Harrison Birtwistle. He previously studied at the University of York. He is a founding Artistic Director of the Octandre Ensemble and plays the Theremin. His works are published by Breitkopf & Härtel.

The following works by Christian Mason will be performed at the Festival Musikdorf Ernen:

Saturday, 21. October 2023 | with students of the University of Music HEMU Valais-Wallis
«Tuvan Songbook» for (singing) string quartet (2016)

Sunday, 7 July 2024 (Piano Recital 1 with Andrei Gologan)
«just as the sun is always...» (2006/2009)

Friday, 12 July 2024 (Piano Recital 4 with Sergey Tanin)
«The Earth: Her Dance» from the Cycle Inner Landscapes (2018/2019)

Friday, 2 August 2024 (Orchestra Concert 1)
«Tuvan Songbook» Version for (singing) string orchestra (2016/2020)

Saturday, 3 August 2024 (Chamber concert 4)
«Figures in a Landscape (awaiting eternity)»
World Premiere – commissioned by the Festival Musikdorf Ernen

Sunday, 4 August 2024 (Chamber concert 5)
«Shadowy Fish. Hommage à Schubert» for violin, viola, violoncello, double bass and piano (2020)

Read more about Christian Mason and his work in Ernen:

«Bimmelnde Schafe in der Kirche St. Georg», October 2023, by Andreas Zurbriggen

The project «Composer in Residence 2023/24» is supported by the Loterie Romande and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung.

Latest CD: Christian Mason, Time – Space – Sound – Light

© Cover Photo: Jürgen Schabel

Read also our articles about past Composers in Residence and other composers in the Musikdorf Ernen:

Helena Winkelman (2022/23) | Tom Coult (2021/22) | Thomas Larcher (2020/21) | Andreas Zurbriggen (2019) | Sally Beamish | Alfred Zimmerlin

4 Questions to Christian Mason