Mauricio Kagel (born in Buenos Aires, December 24, 1931, died in Cologne, September 18, 2008) was an Argentine composer who has lived in Germany for most of his career. He was most famous for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance. Many of his pieces give specific theatrical instructions to the performers, such as to adopt certain facial expressions while playing, to make their stage entrances in a particular way, to physically interact with other performers and so on.
Michel van der Aa (Netherlands, 1970) is one of Europe’s most sought-after composers today. For Van der Aa, music is more than organized sound or a structuring of notes. His music has expressive power, combining sounds and scenic images in a play of changing perspectives. Van der Aa's recent stage works show a successful involvement as a film and stage director as well as composer. “Van der Aa, stage director and mastermind as well as composer, pushes the boundaries of all of his media. This is the Gesamtkunst of the future.” (Financial Times)
Conlon Nancarrow (b. October 27, 1912, Texarkana - d. August 10, 1997, Mexico City) was an American-born composer who lived most of his life in Mexico. Nancarrow is remembered almost exclusively for the pieces he wrote for the player piano. He was one of the first composers to use musical instruments as mechanical machines, utilising their capacity to play complex polyrhythms at tempos far beyond human performance ability.
Frank Martin (15 September 1890 – 21 November 1974) was a Swiss composer, who lived a large part of his life in the Netherlands. He was born in Geneva, the tenth and last child of Charles Martin, a pastor. Before he started school, he was already playing the piano and improvising. At nine, he was composing complete, fully formed songs, without having had any instruction in song forms or harmony. A performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion which he heard at the age of twelve left upon him an ineradicable impression, and Bach became his true master.
Claron McFadden is an American soprano. McFadden studied voice at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, finishing her degree in 1984. She gained international fame when making her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut in the title role of the opera Lulu, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. As well as singing many of the major oratorio works, McFadden became particularly world famous for her interpretation of modern and contemporary music.