A German composer, clarinettist and conductor born June 19, 1973.
A clarinetist, with a diploma from the Juilliard School of Music in New York, Jörg Widmann performs the main works in the repertory and has premiered several concertos that have been dedicated to him (Musik für Klarinette und Orchester by Wolfgang Rihm; Rechant by Heinz Holliger), with leading orchestras (Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, etc.) and conductors (Daniel Barenboim, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling, etc.).
Widmann studied composition notably with Hans Werner Henze in Munich as well as with Heiner Goebbels and Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe.
He composes music that is energetic and expressive. Focussing fully on an instrument, he uses a large range of modes of play (Drei Schattentänze for clarinet, 2013, commissioned by the Beijing International Music Competition) and pushes back the limits of virtuosity (Ad absurdum for trumpet and small orchestra, 2002). His compositions are often the result of an intellectual dialogue with works of the past (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, etc.) from which he borrows an element that may be poetic, formal, rhythmic or instrumental (Jagdquartett, 2003, first performed by the Arditti Quartet; Lied for orchestra, 2003; Con brio for orchestra, 2008).
A composer of solo music, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral works, he has also distinguished himself in vocal music, opera and music theatre: Das Gesicht im Spiegel (2003); Am Anfang (2009), commissioned by Bastille Opera for a show by the visual artiste Anselm Kiefer, in which Jörg Widmann intervenes as composer, clarinetist and conductor; Babylon (2012), an opera first staged in Munich by the orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper conducted by Kent Nagano.