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Musical World

Olga Neuwirth

  • Composer


Olga Neuwirth: At the age of 22, the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth first came into the international limelight in 1991 during the performance of her two quick-witted mini-operas at the Viennese Festival. The theatrical power and black humour of both pieces have become a constant feature in her oeuvre. She herself likes to compare her work with earlier daguerreotypes: centred on a sharply defined opening motif, the remainder is presented in a frayed and over-exposed fashion.

The use of twisted enlargements and the succession of what are sometimes strongly contrasting impressions and viewpoints could be likened to the skills of a film producer. Besides an affinity for film, one also notices a strong passion for literature: from Charles Baudelaire to Elfriede Jelinek, from Goethe to Gertrude Stein.