Bernhard Gander

b. 1969



Studied at the Tiroler Landeskonservatorium (piano, composition, conducting)
Composition studies in Graz with Beat Furrer
Electroacoustic music at Studio UPIC/Paris and at the Swiss Centre for Computer Music/Zurich


Bernhard Gander (born November 29, 1969 in Thurn near Lienz, East Tyrol) is an Austrian composer. Bernhard Gander attended the Franziskanergymnasium in Hall in Tirol and lived at the boarding school in Absam, where he was able to learn various musical instruments (guitar, piano, drums, saxophone). Between 1988 and 1993 he studied piano, composition and conducting at the Tyrolean State Conservatory in Innsbruck. His compositional training was supplemented by stays abroad at the Electronic Studio UPIC in Paris in 1994/1995 and at the Swiss Center for Computer Music in Zurich in 1997. From 2000 to 2008 he continued his compositional studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (among others with Beat Furrer). Bernhard Gander currently lives in Vienna as a freelance composer. Orchestras such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Intégrales, Talea Ensemble, Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Phace, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, RSO Wien, DSO Berlin, Brussels Philharmonic, SWR Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NÖ Tonkünstler Orchestra perform his Works in concert halls and festivals such as the Wiener Konzerthaus, Steirischer Herbst, ORF, Klangspuren, Transart Bozen, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Wiener Festwochen, Wien modern, Musica Strassbourg, Wittener Tage for new chamber music, and the Munich Biennale. In the art music business, Gander is seen as a rebel and an “exception”. Normative boundaries such as those between serious and pop music, between "high art" and entertainment culture are constantly undermined in his work and thus criticized. He integrated rappers and DJs into an orchestral work and premiered it in a Vienna shopping center (Melting pot, 2010). Common art music formats are blown up, for example with the "sitcom opera" Life on the Edge of the Milky Way (2014). Many of his works are inspired by electronic music (Mr. Vertigo, 2004; fluc 'n' flex, 2007), rap (beautiful words, 2007; Melting pot, 2010) and heavy metal (ö, 2005; Take Death, 2013). or pay homage to cartoon characters like Hulk (khul, 2008; hukl, 2012) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker, 2004) in musical terms. In addition to his compositional work, Gander is particularly interested in projects that are dedicated to communicating contemporary music (as can be seen, for example, in the Monsters and Angels concert based on a concept from the Axel Petri Prize). awards • Music Promotion Prize of the City of Vienna for composition (2004) • Erste Bank Composition Prize (2005) • Austrian state scholarship for composition (2005 and 2007) • SKE Publicity Award (2009) • Ernst Krenek Prize (2012, for melting pot) • Hilde Zach composition grant (2017) • Austrian state grant for composition (2018) • Outstanding Artist Award for Music (2021)

Bernhard Gander's works are published by Edition Peters.


15th June 2024

Gürzenich Orchester Köln
François-Xavier Roth
Carlswerk Victoria, Cologne, Germany