William Blank

William Blank


The composer and conductor William Blank was born in Montreux in 1957.

He is currently responsible for contemporary music at the Music Academy HEMU in western Switzerland, where he directs the Ensemble Contemporain and teaches composition and analysis.

Blank’s works are performed throughout Europe and in the USA and Japan, in prestigious concert halls such as the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the KKL in Lucerne, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Zaal Koningin Elisabeth in Antwerp, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in Oxford, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Vienna Musikverein, the Salzburg Festpielhaus and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

His music has been performed by conductors such as Armin Jordan, Antony Wit, Fabio Luisi, Pinchas Steinberg, Kasuyoshi Akiyama, Zsolt Nagy, Jean Deroyer, Dennis Russell Davies and Heinz Holliger. He has collaborated in particular with the Ensemble Contrechamps, the Collegium Novum Zürich, the Ensemble Paul Klee and the Ensemble Arc en Ciel as well as with numerous internationally renowned artists such as the Quatuor Sine Nomine, the Amar Quartet, the pianist David Lively, the cellist Jan Vogler, the trumpeter Alison Balsom, the violist Tomoko Akasaka, the singers Rosemary Hardy and Natalia Zagorinskaja, the MDR Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Swiss Chamber Soloists.

In 2001, Blank was awarded the Prize of the Cantonal Bank of Canton Vaud for his life’s work hitherto. Then, as part of his residency with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, he wrote Exodes, dedicated to Kofi Annan, which was given its first performance in October 2003 on United Nations Day in New York. He also gave a masterclass about the work at the Juilliard School of Music. Blank’s works have been released on numerous CDs that have been accorded great praise by the national and international press.

In 2005 he was awarded the Prize of the Leenaards Foundation and since 2006 he has been the musical and artistic director of the Lemanic Modern Ensemble.


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