Stefan Malzew

Stefan Malzew

Composer

• Born 1964

Biography

Stefan Malzew has undertaken numerous projects, as conductor, broadcaster, and arranger, that are designed to bring classical music to new audiences. He has also been active as a composer and has explored the boundary between classical music and jazz in several works.

Malzew was born in the former East Berlin in 1964, and he studied clarinet, piano, conducting, and composition at the city's premier music school, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, having taken lessons at its associated special school as a child. In 1987 he became conductor at the State Theater in the East German city of Schwerin, remaining in the post through German reunification and up to the year 2000. After two years in a similar position in Gießen, he became music director of the Neubrandenburg Philharmonie in 2003. In his first year there, he launched the Neubrandenbuger Concert Nights series, which has gained popularity beyond the Brandenburg region in Germany. He has also founded a youth orchestra festival, Baltikum 2004.

As a composer, Malzew has written two operas (Das Opernpupp and Libuschas Tod, apparently also known as Requiem für Libuse), as well as chamber music and concertos for unusual combinations of instruments, including one for clarinet, one for three flutes, and four for jazz quartet and orchestra. He has also been interested in jazz as an arranger, creating the jazz Mozart adaption MoJazzArt and arranging music for jazz singer Ute Lemper and for keyboardist Ragna Schirmer (Hammond organ arrangements of Handel organ concertos). He has arranged operas for small ensembles in a largely successful attempt to have them performed more widely, especially appealing to young audiences. These have included a chamber orchestra version of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and arrangments of Puccini's La bohème and Tosca for small theaters. Malzew hosts a radio show for children and has created a music-educational YouTube channel, Stefans Musikworkshop. He has served as guest conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Berlin Symphony, as well as several festival groups. Malzew has released several recordings including, in 2018, an album of works by German Romantic composer Emilie Mayer, including his own reconstruction of her partially lost Symphony No. 4, with the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie.

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