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Composers

Andy Pape


© Marianne Grøndahl
Born: 1955

Andy Pape was born in 1955 in California but moved to Denmark in 1971. After studies at the University of Copenhagen (1975-77) Pape studied composition with Ib Nørholm at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where he received his diploma in composition in 1985. For Andy Pape it is possible to write serious music without furrowed brows, without one's soul being turned inside out and with your back to the audience. His music is characterized by a large appetite for life as well as an unorthodox investigation of many musical genres and expressions. In many of his works, one detects a subcurrent of bubbling wit. In the field of instrumental theatre, Andy Pape shows a rare talent for telling absurd and dramatic stories. With Pape's timing as well as the fine parody of concert rituals built into the dramatic process, his pieces in performance can radiate a bubbling humour bordering on hypersensitive voyerism. For instance when the audience witnesses a cellist fight his way through a private session in Duet for solo Cello (1987), or the power struggle that the pianist and page turner (equipped with referee whistle) endure in Variations on "Nearer My God to Thee" (1992). In the field of music theatre, Andy Pape has been successful with his three operas Houdini the Great (1988), The Boxer - An Opera (1994-95) and The Queen of the Blue Tower (1998), where he has succeeded in uniting the absurd with the immediatly accessible, humour with tragedy, and parody with the gentle speech of heart. Andy Pape received the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1994.

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