STOCKHAUSEN - a Festival of Light

Sunday 19 August - Tuesday 21 August 2012

S-Stephens--Stockhausen--KThe University of Birmingham, along with its Partners, is proud to present Stockhausen – a Festival of LIGHT: An outstanding line-up of performances, talks and discussions on Stockhausen’s music in the lead up to Birmingham Opera Company’s world premiere production of Mittwoch aus Licht.


Richard Barrett | Rudolf Frisius | Rolf Gehlhaar | Steve Halfyard | Jonty Harrison | Robin Hartwell | Jerome Kohl | Robin Maconie | Jack McNeill | Ian Pace | Julian Pike | Suzanne Stephens | Helen Thomas | Thomas Ulrich | Richard Witts | Robert Worby


Richard Barrett | BEAST | Ostrich Box | Chris Brannick | Chris Cutler | James DooleyJonty Harrison | Ulrich Heinen | Modified Toy Orchestra | Ian Pace | Raffertie | Malcolm Wilson

To purchase tickets and access the full programme, along with Speaker and Performer biogs, please visit

Excerpt from talk to be delivered at the festival on 21 August by Other Planets author and Stockhausen on Music co-author Robin Maconie:

"Are four helicopters musical instruments? Why not, if music can be composed for them, which is what Stockhausen has achieved here. Helicopters produce rich notes of distinct pitch, along with strong rhythms, and are able to be controlled and synchronized as a musical quartet. The composer imitated such sounds of rotation electronically in previous compositions, and spoke of experiencing the enchantment of musical flight as a long-distance passenger in four-engined propellor aircraft flying across the United States. The Helicopter String Quartet is a homage to the flight experience in which the sounds of the four aircraft are coordinated and balanced from ground control as well as personally accompanied and brought into tune with one another by a string player blending in with the larger sound of the machine. The machine age concept was identified by the futurist Marinetti as early as 1913, however it took the genius of Stockhausen to turn that vision into a reality. The entire concept pays tribute to the precision timing of the air industry, and the final descent of the four helicopters evokes an unmistakeable impression of a classical sequence of chord changes."

The event is led by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Conservatoire, in partnership with BCMG, BEASTmac Birmingham and Birmingham Opera Company, and is produced by Third Ear.

Stockhausen – a Festival of LIGHT is supported by Arts Council England (by public funding through the National Lottery), Birmingham Conservatoire, the University of Birmingham, the Goethe-Institut London, mac BirminghamThe Royal Musical Association and the Stockhausen Foundation for Music.