Thomas Lehn













Since the early 1980s Thomas Lehn (*1958, Fröndenberg/Germany) has been working as a creator and performer of contemporary music.

After studying recording engineering and piano with Prof. Wilfried Kassebaum at the Music Academy of Detmold in Germany, studies at the Music Academy of Cologne with Peter Degenhardt and Prof. Klaus Oldemeyer (classical piano) and with Frank Wunsch and Francis Coppieters (jazz piano) completed his academical education. In the 80ies he took part on courses of Studio for pianistic interpretation held by Prof. Jürgen Uhde as well as jazz masterclasses directed by Gunter Hampel, George Russell, Keith Tippett.

As an interpreting pianist he has been performing both contemporary new music including numerous first performances and traditional composed music of the classical and romantical period since the early 1980ies. In 1989 he initiated the chamber ensemble Trio Dario and four years later the Mengano Quartett, performing compositions of the contemporary avant-garde, in particular numerous first performances of comissioned works.

Developed parallel to his work as a pianist, since the early 1990ies his major and widely renown work has been performing and producing live-electronic music. Rooted in the experience of a wide spectrum of musical fields based on his background as an interpreting and improvising pianist in classical-, contemporary and jazz-music and having been involved in numerous other projects like music theatre, dance, multi-media, studio pre-/post-production etc., he has been developing an unique style of electronic music.

His electronic equipment consists of analog synthesizers of the late 1960s, first - before and after his university education - the Minimoog synthesizer. Since 1994, however, the EMS Synthi A has been the main instrument for his electronic music. In addition to the substantial sound qualities of analog synthesis, the possibilities of this semi-modular instrument allow great spontaneity in the musical processes - for example, to modify electronic sounds very directly, as well as to combine and control several parameters of sound synthesis simultaneously.

In 2000 his solo album Feldstärken had been released on German label Random Acoustics. Up today, his discography enclosures about 100 CD publications.

Numerous appearances at major international festivals of contemporary musics and concerts tours in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungaria, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA give evidence of his international profile and recognition.

He has been involved in projects promoted and/or supported by the Goethe-Institutes in Beirut, Belgrade, Boston, Bratislava, Budapest, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, Lille, Lissabon, London, Manchester, Marseille, Milano, Montreal, Moscow, Oslo, Palermo, Riga, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw, Wellington and York.

His musical activities enclosure long term and newer ensemble collaborations as well as involvements in numerous specific single, site-specific or performance projects.

Long term collaborations are ensembles like KONK PACK, TOOT, THERMAL, FUTCH, MIMEO, SPEAK EASY, 6IX, VARIO-34, as well as the duo works with Marcus Schmickler, Tiziana Bertoncini, Gerry Hemingway, Paul Lovens, Frédéric Blondy, Urs Leimgruber and John Butcher. More recent projects are two trio formations with John Butcher involving pianists John Tilbury and Matthew Shipp, defuse, a trio with Xavier Charles and Roger Turner and the quartet SOUNDBRIDGES with Ken Vandermark, Matthias Muche and Martin Blume.

Furthermore he is pianist and founding member of the ensemble]h[iatus, an ensemble for interpretation and improvisation of contemporary music. Most characteristic for thies, whichs members are all experienced interpreters and improvisers. The ensemble compiles concert programs integrating/alternating notated and real-time-created contemporary music. It premierred commissioned works by Vinko Globokar, Peter Jakober, Steffen Krebber, Jennifer Walshe, Anthony Pateras and performes compositions of the contemporary repertoire.

In addition to performing his own electronic music, Thomas Lehn has expanded his activities as a synthesizer interpreter of electronic compositions in recent years. His realization of Boguslav Schaeffer's Electronic Symphony, which he performed live in Huddersfield at hcmf 2017, is documented on the CD PRES Scores on the Polish label Bolt/Monotype. In 2012 he premiered OCCAM VI for solo synthesizer by Éliane Radigue at Berghain Berlin as part of the Faithful! festival and - together with KlangForum Wien - dort for synthesizer and 15-piece ensemble by Austrian composer Peter Jakober at musikprotokoll Graz and Konzerthaus Wien. He has been one of the soloist of Christopher Fox' Topophony performed at cresc. Festival 2017 with Ensemble Modern and recorded with the WDR Sinfonieorchester, both under direction of Ilan Volkov. In 2020 Bôłt Records released a CD with his synthesizer realization of Decisions, a graphic score by Roman Haubenstock-Ramati.