Oscar Strasnoy (born November 12, 1970) is a French-Argentine composer, conductor and pianist. Although primarily known for his twelve stage works, the first of which Midea (2) premiered in Spoleto in 2000, his principal compositions also include a secular cantata and several song cycles.
Oscar Strasnoy was born in Buenos Aires and studied piano, conducting and composition there at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior de Música (with Aldo Antognazzi and Guillermo Scarabino), at the Conservatoire de Paris (with Guy Reibel, Michaël Levinas and Gérard Grisey), where he won in 1996 a Premier Prix à l’Unanimité (first prize) and the Hochschule für Musik, Frankfurt (with Hans Zender). He was the Music Director of the Orchestre du Crous de Paris (1996–1998). He was one of the founding recipients of the Grüneisen Foundation (Mozarteum Argentino) conducting scholarship, and of the French Government Scholarship. In 1999 he was invited by Peter Eötvös to Herrenhaus-Edenkoben in Germany.
Luciano Berio awarded him the 2000 Orpheus Prize for his chamber opera Midea (2) produced at the Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto in 2000 and at the Rome Opera in 2001. He was also artist in residence at the Akademie Schloß Solitude in Stuttgart, in 2003 at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (Institut français), and in 2006 at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy. In 2007 he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Music Composition. Radio France, in association with the parisian Théâtre du Châtelet, featured Strasnoy as the main composer of the Festival Présences 2012, a retrospective of most of his works in 14 concerts in January 2012.
Oscar Strasnoy has composed twelve stage works, including operas performed at Spoleto, Rome, Paris (Opéra Comique, Théâtre du Châtelet), Hamburg, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires), Berlin State Opera; a live-accompanied silent film score for Anthony Asquith's Underground which premiered at the Louvre in 2004 and was subsequently played at the Cine Doré in Madrid, the Mozarteum Argentino, Kyoto, and Tokyo) and a secular cantata, Hochzeitsvorbereitungen (mit B und K). He also composed several pieces of chamber, vocal and orchestral music, including his song cycle Six Songs for the Unquiet Traveller which premiered in 2004 performed by the Nash Ensemble and Ann Murray in a concert to inaugurate the newly refurbished Wigmore Hall in London.
In January 2012 a retrospective of his work in 14 concerts has been presented at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris as part of the Festival Présences of Radio France. Strasnoy's works are primarily published by Chant du Monde (Paris) and Billaudot (Paris). His opera Midea is published by Ricordi (Milan).
Operas and music theatre
- "Midea (2)" chamber opera (1996-1999). Libretto (in Italian) by Irina Possamai. Premièred at the Teatro Caio Melisso, Spoleto, Italy, 8 September 2000 directed by Hennig Brockhaus, conducted by Andrea Molino.
- "Opérette" (2002). Libretto (in French) by Witold Gombrowicz. Premièred at the Grand Théâtre of Reims, France, 10 January 2003 directed by Christian Gangneron.
- "Geschichte", operetta a cappella (2003). Libretto (in German) by Galin Stoev and Oscar Strasnoy based on Witold Gombrowicz's play, premièred at Theaterhaus Stuttgart, 31 March 2004, directed by Galin Stoev. Second production in 2011 directed by Titus Selge. Third production at the Berlin Staatsoper, Sept.-Oct. 2015, directed by Isabel Ostermann.
- "Fabula", pocket-opera (2005). Libretto (in Spanish and Yiddish) by Alejandro Tantanian. Premièred at Teatro San Martín, Buenos Aires, 29 November 2005, directed by Renate Ackermann.
- "L'instant", children opera in one act (2006). Libretto (in French) by Alejandro Tantanian. Premièred at Maison des Arts de Créteil, Paris, 2008 (concert version), conducted by Oscar Strasnoy.
- "Le Bal" opera in one act (2008-2009) based on Irène Némirovsky's novelette The Ball, libretto (in French) by Matthew Jocelyn, premièred in Hamburg Opera-House, 7 March 2010, directed by Matthew Jocelyn, conducted by Simone Young. Second production: Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, January 2012, directed (semi-staged) by Matthew Jocelyn, conducted by Anu Tali. Third production: Prinzregententheater of Munich, November 2012, directed by Karsten Wiegand, conducted by Ulf Schirmer.
- "Un Retour", chamber opera in one act (2009-2010), Libretto (in Spanish, French and Latin) by Alberto Manguel based on his novel El Regreso, premièred at Festival d'Aix en Provence, France, 5 July 2010)
- "Cachafaz" opera in two acts (2010). Libretto (in Spanish) by Copi based on dis play, premièred at Théâtre de Cornouaille, Quimper, France, Nov. 2010), directed by Benjamin Lazar, conducted by Geoffroy Jourdain. Second production: Teatro San Martín of Buenos Aires, Nov. 2012, directed by Pablo Maritano and conducted by Pierre Roullier.
- "Dido and Aeneas" chamber opera (2011) based on Henry Purcell's opera), for seven singers, two pianos, two brass instruments and two percussion players. Premièred in Paris, Théâtre du Châtelet, January 2012 (concert version) conducted by Roland Hayrabedian.
- "Случай" (Slutchai, Incidents), chamber opera in two acts (2011-2012). Libretto (in Russian) by Christine Dormoy based on Daniil Kharms writings. Premiered at Bordeaux Opera House, 26 November 2012, directed by Christine Dormoy, conducted by Oscar Strasnoy. Second Production, new version ("Fälle" in German) at Zürich Opera House, premiere on 8 May 2015, directed by Jan Eßinger, conducted by Carrie-Ann Matheson.
- "Requiem", opéra in two acts (2012-2013). Libretto (in English and Latin) by Matthew Jocelyn based on the novel Requiem for a nun by William Faulkner, premièred at Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, 10 June 2014, directed by Matthew Jocelyn, conducted by Christian Baldini.
- "Comeback", chamber opera. Libretto (in German) by Christoph Hein, based on "Tilla" and "Jannings" by Christoph Hein. Première: Staatsoper Berlin, 30 September 2016.
Concert works (selection)
- 1992: Piano 1: Incognito
- 1995: Piano 2: Britannicus
- 1995: Naipes, for Pierrot-Lunaire-type quintet
- 1997: Piano 3: de Colchide à Corinthe
- 1999: Piano 4: 5 pièces
- 1999: Two tangos
- 2000: Bloc-notes d'Ephemera (1) for ensemble
- 2000: Bloc-notes d'Ephemera (2) for two pianos
- 2002: Piano 5: Exercices de Latinité
- 2000-(rev. 2005): "Hochzeitsvorbereitungen (mit B und K)" (cantata)
- 2004: "Underground", music for the 1928 silent film by Anthony Asquith.
- 2004: "Six Songs for the Unquiet Traveller" (on texts by Alberto Manguel).
- 2005: "Scherzo" (Sum nº 3) for orchestra.
- 2006: "The End" (Sum nº 4) for orchestra.
- 2008: "Quodlibet", song cycle, premièred in Stuttgart, 2008.
- 2010: "Heine", song cycle on poems by Heinrich Heine
- 2009-2011: "Incipit" (Sum nº 1), for orchestra.
- 2009-2011: "Y" (Sum nº 2, for orchestra).
- 2011: "Trois caprices de Paganini", for violin and orchestra.
- 2012: "Odyssée", cantata (libretto: Alberto Manguel), for 12 vocal soloists, 5 choirs and three instrumental groups.
- 2013: "Vague-Requiem", for Cello Octet.
- 2014: "Three pieces for String Quartet".
- 2014: "Quintet in two movements", for accordion and string quartet
- 2014: "Müller", song-cycle on poems by Wilhelm Müller, Heiner Müller and Herta Müller for Tenor and piano.
- 2015: "Double Ostinato", for solo accordion.
- 2016: "Ghost Stories", for string quartet.
- "Two fragments of Midea", CD Journées de la composition, Conservatoire de Paris, 1997
- Bloc-notes de Midea (5), CD Hochschule für Musik Köln/Conservatoire de Paris, cond. Peter Eötvös, 1998
- Two tangos ("Derrumbe" and "Mano Brava") Paris-Buenos Aires, CD Bis records, 2000
- Hochzeitsvorbereitungen (mit B und K) CD Chant du Monde, Ensemble 2e2m, dir. Pierre Roullier, 2007
- Un retour Livre-CD Actes-Sud, Ensemble Musicatreize, dir. Roland Hayrabedian, 2010
- Geschichte (fragment), CD du Festival d'Automne de Varsovie. Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. 2013
- Orchestral works, CD AEON, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Dima Slobodeniuk and Susanna Mälkki (released : March 12, 2013)
- An Island Far, CD Le Chant du Monde, Ensemble 2e2m, dir. Pierre Roullier, 2014
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2008) p. 183
- Mozarteum Argentino. Scholarships
- de la Fuente (28 July 2010)
- Associated Press (9 March 2000); Istituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto. “Orpheus Competition” winning operas
- Civitella Ranieri Foundation. List of Fellows. Retrieved 10.6.2011
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2008) p. 183. See also Guggenheim Foundation website. Retrieved 10.6.2011
- Mudge (March 2011)
- Service (12 October 2004)
- Casa Ricordi. Midea
- La Nación (9 August 2008)
- France Today (5 July 2010)
- France Musique (16 February 2011)
- Associated Press (9 March 2000). "Young Argentinean composer wins Italian opera prize" (subscription required)
- de la Fuente, Sandra (28 July 2010). "Oscar Strasnoy: «La música pura ya no es suficiente»" (interview with Oscar Strasnoy). Clarín (Spanish)
- France Today (5 July 2010). "Live from Aix: World premiere of Un Retour"
- France Musique (16 February 2011) Concert du soir (French)
- La Nación (9 August 2008). "Muchos compositores son ignorantes" (interview with Oscar Strasnoy) (Spanish)
- Mudge, Stephen J. (March 2011). "Cachafaz, Paris, Opéra Comique, 12/13/10". Opera News,Vol. 75, No. 9
- Service, Tom (12 October 2004). "Review: Nash/Kildea, Wigmore Hall, London". The Guardian
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2008) Reports of the president and of the treasurer
- Official website
- Oscar Strasnoy page at the music publishers Billaudot, Paris
- Catalogue (PDF) at Ed. Billaudot
- List of Oscar Strasnoy's scores at the music publisher Chant du Monde, Paris