Laurence Traiger, Biography

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Laurence Traiger, born in New York in 1956, composed his first violin duos at the age of eleven. At age fourteen, he began his lessons in harmony, counterpoint and composition from his violin teacher, William Cosgriff. Traiger's early pieces were performed in local and school concerts. In the summer of 1973 his String Trio was performed at the Hart School of Music.

In 1974 Laurence Traiger went to the University of Kansas on scholarship for two years, where he studied music composition with Prof. John Pozdro. During a "study abroad" progam in his junior year, he enrolled in the Mozarteum in Salzburg where he remained for the next four years. At the Mozarteum he pursued his musical education under the guidance of Prof. Cesar Bresgen, and received a diploma from the Mozarteum in 1980. While studying at the Mozarteum, Traiger received two scholarships from the Austrian Government and one from the State of Salzburg.

From 1980-82 Laurence Traiger studied composition at the Conservatoire National in Paris with Ivo Malec. During this period, a number of his chamber music compositions were performed in La Maison de la Radio France. From 1982-85 Laurence Traiger was a student in the Master Class of Wilhelm Killmayer at the Hochschule für Musik in München. 1986 was a stylistic turning point for Laurence Traiger. He began to be compose with a stronger emphasis on clarity, sensuality, and excitment, using tonal sonorities, consciously turning away from mainstream tendencies.

From that time forward, Laurence Traiger has created an extensive variety of compositions:

chamber music, choral music, orchestral music, film music, pieces for period instruments, and pedagogical works. He has been commissioned to write for renowned ensembles such as the Southern German Radio Choir (SDR Chor), the Middle Germnan Radio Choir (MDR Chor) and Singer Pur. He has been invited to take part in international "new music" festivals such as the Steirischen Herbst, Klangspektrum, Villach and ADE-vantgarde, München.

Traiger's Cantata for the September 11, 2001 catastrophe, “Be Still” for Counter Tenor, Bass, 5 part choir, strings, harp organ was commissioned by the "orpheus chor" of Munich is considered one of his most definitive works. The premier performance was given on June 30, 2002 at the Festival “Europäische Wochen” and was recorded for the Bavarian Radio in April 2003. On 2005 it was performed on the 9th of November (11/9!) for 5th year anniversary celebration of the Grazer Synagoge.

“Prayers Without Words,” for 2 violins, choir and orchestra, composed in 2003 has been one of Traiger's most widely performed compositions. It has been played in three concerts of the Scharzwald Festival in 2006, in the International Festival of Sacred Choral Music in Rottenburg am Neckar 2008, at the Munich based festival “Cantional 2009” as well as various church concerts throughout Germany.

Laurence Traiger has won prizes in competitions from the Austrian Radio (ORF), Editions Bärenreiter and from the city of Spittal/Drau in Austria. At present, he teaches Harmony, Counterpoint and Music History at the Innsbruck branch of the University of Arts, Mozarteum and at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Munich.

Laurence Traiger, Composer