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IEP: Meet Ingrid Stölzel

I discovered and fell in love with Ingrid Stölzel's music while I was a student at the University of Kansas. The first time I heard one of her orchestral pieces, I was instantly drawn to the sheer beauty, melodicism, and colors in her music. While at KU, I also had the pleasure to befriend and get to know her as her office was across the saxophone professor's - we would regularly catch up on life, sharing projects and ideas as I waited for my weekly lesson outside.

I have always dreamed of collaborating with Ingrid; 5 years later when I started the I Exist Project she was among the first composers I thought of and contacted for this project. I am grateful for her enthusiasm as it is truly an honor and joy to work together as colleagues now.

I will be premiering the alto saxophone version of Zwischenraum in a few weeks as a guest artist at the University of Kansas on February 24th. This piece fills me with joy, and I cannot wait for our other planned collaborations in the future!


Composer Ingrid Stölzel has been described as having “a gift for melody” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and creating work that is “downright beautiful.” (American Record Guide). Stölzel’s compositions have been commissioned by leading soloists and ensembles, and performed in concert halls and festivals worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, Seoul Arts Center, Thailand International Composition Festival, Festival Osmose (Belgium), Vox Feminae Festival (Israel), Dot the Line Festival (South Korea), Ritornello Chamber Music Festival (Canada), Festival of New Music at Florida State (USA), Beijing Modern Music Festival (China), Festival of New American Music (USA), and SoundOn Festival of Modern Music (USA). Her music has been recognized in numerous competitions, among them recently the Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer's Award, Red Note Composition Competition, the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers, and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Competition. Recordings of her music can be found on various commercial releases including her portrait album “The Gorgeous Nothings” which features her chamber and vocal chamber music. Stölzel is Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Kansas School of Music. For more information:


Zwischenraum was inspired by one of my meditative practices, where the goal is to focus on the space between thoughts. This is a very powerful practice and one quickly realizes how short that space is and how hard it can be to still the mind and bring focus to that space between (Zwischenraum).For myself one of the times that I experience glimpses of this stillness is during moments of composing, when the music seems to effortlessly flow. For performers, I believe, those moments happen in performance where the mind is not thinking but rather in a flow of being in the moment. This piece is intended as a kind of on-stage centering piece for the performer and starts with breathing which is such a vital part of music and living. It also invites the audience to settle into the concert space and bring awareness to the space between thoughts.


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