UNIVERSAL EDITION COMPOSER
Jan Emanuel Abras, PhD, was born in Stockholm, Sweden. A Vienna-trained, award-winning classical composer, Abras was a pupil of Penderecki and Schwertsik and also studied with composers like Stockhausen, Lachenmann, and Mullenbach at institutions like mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Mozarteum University Salzburg, and Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice. Composer, conductor, musicologist, and historian, Abras holds two PhDs among a dozen degrees.
In Vienna, Abras received awards like the Theodor Körner Preis, handed over by the President of Austria, the 2nd Reinl-Preis, and the 2nd Wiener Filmmusik Preis. Abras's works have been performed in 20 countries at international festivals like Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Music Week, and Manca Festival, at venues like Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg, Bimhuis-Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, and Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste.
Abras's works have been commissioned, recorded on 12 CDs, and performed by groups like Tonkünstler Ensemble in Vienna, Ensemble Aleph in Paris, and Kwartludium Ensemble in Warsaw. Abras has worked as a composer-in-residence, university professor, researcher, conductor, pianist, and music engraver. Abras is a member of the Austrian Composers Association, Sacem, and his works are published by Universal Edition in Vienna.
Jan Emanuel Abras's music is multifaceted, and its inner unity shines through varied surface structures as a unique artistic voice. Abras's works seek a balance between reason and emotion, cosmopolitanism and localism, and past and future. Abras's music deals with pure musical aspects and with concepts like anamnesis, union of opposites, numinosity, ekphrasis and intertextuality. Abras's works can contain references to nature and the physical world, individuals and societies, and formal systems.
Abras's music has a "breathless intensity" (Genuin classics, Germany) and is "simultaneously visceral and metaphysical" (Alejandro Drago, USA). Abras's works can create a "dancing whirlwind, somewhat trance-like, full of sunny joy and pleasure" (Beata Bolesławska, Poland) and take the listener to a "rhythmically pulsating fantasy world, similar to a haunted castle" (Wilhelm Kvist, Finland).