Moritz Eggert

Composer, pianist, performer, conductor, author




Moritz Eggert (*1965, Heidelberg) is considered as one of the most versatile and adventurous voices in contemporary music.

From his very beginnings he worked in all musical genres – his catalogue of works, which now contains more than 275 pieces, includes 16 full-length operas, various ballets and works for dance and music theatre, orchestral music, chamber and ensemble music, vocal and choral music (with a strong focus on song), church music, experimental and electronic music, instrumental concerts, music for children and young people, film and radio music, as well as radio plays and open-air performances.

In addition to his work as a composer, he regularly writes for the "Bad Blog of Musick", the most widely read blog for contemporary music in Germany, for which he writes much-discussed satirical and provocative articles on a wide range of topics on contemporary culture and cultural policy. He is regarded as an advocate of a necessary change in New Music and is considered a critic of the close mindedness and snobby attitudes sometimes found in the classical world. This also makes him a passionate supporter of the younger generation of composers, which he also supports as professor of composition at the Munich University of Music and Drama (since 2010).

Foto © Susanne Diesner Moritz Eggert's music is performed worldwide, especially his cycle for piano solo "Hämmerklavier", which is one of the most frequently performed piano works of the present.



What does music mean to you personally?


Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Although fantasy is a part of the “wild space” that for me is the realm of music and all other arts, I don’t think it is the main reason for music. The most important aspect of this “wild space” is its virtuality and the possibility to try out things that can’t be tried out in the real world.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

A horror film director.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Hindemith complained in 1920 that the audience was getting more and more white-haired and worried about the future. 100 years later we still have an audience, so either the audience is in fact white-haired and immortal or there is always a new white-haired audience. I guess the latter is the case. It’s a simple effect of capitalism and the way our lives have changed. The typical concert audience for classical music is either rather young or rather old, the generations in-between usually are too busy working hard to pay the rent and raising their kids. Pensioners return to the concert hall once they have free time again.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

The role and context of music has changed considerably over the past centuries of “classical” music, and it will certainly continue to change. If I knew exactly what these changes will be I would be a very rich man, but I’m pretty sure music will always find its place.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Music that is not creative doesn’t interest me. Creativity is so essential to the artistic process that it is banal to ask for it, but I don’t think it can be measured in “more” or “less” – either it is there, or it is not. We all recognize this intuitively. Something that is not creative will not be fascinating for a long time, although it might be used to pass away the time, I guess.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

The best way to let the young generation enjoy concerts is to have them play in them. Hindemith (again) has always proposed “Machen ist besser als Fühlen”, meaning doing it is better than watching somebody doing it.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I don’t have particular “favorite” pieces, as I don’t create lists of what I like better or less. I very rarely look at older pieces, as I’m too busy writing new ones. But I’m probably especially proud of my works for the music theatre, for Lied and for solo piano.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Never forget to stay curious. There is always something that you don’t know that is worth experiencing. As long as you are able to discover and appreciate new things you will stay young and very much alive. The end of curiousness is a kind of death.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

I don’t think about the audience directly because I can’t pretend to be another person, that wouldn’t be authentic. But I very much try to imagine my pieces as if I would hear them for the first time. I constantly check if I would be bored or if something new has to happen. For me the most important craft is respecting the possible impatience of the listener. I hate to be boring or indulgent.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I don’t like the word „experiment“ because I don’t want to present something on a stage that has not been really thought out or tested yet. But I very much appreciate taking risks – risk is essential to art, because without possible failure there is no possible success. I always love to take risks for sure! Right now I’m working on a new opera about all conspiracy theories being true at once (and how absurd that would be) for Vienna, a choose-your-own-adventure video opera and two new concertos for violin/viola and percussion.