canto battuto

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Eva Nievergelt and Christoph Brunner founded canto battuto in 1999 in order to create their own repertoire for voice and percussion. It was not only an expression of affinity that led to the foundation of the duo, but also the expression of a deeply rooted fascination for the world’s oldest instruments. Both the voice and the percussion have developed enormously during the 20th century. Those changes and developments symptomize in many ways the crucial issues of contemporary music.
In the past twelve years they commissioned more than twenty duo works and gave concerts on various tours through Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Poland and the US.

In 2006, their music theatre project "im delta der wörter" with works by Annette Schmucki (Switzerland) and Jean-Charles François (France) directed by Peter Schweiger was premiered at the Luzerner Theater and subsequently played all over Switzerland.

In 2009, the duo presented "le grain de la voix", which combined a extended composition
by Sam Hayden (England) on texts by french author Roland Barthes with a performance-art-like work by the explorative radio duo blablabor (Switzerland). The program has been invited by the prestigious Huddersfield Music Festival and could be heard in Switzerland, Germany and the UK until the end of 2009.

For their most recent project "regen reiben" (2010/11), Eva and Christoph combined instrumental, vocal and electronic sounds with video projections by multi media artist Ernst Thoma. As if they were islands, four works by swiss composers Gary Berger, William Blank, Thomas Kessler and Rudolf Kelterborn emerged from this sea of sound and light.

Further duo plans are a collage with works by the late John Cage for spring 2012 (his 100th anniversary) as well as a music theatre commission to dutch composer Cathy van Eck for 2013.


Christoph Brunner

For almost two decades, percussionist Christoph Brunner has presented programs of contemporary solo and chamber music. He has received invitations from such renowned festivals as the Ultraschall Berlin, Tage für Neue Musik Zurich, IMF Lucerne, Archipel Geneva, Stuttgarter Schlossfestspiele, Percussion Festival Krakov, PASIC Nashville, Soundfield Festival Chicago and the Biennale in Cairo.

He has worked with numerous composers (including Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Mauricio Kagel, George Crumb, Kaija Saariaho, Heinz Holliger, Beat Furrer, Michael Jarrell and Mathias Spahlinger) and premiered over 30 works that have been specially written for him. Collaborating regularly with other media and artists (actors, film makers, dancers), Brunner constantly searches for new ways of presenting music. In 2000 he received a grant from the Kuratorium of the Kanton of Aargau for his "exploration of the unknown". His latest solo program "Shadows" is dedicated to the drumset and was premiered last October in Bern.

He was a founding member of GNOM (Gruppe für Neue Musik Baden), which gained a remarkable reputation for it's carefully designed series of chamber music concerts. Between 1993 and 2003 he conceptualized and organized more than 60 concert programs and several festivals for his former hometown Baden.

Since 1994 Christoph Brunner has been a member of the Collegium Novum Zurich, Switzerland’s most renowned new music ensemble, which established three concert cycles in Zurich since 1993 and was invited by most of the European festivals for contemporary music. The CDs of the Ensemble were awarded repeatedly.

Brunner has studied at the Conservatory of Winterthur, in Paris at the CNR of Rueil-Malmaison with Gaston Sylvestre, in Brussels at the Conservatoire Royal with Robert Van Sice and at the University of California in San Diego with Steven Schick.

Christoph Brunner

Eva Nievergelt

Eva Nievergelt covers with her vocal and artistic abilities a large variety of music. At the moment she focuses on a broad repertoire of lied and chamber music, and especially contemporary music and music theatre.
She received her professional training from Kathrin Graf and Irwin Gage at the Zurich Conservatory of Music and later from Vera Rozsa (London), Margreet Honig (Amsterdam), Barbara Martig-Tüller (Berne) and Judy Natalucci (New York).

Important projects among many others were:
Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire (among others with camerata variabile Basel / Jürg Wyttenbach), Luciano Berio’s Circles (Collegium Novum Zürich) and sequenza III (Davos Festival), Beat Furrer’s Aria (Collegium Novum Zürich / ensemble courage, Heidelberger Frühling), Galgenlieder by Sofia Gubaidulina (Contrapunkt St. Gallen), Le Marteau sans Maître by Pierre Boulez (ensemble aisthesis Heidelberg), as well as the collaboration with GNOM, Society for Contemporary Music Baden (Switzerland).

On the operatic stage she has taken part in productions such as Zeit der Engel by Michael Veltman and Frank Heuel (Theater im Ballsaal, Bonn), the operetta Der Aufstand der Schwingbesen by Daniel Fueter and Thomas Hürlimann (Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zurich) and in the role of Orfeo in Glucks Orfeo ed Euridice directed by Regina Heer (KuK Aarau), or Opera Schloss Hallwyl as Mab in La jolie Fille de Perth by Georges Bizet, directed by Peter Schweiger.

On her own initiative she performed: Olivier Messiaen’s lied cycle Harawi – Chant d’amour et de mort / Zeitloses in der Zeit, Zeit für Zeitloses together with the pianist Paul Suits in a light-shaped room by the visual artist Sara Rohner, as well as the music theatre Pourquoi donc ce désir / Récitations-Abréviations on compositions by Georges Aperghis and Daniel Ott together with the actress Bettina Marugg.

A long-standing collaboration connects her with the pianist Tomas Bächli. Recently they have staged Erik Satie’s Socrate and the first versions of Arnold Schönbergs Gurre-Lieder, and they have been highly engaged in the works by Philip Herschkowitz as well as Erich Itor Kahn, whose Four Nocturnes and Lyrisches Konzert (world premiere) they presented in Berlin, Frankfurt and Essen.

Eva Nievergelt

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