Oct.24, 2023-Jan.21, 2024 — Music
Residency location: Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing
Composer. Studied at the conservatories of Zurich (Switzerland), Napels (Italy) and the Academy of Music in Leipzig (GDR).
The music of Fortunat Frölich is committed to neither a particular school nor style. Using a broad palette of musical and stylistic means, reflecting his personal musical development, his compositions lead one through various genres and into a wide variety of musical cultures. His work often contains a confrontation of opposites, as in the concert for improvising free-jazz saxophone and orchestra, or his intercultural encounter project “leh ya jarè”, and his compositions for Oriental/European ensembles.
Fortunat Frölich has received various commissions for large orchestral works, among them the commission from the Swiss Federal Department of Cultural Affairs, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Basel, Lucerne Theatre, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and others more.
A special interest of Fortunat Frölich lies in Interculturality, which could be found in his project “Leh ya Jarè” against xenophobia, projects he has directed in Niger and Morocco, etc. Frölich is the founder of the association choR inteR kultuR, which regularly organizes intercultural projects around the world.
“For me, living and composing in a new environment is a wonderful thing. To be foreign, to speak and think in foreign languages, to leave the usual “everyday life” behind, to perceive and reflect a new environment with alert senses. To let the world sink in, to grasp our time, to rethink the social situation, to update your mind, to re-locate yourself, to arouse your interest, to satisfy your curiosity, to discover, to continue your education… All of this forms the basis for inspiration and creative action.
Asians have played a key role in European classical music since I studied music. The breathtaking virtuosity of the Asian musicians was often denounced as “cold perfection” by local critics, but soon shaped European tastes. Romantic, mythical conception and interpretation increasingly gave way to sober work analysis and virtuoso lightness. Where does the great interest of Asian musicians in European music come from? Is that still an interest in a foreign culture or is it already acculturation? Are Asian classical musicians still connected to the traditional music of their homeland? In order to be able to pursue such questions further, it is essential to take a deeper look at today’s China.”
(Portrait of Fortunat Frölich: Photography by Richard Stöhr)