Photo by Sophia Murer
Dr. Juan Manuel ABRAS, PhD
(born 1975 in Stockholm, Sweden)
Dr. Juan Manuel ABRAS, PhD (born 1975 in Stockholm, Sweden), is an international award-winning classical music composer, conductor, musicologist and historian who studied in Vienna, Germany, Italy, etc. (Theodor-Körner-Preis, TRINAC-ISCM-UNESCO, 2nd Wiener Filmmusik Preis, etc.). A student of Krzysztof Penderecki and Kurt Schwertsik, Abras also studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, etc. Abras completed graduate and postgraduate studies (mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, Academy of Music in Kraków, etc.) and is Doctor (PhD) in Music (UCA), Doctor (PhD) in Musicology (UCM and UVa), etc.
Abras' works have been performed in 20 countries at leading international festivals (Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Festival MANCA, etc.) and venues (Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, Bimhuis-Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Teatro Colón, etc.) by ensembles, orchestras, etc. (Ensemble Aleph of Paris, Tonkünstler Ensemble of Vienna, Kwartludium Ensemble of Warsaw, etc.) and are included in 11 CDs. Abras has received commissions, has been composer-in-residence, University Professor (UNLa and CSMCBA), researcher (UCA) and member of Österreichischer Komponistenbund, SEdeM, Musimagen, SADAIC, etc.
Cosmopolitan and multifaceted, Abras' music has a "breathless intensity" (Genuin Classics, Germany), is "at the same time visceral and of metaphysical flight" (Alejandro Drago, USA), and can contain "references to literature, religion, archaeology, etc." (Makis Solomos, France), create a "dancing whirlwind somewhat trance-like, full of sunny joy and amusement" (Beata Boleslawska, Poland) and take the listener to a "world of rhythmically pulsating fantasy, similar to a haunted castle" (Wilhelm Kvist, Finland).