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Performance Practice in Contemporary Music (PPCM)

Since 2009, Klangforum Wien has held a collective professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) and is dedicated to passing on forms of artistic expression and playing techniques to a new generation of musicians in the specialized master's programme "Performance Practice in Contemporary Music" (PPCM).

Performance Practice in Contemporary Music (PPCM)

The University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) has long been committed to providing a broad scope for contemporary music in composition and interpretation. Through its internationally outstanding composition faculty and regular performances in various concert formats and competitions, contemporary music is a focus of KUG.

Since the winter semester 2009/10, two programmes for Performance Practice in Contemporary Music (a two-year Master's programme and a one-year postgraduate course) have been introduced, whose central artistic subject is supervised within the framework of a dedicated professorship. Thus, for the first time, instrumentalists have the opportunity to obtain a well-rounded special education in this field. In addition to the curriculum, which can address current developments in contemporary music in terms of repertoire and performance practice, the new approach is that this professorship is not awarded to a single person, but rather to a renowned ensemble: Klangforum Wien.

The two courses of studies represent a significant contribution to the focus on "tradition and modernity" within the framework of KUG's development plan.

The annual concert of Klangforum Wien lecturers together with their PPCM students at the MUMUTH is the highlight of the PPCM study programme.

Information about application & admission to the programme on the KUG website:

Projects within the scope of the programme (examples)

Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition

PPCM Students and students of other subjects at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz realize the operas of the winners of this international composition prize. The works will be premiered at MUMUTH as part of steirischer herbst / ORF musikprotokoll.

About the competition:

In recognition of the university status (1998) of the former University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, the Province of Styria has established a Provincial Cultural Prize entitled "Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition", which is organized by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741), the eminent Styrian opera composer of the Baroque period, is known to have been born near Graz.

The Opera Composition Prize was awarded for the first time in 1998. As a rule, the competition takes place every three years. An exception was the year 2003, when Graz was "European Capital of Culture". In 2011, the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition was redesigned by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz together with the Cultural Resort of the Province of Styria.

In 2020-2023, the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition will be held for the eighth time. The prize-winning work AVATARA by Christof Ressi was premiered in October 2022.

-> More about AVATARA on the KUG website

The second prize-winning work of the 8th edition of the competition comes from Nina Šenk. Her opera canvas performs a change of perspective on the well-known Don Juan material and was premiered at the "ORF musikprotokoll" in October 2023.

-> Review of the world premiere (
-> More about CANVAS on the KUG website

Video of the 6th edition of the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition Competition

Musiktheater an der Wien CAMPUS Cooperation

The cooperation with the CAMPUS programme of the Musiktheater an der Wien allows selected students of the Klangforum Wien PPCM Academy to gain experience as to how a music theater production is mounted. Together with members of the ensemble, they participate in performances at the Kammeroper (Vienna). In addition, master classes with the respective composers offer the musicians the opportunity to study their works and to immerse themselves in their musical language and sound design.

-> The Golden Dragon by and with Peter Eötvös (February 2023)

-> Denis & Katya by Philip Venables (September 2023)

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Within the framework of the professorship at KUG, Klangforum Wien offers a study programme for excelling musicians, who are also integrated into the ensemble's concert activities.


The experimental project series SCAN at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) focuses on works by one composer at a time, which are "screened" and "recomposed". It is an interactive composition and improvisation project that involves musicians in a different form of musical creation and interaction and gives them the opportunity to redefine their role as interpreters.

The scan projects specifically seek ways to shed new light on composed music through the means of re-instrumentation, improvisation, electronics, fragmentation and recomposition - a contemporary way of penetrating musical material as an unforeseeable journey into the interior of sounds.

Operas of the future

Until the unexpected death of Ernst Marianne Binder in 2018, operas by composition students were performed at Graz Opera under his direction, with PPCM students as instrumentalists in addition to vocal soloists from Graz Opera and voice students. In 2022 the new project "Zeit. Vergänglich" (Time. Transient) was lead by director Christoph Zauner.

-> More information about operas of the future on the KUG website

More projects

The experience-oriented PPCM programme also includes chamber music performances as well as participation in interdisciplinary projects, musicological symposia, the impuls Academy and a Jeunesse series at the Porgy and Bess.

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Photo: Johannes Gellner


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PPCM Extended
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