KLANGSPUREN Schwaz Tirol was founded in 1994 by the internationally renowned pianist Thomas Larcher, Maria-Luise Mayr, who was the head of the cultural office of the city of Schwaz at the time, and Anton Hütter. Since then it has become the most important festival for new music in the western part of Austria. Peter Paul Kainrath has been the artistic director of the festival since 2003.
Since its foundation, the festival KLANGSPUREN Schwaz Tirol has taken place annually in September. The main objectives of the programme are to offer a professional and expandable platform for new music and to showcase its origins and pioneers in the western part of Austria. Moreover, KLANGSPUREN seeks to support young musicians and composers by commissioning artistic works and making it possible for them to present their output to a wider audience. KLANGSPUREN thus provides a platform for innovative and challenging music projects for visionaries and pioneers.
KLANGSPUREN has been able to attract prestigious international partners that range from ensembles and orchestras to musicians and composers, from festivals to music colleges and academies, galleries and literary institutions. The Transart Festival of Bolzano/Rovereto co-produces many performances. Further co-operation partners include the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, MaerzMusik Berlin, the Oslo Contemporary Music Festival Ultima, Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, Departement of Music University of Innsbruck and many more.
The International Ensemble Modern Academy has taken place in conjunction with KLANGSPUREN Schwaz Tirol since 2004. Year after year, the participation of such outstanding figures as Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Benedict Mason, Wolfgang Rihm or Heinz Holliger as well as the opportunity to interact directly with members of the Ensemble Modern motivate over 100 young musicians from all over the world to apply for this master class.
Today KLANGSPUREN stands for innovation, openness and tolerance and focuses on presenting new, though not always easy pieces. It has been a success story – most concerts are sold out, and through its marketing methods with posters on trams and advertising on milk cartons and shopping bags of the M-Preis supermarket chain it has managed to attract new visitors to its concerts. Klangspuren also actively makes contact with schools, preschools and social initiatives and tries to incorporate new teaching and workshop practices. It also offers not necessarily music-oriented activities for adults, providing opportunities to experience music on another level.
Since 2002 regular workshops have been conducted with apprentices and school children. In 2004 the children’s programme KLANGSPUREN BARFUSS was initiated. These projects continue to grow and attract interest. Since 2008 KLANGSPUREN LAUTSTARK has been held in a small village in Tyrol. With the help of her team, Cathy Milliken, composer and director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra education department, takes 60 kids and young people on a new and fascinating musical journey. In 2009 KLANGSPUREN LAUTSTARK was carried out for the second time and will continue to give new impulses in the years to come.
From 2013 Matthias Osterwold will be the new artistic director of the KLANGSPUREN FESTIVAL.