Photo: Caroline Mardok

Ingrid Laubrock (US)

Internationally successful German musicians come from Leipzig, go to Berlin and then to New York and play for Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. Or they're from Heidelberg, go to Paris and then to New York and play with Don Cherry and teach with John Cage. This is the case for Rolf Kühn and Karl Berger, anyway. Or they can be from Stadtlohn in Westphalia, go to London, then to New York and work on the next steps of Brazilian or free or composed music in collaboration with a close network of important musicians of their time. When honoured for this by the BBC and the New York Times declares one of their pieces one of the 25 Classical Music Tracks of 2018, along with John Adams, Bach, Aroj Aftab, Stockhausen or Kris Davis, then their piece is titled ‘Vogelfrei’, and ‘they’ are Ingrid Laubrock, actually.

That certainly sounds as if Ingrid Laubrock's curriculum vitae was specifically shaped for the Monheim Triennale. A sax player with multidirectional, self-evident virtuosity who has no fear of getting close. She plays in reinventions of the classical trio, whether with Liam Noble and Tom Rainey or with Kris Davis and Thyshawn Sorey, is in demand as an improviser and has done recordings of compositions for larger ensembles as well as orchestras. Completely free, seemingly fearless, and always with a very distinctive voice. And during all her ventures into unchartered territories, she knows her safe anchors. Some of the musical partnerships with Kris Davis, Tom Rainey and Mary Halvorson have already existed for two decades or longer. Such fixtures are perhaps the prerequisite for being able to display outstanding team player intelligence and to fathom breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.

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