Image © Mariya Boyanova, 2019.
Alex Nowitz (PhD) is a German composer and vocal performance artist, furthermore improviser, sound artist, electronic musician, artist-researcher and author from Germany.
His compositional works encompass a good number of chamber music, vocal music, electroacoustic music, two orchestral miniatures, multidisciplinary concert performances, two full-length operas as well as music for dance and spoken theatre. 

One of his main works is ‘Die Bestmannoper’ addressing the question why one of the most perfidious perpetrators of the Third Reich was never brought to court. Based on the libretto by Ralph Hammerthaler the opera unveils the life of Nazi criminal and mass murderer Alois Brunner and the breathless chase by French lawyer Serge Klarsfeld. The premiere performance in 2006, conducted by Herrmann Bäumer and directed by Immo Karaman at the Theater Osnabrück, attracted large interest among the reviewers discussing ethical and aesthetical questions on displaying the Shoa and, what's more, the perpetrators and their deeds on the German opera stage. The work features fourteen solo singers, female and male choir, orchestra and theremin.
His second composition for music theatre, the 'Traumnovelle', is based on the eponymous novella by Arthur Schnitzler and adapted by Maxi Obexer. Premiered at the Staatstheater Braunschweig in 2013, it represents the first staging of the plot for an opera house. The work features seven solo singers and fourteen musicians including a six-channel tape. The premiere performance was conducted by Sebastian Beckedorf and directed by David Hermann. 
Alex Nowitz also develops multidisciplinary concert formats, such as the 'Wolfsgeheul' including a vocal performer with live electronics (stimmflieger), three musicians, two dancers, fixed sounds for multiple channels, lighting design and video, premiered at the fabrik Potsdam in 2008. Another extended concert performance of that kind is the solo presentation 'Moving Tongues: Playing Space' featuring voice, live electronics (strophonion) and video premiered by himself at the Reaktorhallen Stockholm in 2018. 
Furthermore, Nowitz composes music for dance and spoken theatre collaborating with artists, such as Toronto-based choreographer Marie-José Chartier ('Screaming Popes' 2004) or director Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne Berlin ('Ein Sommernachtstraum' 2006-10, 'The City' by Martin Crimp, 'The Cut' by Mark Ravenhill, both in 2008). 
As composer he works with great musicians, such as the violinist Peter Rainer ('Wolfsgeheul') together with the Persius Ensemble ('Unruhe ist in den Gräsern', a string quartet adapted from a poem by Thomas Bernhard), flautist Sabine Vogel ('Die Venusfalle', 'Wolfsgeheul'), pianist Magda Mayas ('Wolfsgeheul'), solo singer Salome Kammer ('bericht über malmö' adapted from a poem by Ernst Jandl) or composer-performer Natalia Pschenitschnikowa ('Glas, Kreise und Gesänge'). He received commissions by ensembles, such as the Kammerakademie Potsdam ('Musik für neun Instrumente', 'Chimères'), Ensemble Mosaik Berlin ('Kaspar'), Curious Chamber Players Stockholm ('A Few Euphemisms'), Maulwerker Berlin ('Tante Marianne' interpreted by Ariane Jessulat), work-in-progress Berlin ('Der Blick zurück', a string trio), or the Orchestra Academy of the Staatskapelle Berlin ('HYPOP III: Unikate' directed by Adriana Altaras). 
Classically trained as tenor at universities in Germany (LMU Munich, TU Berlin) and the USA (SUNY Potsdam), he graduated with honours from the University of Potsdam Germany in the field of voice and music education (including piano, composition, music theory, and jazz). During these years in the 1990s, Nowitz studied voice and composition with teachers from various universities in Germany and the USA, the tenor voice with Christoph Dobmeier at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, with Dr. Michael Büttner and Gerold Herrmann at the University of Potsdam Germany as well as with Floyd Callaghan at the Crane School of Music as part of the SUNY Potsdam USA. With regard to composition he studied with Prof. David Heinick and Prof. Paul Steinberg (electronic studio) in Potsdam USA, whereas in Potsdam Germany he consulted Gerhard Rosenfeld. His main piano teacher was Detlef Pauligk from the University of Potsdam Germany. 

Regarding vocal performance art,
 he appears in public mainly as countertenor, vocal and whistling performer applying a variety of extended vocal techniques and joining forces with a number of composers, musicians and vocal performers from different genres. This includes experimental punk rock, jazz, noise and improvisational music projects dating back to the 1990s, such as 'Vol-vox' (Thomas Geltinger), 'No Doctor' (Hanno Leichtmann, Nicholas Bussmann) or Tony Buck's 'Astro-Peril'. He also interprets new music written by German contemporary composers such as Gerhard Stäbler or Ralf Hoyer and appears as whistler, collaborating with pianist Margaret Leng-Tan, on a CD by Mode Records, the 'Makrokosmos, Book 1 and 2' by George Crumb. Also, he works with other vocal artists such as Tomomi Adachi or Jaap Blonk, and gave numerous concert performances with musicians, such as Joe Williamson, Jon Rose, Sabine Vogel, Vladimir Miller, Maurice de Martin, Steve Heather, Magda Mayas, Richard Scott, Ernst Bier, Matthias Schubert, Joachim Gies, Paul Brody, and many others. 
Alex Nowitz performs at a number of international festivals for composed new music or jazz, such as the Warsaw Autumn (2009) or the Berlin Jazz festival (2018). From 2006 through to 2010, as vocal performer, actor and musician, he was part of the ensemble of 'Ein Sommernachtstraum', directed by Thomas Ostermeier and Constanza Macras, performing more than seventy times at festivals and performance venues, such as the Hellenic Festival Athens, Schaubühne Berlin, Rai Naples or Théâtre National de Chaillot Paris. Focusing on the integration of the speaking voice into his vocal performance art, he appears at performances of the 'Goldbergtangenten' by Leibzig-based pianist Michael Wollny together with British electronic musician Leafcutter John. This includes the Alte Oper Frankfurt (2015), Konzerthaus Dortmund (2017) or the Leibziger Jazztage (2018). In 2019, Wollny and Nowitz premiered the 'Eroica-Dialoge' at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, presenting an extended concert performance format addressing Beethoven's Eroica and challenging the notion of heroism. Also, interested in expanding the field of vocal performance art through movement, he collaborates with Berlin-based dancers, such as Florencia Lamarca ('Haunted Territories', Radialsystem Berlin 2018) or Susanne Martin ('Ties & Bonds' Alliances and Commonalities conference, Uniarts Stockholm 2018). 
What's more, applying gesture-controlled live electronics, developed at STEIM in Amsterdam, Nowitz presents full-length solo performances, such as the 'Studies for a Self-Portrait' (Schaubühne Berlin 2009), 'Homo Ludens' (Club Transmediale Berlin 2010) or, as mentioned above, 'Moving Tongues: Playing Space' (Reaktorhallen Stockholm 2018). He uses live electronics as integral part of his vocal performance art at a number of international festivals, such as the NIME (new instruments for musical expression) in Oslo 2011 or lately the festival ‘100 jahre bauhaus’ at the Berlin Academy of Arts in 2019. At the ISCM (International Society For Contemporary Music) in Gothenburg 2009, performing his composition 'Minotaurus', featuring voice and live electronics ('stimmflieger'), he was awarded the first prize of the ECPNM (European Conference of Promoters of New Music). 
From 2008 on, he used to play the 'stimmflieger' consisting of two Wii remote controllers and computer. Based on LiSa and junXion its software configuration was developed at STEIM in Amsterdam with the support and help of Swiss sound artist Daniel Schorno. In 2011 Nowitz started to deploy the 'strophonion', a custom, wireless and sensor-based digital musical instrument also developed at STEIM. The system of the strophonion includes a computer and two dissimilar hand controllers built in close collaboration with programmer Frank Baldé, visual artist Florian Goettke (ergonomics and wooden housings for the controller), sound artist Byungjun Kwon (electronics) and artistic director of the project Dj Sniff. In 2014, together with Venice-based Chi ha ucciso il Conte? (Nicolò Merendino), who developed new housings for the hand controllers, Berlin-based programmer, musician and sound artist Sukandar Kartadinata assembled a backup version of the strophonion and, on the basis of the audio processing application Max/MSP, implemented the software components as being currently in use.
Since 2002 Nowitz has received many artist residencies and grants. Among others he was supported by funds from the Ministry of Science, Research and Cultural Affairs of the State of Brandenburg, the Banff Centre for Arts in Canada, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Berlin, EMS Stockholm or the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media of Germany Bernd Neumann. From July through to September 2021, he's artist-in-residence at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters.

In April 2019 he receives the doctoral degree from the Stockholm University of the Arts, a PhD in Performative and Mediated Practices with Specialisation in Opera. The dissertation 'Monsters I Love: On multivocal arts' was supervised by experimental prose writer from UK Rolf Hughes and Swedish composer-performer Sten Sandell. The defence opponent was artist-researcher and vocal performance artist from Trondheim (NO) Tone Åse. Chaired by Wilhelm Carlsson the examination committee consisted of Franziska Baumann (CH), Henrik Frisk (SE), Morten Qvenild (NO).
Finally, as artist-researcher he writes articles on expanding the field of vocal performance art, such as 'Zur vielstimmigen Stimme' published in the German journal 'Musik & Ästhetik' (Jan. 2019) edited by Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf. He also lecture-performs his work at artistic research conferences, like 'The Manifesto for the Multivocal Voice' at the ARWEI in Plymouth (April 2018) organised by SAR (society of artistic research) or 'Unleashing The Machined Voice: A lecture-performance on schizophonic practices and assemblages of new vocality' at DARE, the international conference on Deleuze and artistic research at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium (Dec. 2019). 
(Jan. 2020)
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