Dr. Juan Manuel ABRAS is a classical music composer, conductor, musicologist and historian of European origin. Born in Sweden and raised in Switzerland and Madrid, he was trained in Vienna, Germany, Venice, Kraków, Spain and Buenos Aires. A disciple of Krzysztof Penderecki, Kurt Schwertsik and Roberto García Morillo, he also studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm and Alexander Mullenbach. A student of Leopold Hager and Guillermo Scarabino, he was also trained under Michael Gielen (Berlin Staatsoper), Ervin Acél and Dominique Fanal.
Doctor (PhD) in Musicology (Complutense University of Madrid and University of Valladolid), Doctor (PhD) in Music - Composition (Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina), Master in Hispanic Music (University of Salamanca and University of Valladolid), two Postgraduate Programmes in Composition and a Postgraduate Programme in Orchestral Conducting (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna), Postgraduate Study in Composition (Academy of Music in Kraków), two Postdegrees: Music Composer/Orchestra Conductor with Specialization in Symphonic and Chamber Music, two Degrees: Higher Technician in Music - Composition and Musical Arrangements/Orchestral Conducting (Manuel de Falla Higher Conservatory of Music). Professor Degree - Piano Specialty (Higher Municipal Conservatory of Music San Sebastián, Benedetto Marcelo Conservatory of Music Venice and Carlos López Buchardo National Conservatory of Music). Licentiate in History and Higher Bachelor in History (University del Salvador - University of Deusto). Studies in violin, harpsichord, clarinet and percussion. Courses, seminaries, internships, etc.
He has been Professor at the National University of Lanús and Professor at the Astor Piazzolla Higher Conservatory of Music of the City of Buenos Aires (musical analysis; musical stylistics; instrumental practice; techniques and chamber music of the 20th century). Director of doctoral thesis and juror of artistic competitions.
He has been Guest member of the Carlos Vega Institute for Musicological Research - Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (transcription and analysis of Renaissance and Baroque musical manuscripts); musical ekphrasis, intertextuality and numinosity; new technologies and extended performance techniques): member of research teams, speaker and moderator. Conductor and artistic director of several Argentine orchestras, guest composer and composer-in-residence: Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (2008), Ensemble Aleph - 4th International Forum for Young Composers (Culture 2000 Programme - European Commission; Paris, 2006), Fundacja Argentyńska (Warsaw, 2006), XII Laboratory of Contemporary Music (Warsaw, 2006), International Forum for Culture and Business (Dresden, 2003), etc. Member of Austrian Composers’ Society (ÖKB), Spanish Society of Musicology (SEdeM), SADAIC, etc.
Author of journal articles and book chapters with papers presented at congresses. Composer of half a hundred works, performed at: Gaudeamus Music Week (The Netherlands), Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (Poland), Festival MANCA (France), Festival Musiikin Aika - Time of Music (Finland), International Festival Discantus and Manuel Enríquez International Forum of New music (Mexico); Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria), Teatro Colón (Argentina), Kulturrathaus Dresden (Germany), Columbia University (USA), University of Ottawa (Canada), University of Deusto (Spain), etc. Discography with works featured in 8 CDs published in Austria, France, Germany, Poland and Argentina. Conductor, pianist, concert series organizer, orchestrator, arranger, copyist and musical engraver.
Awards and scholarships
TRINAC Mention (EIMC-ISCM, 2014), Grafimuse Prize (Brussels, 2011), 2nd Prize of the City of Vienna for Film Music (Vienna, 2010), Sibelius Chamber Orchestra Bicentenario Mention (Banfield, 2010), TRINAC Prize (EIMC-ISCM, 2008), Fundacja Argentynska Scholarship (Warsaw, 2006), National Fund for the Arts Scholarship (Buenos Aires, 2005), In Memoriam Erich Kleiber Scholarship (Berlin, 2004), Theodor-Körner Prize (Vienna, 2003), Franz Josef Reinl Stiftung 2nd Prize (Vienna, 2002), TRINAC and TRIMARG Mentions (EIMC-ISCM-CAMU-IMC-UNESCO, 2002), Gold Medal Award both in Composition and Orchestral Conducting (Buenos Aires, 2000).