New Conductors in Residence for Klangforum Wien: Elena Schwarz and Vimbayi Kaziboni

New Conductors in Residence for Klangforum Wien: Elena Schwarz and Vimbayi Kaziboni

Vienna, 22 November 2023
Klangforum Wien is delighted to announce its new Conductors in Residence, Elena Schwarz and Vimbayi Kaziboni. From 1 January 2024 onward, each of them will bring their extensive international experience to the ensemble for the next three years, venturing into new territories. They will present themselves in their new roles in the current concert series 23/24 at the Wiener Konzerthaus on 20 February (Kaziboni) and 4 May (Schwarz). The decision for the new appointments opens a new chapter that will significantly shape the creative direction of Klangforum Wien beyond its 2025 anniversary year (40 years!).

“The newly created positions of Conductors in Residence at Klangforum Wien represent a dialogue and a deeper understanding that transcends individual concert appearances,” explains Klangforum Wien director Peter Paul Kainrath. “Conductors are particularly sensitive seismographs of the international music scene and thus contribute perspectives that can inspire the ensemble to explore ever-new horizons. With the Australian-Swiss conductor Elena Schwarz and the Zimbabwean-American conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni, Klangforum Wien also aims to reaffirm its commitment as a globally active ensemble ready for new encounters.”

With an impressive career and global acclaim, from Australia to Europe and the USA, Elena Schwarz and Vimbayi Kaziboni offer exciting new perspectives and a passionate commitment to playful-musical excellence. Their ample experience and deep understanding of contemporary music vouch for an ever-expanding world of sound and revolutionary sonic experiences for Klangforum Wien.

Elena Schwarz on her appointment: “I am delighted to be appointed Conductor in Residence of Klangforum Wien. I am eager to venture into the unexpected with these wonderful musicians, to engage in interdisciplinary projects and to breathe life into new compositions while delving into the ensemble’s rich archives.” Vimbayi Kaziboni on his new role: “I am honored to join Klangforum Wien as Conductor in Residence. To quote my grandmother: ‘Great journeys don’t happen in shallow waters. Only in the depths.’ And this is where I find myself with Klangforum Wien today. Together, I look forward to exploring even deeper the vibrant landscape of contemporary musical life, expanding the boundaries and the reach of our art form, all the while bringing my passion for human understanding and human connection to the heart of our musical practice.”

Elena Schwarz’s joint kick-off concert on the occasion of the Ligeti anniversary year last January, the opening concert of Musica Nova in Helsinki, and her widely acclaimed Salzburg Festival debut (2023) together with Klangforum Wien, as well as the ensemble’s impressive collaboration with Vimbayi Kaziboni at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (2023), were already an indicative harbinger of a future seminal artistic partnership. For the ensemble musicians, these sudden creative synergies connected with the desire for a new creative partnership that unites and inspires the collective anew — not only to bring new colors to the repertoire but also to mutually and unconditionally embrace the new.

Ensemble spokesperson Benedikt Leitner is elated about the new appointments: „In Elena Schwarz and Vimbayi Kaziboni, we have gained two visionary, musically driving forces for the ensemble who will accompany us as artistic partners on an equal footing and strengthen us in our search for the new and yet undiscovered. Their remarkable musical sensibility fits perfectly with our ambition to inspire audiences and the world of music with vibrant and inspiring performances.“

Klangforum Wien warmly invites all music enthusiasts to embark on this exciting artistic-musical journey with the two new Conductors in Residence.