About Masterclass

Masterclass for composers


As a festival of contemporary music and related art forms, the Music Biennale Zagreb generates new ideas, embraces risks and experiments and unravels new ways of presenting, as well as new communication channels with the participants of the festival – both artists and audiences. The MBZ Masterclass workshop for composers emerges from this context and its aim is to enable participants to improve their creative understanding and hone their composing skills in individual sessions with prominent composers and in open rehearsals with the ensemble.

The MBZ masterclass for composers was first held at the MBZ Festival in April 2019 with Nina Šenk (Slovenia), Achim Bornhoeft (Austria) and João Pedro de Oliveira (Brazil/Portugal) as composers-mentors, together with the workshop’s resident ensemble Riot (UK). In 2021, the workshop was held online by Alexander Schubert (Germany), Martin Matalone (Argentina/France), Sasha Blondeau (France) and Raphaël Cendo (France) and was divided into three different segments: (1) one-on-one online sessions (in which each participant was assigned two mentors) in combination with online lectures and discussions; (2) open rehearsals with the resident ensemble – Ensemble Quasars (Slovakia) led by Ivan Buffa, and (3) harpsichord workshop with harpsichordist Franjo Bilić (Croatia).

The new edition of the MBZ Masterclass workshop for composers will be held from April 14-21, 2023 at the Music Academy Zagreb. Current composers-mentors are among the most productive and original composers of the 21st century: Chaya Czernowin, Olga Neuwirth, Franck Bedrossian and Clemens Gadenstätter.


2023 Masterclass of Music Biennale Zagreb is divided into three different segments:

a) individual classes with composers-mentors

Selected applicants will have the opportunity to work individually with the assigned mentor in two sessions. Applicants will select a composition of their choice to work on with the mentor in these individual classes. The schedule of individual classes can be found at this link  and the MBZ reserves the right to change it if necessary. Individual classes will not be open to the public.

b) Lectures and discussions

Selected applicants can attend lectures and discussions of composers-mentors. Each mentor will give a 60 minute lecture and there will be an extra 30 minutes for discussion with participants. The lectures with open discussions will be held as a part of the MBZ program outside the Music Academy Zagreb.

Lecture schedule:* 

Locations: Klub Močvara | Lauba

Clemens Gadenstätter –  Monday, April 17 | 18.00 – 19.15h | Klub Močvara / terrace
Chaya Czernowin – Tuesday, April 18 | 18 – 19.15h | Lauba
Frank Bedrossian – Wednesday, April 19 | 18 – 19.15h | Klub Močvara / terrace

*More information on the lectures will be posted on MBZ's official web pages until February 1, 2023.  

c) Reading sessions with the MBZ residential ensemble –  Klangforum Wien

Selected applicants will have the opportunity to work with Klangforum Wien in two reading sessions (the estimated duration of one session is 45 minutes). Applicants will select a composition of their choice (the composition must meet the criteria lthat can be found at this link). The selected composition may be the same as that selected for individual sessions or it may be a different composition. One composer mentor will be assigned and present at one of the reading sessions.*

The schedule of the reading sessions is listed at this link and the MBZ reserves the right to change it if necessary. Reading sessions with Klangforum Wien will be open to passive participation by all masterclass participants and will also be open to the public on prior notification to  francesca.paleka@hds.hr. The notification has to be submitted by April 1, 2.

*Clemens Gadenstätter will be present on the reading sessions of Olga Neuwirth's students.