50 Pianos- 11.000 Strings and an Act of Rebellion


11.000 Saiten by Georg Friedrich Haas premiers in Bolzano

Ferrucio Busoni dreamed of the "dematerialization" of the piano - composer Georg Friedrich Haas considers it an "act of rebellion" to write music that can only be experienced in the immediate moment, i.e. in concert, and is almost impossible to record.

Dream and rebellion were redeemed in the most wonderful way with the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas' 11,000 strings - the composer did not have a single well-sounding single piano in mind, but thinks of all 50 instruments as one.
The idea for 11,000 Saiten for 50 microtonally tuned pianos and chamber orchestras was born in the recording room of the Hailun piano factory in Ningbo, China, where Busoni-Mahler director Peter Paul Kainrath heard hundreds of mechanically and simultaneously played pianos. A microtonal thunderstorm that seemed beyond imagination. The call to the composer was made on site and the plan was made. Five years later, on August 1 2023, the composition, commissioned by the Busoni Mahler Foundation and supported by the Ernst von Siemens Foundation, was premiered in Bozen with musicians from various conservatories at home and abroad and students from the Gustav Mahler Academy.


Composer Georg Friedrich Haas with musicians

"It rumbles and threatens and screams, it is pure sonic intoxication.” Helmut Mauró writes in his review for Süddeutsche Zeitung. Bernhard Günther, Artistic Director of Festival Wien Modern describes his experience: "Georg Friedrich Haas reinvents music, again and again, making it better and better. You could see his work as basic research - behind a project like 11,000 strings there is an incredible amount of experience, precision, material, logistics and preparation. But beyond all fascination for the radical innovative power of a work as great as this, the most important thing must not be overlooked: It is all about expression, emotion and physical and mental experience, about a deeply touching music that you can feel right in your own body. 11,000 strings is a big step in this direction, even for Haas , and I am really looking forward to hearing it again after the world premiere in Bolzano on November 1st, 2023 at Wien Modern."

©WFIMC/ Busoni-Mahler Foundation 2023