Katharina Roth started composition in 2003 when she met Tilo Medek. 2009 she began her studies at the University of Music in Lübeck with Dieter Mack and 2011-2012 she studied composition with Daniel D'Adamo at the Conservatoire de Reims (France). She finished her Bachelor studies of composition in 2014 and now continues her piano studies with Prof. Jaques Ammon. 2013 she obtained a 2nd price at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb for her piece Kleine Erzählungen, 2014 the Karlsruher Kompositionspreis for Hit him when he cry out for percussion solo. She worked with the ensembles L'Instant Donné, Analogue Translation, IEMA, hand werk and Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart.Mini-interview with Katharina Roth
Where are you from? Does that have any influence on your music? If so, how?
I think each environment and culture which one has grown up with or where you spent a longer period of time has a certain influence on a human being. I would definitely not write the same music if I would have been born in New York City or in a small village in Africa. I'm a German composer, and in our culture we care a lot about the composers from the past - it even seems like we care more about the past than about the future. When I think about music, I first refer to the background that I have. The music I know best is the music of my own culture, because it has been present for me all the time – at least since I began to play music.
When did you start composing and why?
I started composing when I was 13. I was curious to see what composing is like and so I went to the composer Tilo Medek, who taught at my school at that time. I was very fascinated by his way of teaching, his personality and by the possibility to write my own music. He was very inspiring and so I kept on taking composition lessons with him once a week.
What, if any, was the most inspirational experience you have had as a composer? (It could be a lesson, a piece, a concert, a sound, a walk, a bus trip, an image, etc.)
The lessons, especially with my first composition teacher, were maybe the most inspiring, because he helped me to dream and to believe in it. Also the music of Morton Feldman made me think a lot about other ways of aural perception and how this changes under the influence of large temporal structures.
What is most important to you when writing a piece?
To be free in mind and to be open to concentrate and explore what the piece wants me to do with it. The further access to a piece can be very varied.
What's the title of your new work?
Describe in a few sentences what your new work is about.
My work speaks about different ways of communication. It is a piece for solo english horn. But I think a being can not exist alone and communication can be very diverse. Japa is Sanskrit and means whispering. But someone who whispers might have fears, a secret, or something like that. In whispers also shouting, silence and speechlessness are included as well, and I wanted to express that dichotomy in a musical context.
Katharina Roth's Japa along with 8 other works by young composers from around the globe will be premiered by the Trio SurPlus at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory's Orchestra Hall on 12 July 2015 at 7:30pm.