Michael Sell (1942), Composer, Conductor

He was born in Königstein (Taunus), studied Politics and Natural Science and became a trumpeter (discs, broadcasting and television productions). From 1978 on he has focussed on compository work: “Yugoslav Quartets” and “To the Holy Country Music” are pieces of these years. In 1988 “Six Mediations” was composed for soloists, choir and orchestra for the ensemble “Deutsch-Französische Freundschaft” (French - German Friendship); it was also performed in Donaueschingen. By order of the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and for the Frankfurt Festivals “Hiroshima mon Amour” was created for soloists, speaker and orchestra after M. Duras. In 1990 the “Prometheus Concert Scenes” for soloists and orchestra followed which were produced for the WDR night music program. “If the Nightingales Knew...” is the title of sound scenes which were ordered by the Umlandverband Frankfurt (Frankfurt Environment Association) in 1991 and which were performed for the first time in the Gesellschaftshaus im Zoo. In 1991 by order of WDR Broadcasting in Cologne as well “Iterations - Paradise of Fools” as “Sound Gold” were composed; the first performance was in the WDR’s small broadcasting hall in February 1992. In August of the same year these opuses were performed one after the other in the Black Box of the Gasteig Cultural Center in Munich. During the years 1991 through 1994 “Concerto Piccolo, Version for Orchestra”, “Death and Rebirth” for orchestra, and “ORCH MKMBW” for orchestra were composed and were performed for the first time, among other opuses, in 1994 under the title “Space Music” at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt jointly with WDR and HR Broadcasting. Advanced performances of individual parts of this “Space Music” were brought across in 1993 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin and at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt and for the DS-Kultur in Berlin. In 1994 “Concerto Interpretation of «La Bourse» by G. Ph. Telemann of the Year 1720, let to the World from Liebfrauenberg in Frankfurt am Main” was created upon request of the “Projektgruppe Kultur im Ghetto”, and in 1995 the “Super Convolute for Flute(s)” was composed which takes 63.00 minutes and was performed for the first time in the St. Katharinen Church in Frankfurt. “The Great Attractor for Soprano Vocal and Orchestra” and the “Super Formula for Bass Drums” were created in 1995/96 and in 1994 respectively; the first performance was in the Loschwitzer Church in Dresden on 28 September 1996. In the series “Das neue Werk” (the new opus) of NDR Broadcasting in Hamburg, Studio 10, the Baroque version of the Concerto Piccolo could be performed for the first time on 13 March 1997 together with the Hannover Hofkapelle and the Hölderlin Trio. Within the same concert production the original of Telemann’s Suite in B sharp «La Bourse» and Sell’s “Concerto Interpretation of «La Bourse» by Georg Philipp Telemann of the Year 1720 let to the World from Liebfrauenberg in Frankfurt am Main” were jointly interpreted by the Hannover Hofkapelle and the Hölderlin Trio. The orchestra version of the “Super Convolute” was created in 1996 and was performed for the first time on 8 September 1998 at the St. Katharinen Church in Frankfurt in conjunction with HR Broadcasting. On the occasion of the 3rd (first) performances in Dresden the orchestra versions of the “Super Formulas for Viola and Drums”, the “Super Paradise for Trumpet” and the “Sonata Piccola Puttanesca” were performed for the first time in the Loschwitzer Church on 11 September 1998. On 4 December 1999 “CES” for big orchestra was performed for the first time at the new Gallus Theater in Frankfurt (M) in connection, among others, with the Hessischer Rundfunk. Another first performance for the millennium change took place at the Societaetstheater in Dresden from 6 thru 8 January 2000: “Flutissimo 2000”. In September 2001 the “Mea-T-Project” was performed for the first time at the Gallus Theater in Frankfurt in conjunction with the Hessischer Rundfunk. The program “The Great Attractor/La Bourse” followed in October 2001 at the Societaetstheater in Dresden.
An exhibition of the graphic big scores of “Flutissimo 2002” with Transfiguration VIII and Super Konvolut with H.W. Erdmann on the flutes was to be experienced at the Galerie Monika Reitz in Frankfurt (M) in January 2002. The Gallus Theater in Frankfurt hosted the first performances in August 2002. The versions for orchestra of “Super Paradise, Superformel Percussion and Superformel Viola” as well as “Super A wix he” were reflected anew in the mirror of the trumpet orchestra. The “Pianissimo Project” could be staged as well at the Galerie Martina Dettmer in Frankfurt in conjunction with the Hessischer Rundfunk. Sarolta Boros Gyevi, Dorothee Haddenbruch and Yumi Kimachi performed this three day marathon for three concert grand pianos there for the first time in November 2002. These works could be performed and produced at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Wuppertal Department, in June 2003 with the same staff. The program “Death and Rebirth” sounded in the SKF Hall 149, among others with 20 brass instrument performers, on the Late Summer Festival in Schweinfurt in 2003. In September 2005 Project 30 materialised with first perfomances of Pentapla, Pentapla 2, Dual Concert, Organ Mirror, in E and in Water in St. Leonhard’s church in Frankfurt for organ, two solo trumpets, drums and big orchestra. This series has been reassumed in 2006 in the protestant Paulus church in Darmstadt with Autumn 2006, Four concerts, with Pentapla - Festive Music for Organ, Trumpets, Horn and Drums, and has been continued with Project Autumn 2007, Two Concerts, together with Concert Interpretation of »La Bourse«... , the version for big orchestra in the Alte Nikolaikirche in Frankfurt and the other day again in the protestant Paulus church in Darmstadt. On this occasion the present recordings for CD 529, 530 were made. Besides the concerts, 27 LPs or CDs as well as broadcasting and television recordings have been produced at home and abroad. These publications meet the interest of the broadcasting stations in Germany and lately especially abroad. The emsemble with the same name took an essential part in the materialisation of numerous works of Michael Sell. This highly specialised circle of exponents absolutely masters the multiple difficulties of these scores in the metric and technical playing aspects. In the press it is always pointed out that Sell’s oeuvre is in opposition to any possibility of classification but shows at the same time a way out of the stalled way of composing of the old avantgarde of new music. Important performances have been in the Small Broadcasting Hall of WDR and at the Comedia Colonia in Cologne, at the Black Box in Munich, at the Schauspielhaus and during the Festival Weeks of Humboldt University in Berlin, at the Septieme Biennale de Paris, at the Steirischer Herbst in Graz, at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, at Zürich Technical University, at the Alte Oper and St. Katharinen Church in Frankfurt, at the Kulturpalast, Loschwitzer Church, Societätstheater in Dresden, at the Schloßfestspiele in Ludwigsburg and at the Congress Hall in Leipzig. Concert tours lead Sell to many parts of Europe, Africa and America, he lives as a free-lancer in Frankfurt.