Pohlit Stefan

Stefan Pohlit, born in 1976, grew up in an environment influenced by church music and initially pursued a career as a trumpet player. He received his first composition lessons (together with his brother, Hannes Pohlit, equally a composer) from Róbert Wittinger and then studied with Theo Brandmüller (Saarbrücken), Detlev Müller-Siemens & Roland Moser (Basel), Gilbert Amy & Marco Stroppa (Lyon), and, until 2005, with Wolfgang Rihm, Sandeep Bhagwati, and Peter-Michael Riehm (Karlsruhe).
Stefan Pohlit’s music is deeply influenced by his search for musical meaning in which the exploration of tuning and harmonic structures becomes an expression of an existential struggle with identity. In 1997, during his study in Basel, he took additional lessons in classical music of Northern India from Ken Zuckerman at the Ali Akbar Khan College Switzerland. His understanding of musical contents was most notably affected since 1999 during his study with Prof. Peter-Michael Riehm (1947-2007), a visionary pedagogist who can be associated with Steiner’s Anthroposophy. In his works, he explores the discreet connections between musical substance and the decisive spiritual and social intersections of our time.  While reconsidering tonal relationships as a form of logical dramaturgy, he equally aims to transcend the Occidental symphonic tradition through the study of various oriental and ancient traditions – in rediscovering Hans Kayser’s Harmonics as a secret science of Pythagoreans.  
Early in life, thanks to his mother’s appointment as administrator of the Künstlerhaus (House of Artists) of Edenkoben, he had regular contact with renowned musicans, writers, and plastic artists. In 1993, he was awarded with the Composition Price of the German Composers’ Interests Association. The same year, he was invited to Paris by the famous Argentinean pianist Jorge Zulueta (Grupo Acción Instrumental) to work for him at the Société Franz Schreker. An artistic scholarship was later modeled upon the example of this collaboration by the Ministry of Culture of the German federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz and would be granted to Stefan Pohlit himself in 1996. During these early years, he undertook numerous journeys to the East, stayed, for example, upon invitation by the writer Emil Stoyanov (the brother of the then Bulgarian President) at the Lamartine House in Plovdiv and was guest of Mircea Dinescu in Bucarest.
In 1999, he began to study Arabic and Islam. He traveled to Middle and the Far East, got in touch with various Sufi traditions, and studied at Institut Bourguiba in Tunis. In 2003, a research grant from the Baden-Württemberg State Foundation brought him for a longer period to Turkey as the guest and last student of the famous Turkish composer Nevit Kodallı (1924-2009). He also visited the music research centre MİAM (Istanbul Technical University) and the Folk Music Archives of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara. In 2007, he moved to Istanbul as a doctoral student with a DAAD scholarship. Upon invitation by Prof. Turgay Erdener, he was temporarily hired as a foreign expert for new music at the Ankara State Conservatory - in a position which can be traced to Paul Hindemith’s assignment by the Turkish state in the 1930’s. In 2011, he received his Ph. D. with a dissertation on a revolutionary tuning system proposed by the world-famous virtuoso of the Middle-Eastern qānūn, Julien Jalâl Ed-Dine Weiss (1953-2015) with whom he equally collaborated on the completion of the latter’s last composition.  From 2012 to 2014, he worked as a teacher for Composition and Theory with the rank of an Assistant Professor at the Istanbul State Conservatory of Turkish Music (TU Istanbul). Thanks to his contacts, he enabled two major collaboration projects between the TU Istanbul and renowned European ensembles for contemporary music.
His works have been performed in numerous countries and at various festivals, notably by the Stuttgart (SWR) and Saarbrücken (SR) radio symphony orchestras, Ensemble Phoenix (Basel), Ensemble Reconsil (Vienna), the Stadler Quartet (Salzburg), Ensemble Adapter (Berlin), Ensemble Hezarfen (Istanbul), UMS 'n JIP (Basel-Brig), and the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet.

Source: Website
Photo: © Fadime Arpacı