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Thomalla Named MacDowell Colony Fellow

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April 13, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Hans Thomalla, assistant professor of composition at the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, has been named a fellow by The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H.

MacDowell colonists are chosen on the basis of exceptional talent in their area of endeavor and past awards and fellowships. Thomalla will be there in residence this summer to work on a piece for the Munich Philharmonic, slated to premiere at the Munich Biennale in spring 2010.

The MacDowell Colony is an art colony founded in 1907 to foster the arts by offering creative individuals an inspiring environment in which to work. In 1997, the Colony was awarded the National Medal of Arts for nurturing and inspiring prominent artists of the 20th century and providing artists of all disciplines with a dynamic community of peers.

Thomalla, a native of Bonn, Germany, studied composition at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and received a DMA in composition from Stanford University. During his studies, he was a fellow of the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and the Stanford Humanities Center. Thomalla also received the renowned Kranichsteiner Musikpreis in 2004 and the Christoph Delz Prize in 2006.

His music has been performed at many major festivals, including Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, Witten and Steirischer Herbst. In 2006, the Festival d'Automne á Paris presented a two-concert portrait of his music, featuring the Ensemble Recherche.

Thomalla has served as first assistant dramaturge, dramaturge and artistic advisor to the director of the Stuttgart Opera, where he worked on new productions, including Lachenmann's "Maedchen mit den Schwefelhoelzern" and Schreker's "Gezeichnete."

His current projects include a commission from the Stuttgart Opera for a new opera that will premiere in 2011. Thomalla also will serve on a panel at the 2009 Salzburg Festival discussing the future of contemporary opera.