Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has appointed Stephan Meier as its new Artistic Director.
Stephan Meier, currently Artistic Director of Hanover’s Das Neue Ensemble, will join BCMG in August 2016. As Artistic Director, he will be responsible for leading the artistic and strategic direction of BCMG, including programming, the commissioning of new work and the development of the learning and participation programme. Alongside a new Executive Producer (to be appointed this Spring) he will also steer the company’s resources and infrastructure.
Percussionist, composer and conductor Stephan Meier founded the acclaimed Das Neue Ensemble in 1993;the ensemble has worked with eminent composers including Earle Brown, Wolfgang Rihm, Carola Bauckholt, Johannes Schöllhorn, Mark André and Helmut Lachenmann (its Honorary President), with guest soloists including Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Peter Rundel and produced a series of successful CDs devoted to the work of Pierre Boulez, Gérard Grisey and, in June 2015, Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Through Das Neue Ensemble and his work as Chairman of Musik 21, a national network for the promotion of new music in Germany, Meier has played a leading role in developing an annual festival of contemporary music, a series of site-specific events across Hanover, and an education programme in Lower Saxony to inspire children with the music of today and tomorrow. In 2013, Stephan founded the Leibniz Harmonies international Composition Competition for young composers, with this year’s competition and associated concerts taking place in Germany and China. He will continue as Artistic Director of Das Neue Ensemble following his appointment at BCMG.
Commenting on the appointment of Stephan Meier, Christoph Trestler, Chairman of BCMG’s Board said: “We are very pleased to have appointed Stephan Meier to what is one of contemporary music’s most important, and most exciting roles. Stephan offers an interesting international perspective coupled with the bold artistic ambition that has been BCMG’s calling card for so many years. He has a deep love for new music, and a keen sense, as a musician and conductor, as well as an Artistic Director, of the importance of engaging audiences of all ages with the invigorating possibilities presented by today’s keenest musical minds. We very much look forward to welcoming him to Birmingham.”
Stephan Meier comments: “Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is one of the world’s finest new music ensembles, admired for its joyous, uncompromising championing of the music of today. It is, therefore, a privilege to be its next Artistic Director, and to be asked to lead a new phase in the ensemble’s life. The outgoing Artistic Director, Stephen Newbould, leaves an extraordinary legacy. I am very much looking forward to building a stimulating future for BCMG as cultural - as well as everyday - life grows ever more diverse and internationally connected, and to working with the outstanding musicians and dedicated BCMG team, the composers who are such a key part of the ensemble’s success, and audiences who offer such enthusiastic and loyal support"
Melinda Maxwell, BCMG Principal oboe, comments: “I was impressed by Stephan Meier’s imaginative and intelligent approach to the Artistic Director role at BCMG; I can’t help thinking we are destined for a wonderfully invigorating future – fresh, different, at the musical heart of Birmingham and the UK, and connected to a wider Europe.“
Jonathan Mayes, Relationship Manager, Music, Arts Council England comments: "Stephan Meier's appointment as Artistic Director for BCMG marks an exciting new development for contemporary music in England. His strong credentials will ensure that BCMG continues to champion composers and new music. Stephan assumes the leadership of an organisation which, under Stephen Newbould's guidance, has embodied ACE's vision of Great Art for Everyone. We look forward to BCMG's continued outstanding contribution to artistic excellence, talent development and diversity and to its role as a sector leader both in England and internationally.”