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About ECM
October 1 , 2004


Michael Mantler, the trumpeter and composer whose work is documented on JCOA, WATT and ECM Records, has been announced as the winner of the Austrian State Prize for Improvisation 2004, given within the framework of the Hans Koller Awards.

From the Jury’s citation: “Along with Hans Koller and Joe Zawinul, Michael Mantler is one of the three great protagonists of Austrian jazz. After his studies at the Vienna Academy, he emigrated in 1962 to New York where, with Carla Bley, Archie Shepp, Cecil Tayor and Sun Ra, he established the Jazz Composers Guild, from which the Jazz Composers Orchestra grew. With this formation Mantler established new standards for orchestral jazz, with a veritable Who’s Who of the new American creative music scene at his disposal (Pharoah Sanders, Roswell Rudd, Clifford Thornton, Steve Lacy, and many others). Equally influential was Mantler’s contribution to Carla Bley’s epochal jazz opera, ‘Escalator Over The Hill’. As trumpeter, Mantler has played with, amongst others, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Gary Burton, and was for many years a member of the Carla Bley Big Band. Since the early 1970s, he has set literary texts by, amongst others, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Edward Gorey. In 1991, Mantler returned to Europe, making his home in Copenhagen. Since then he has worked as composer of symphonic works, chamber music, and music theatre pieces.”

The award will be presented to Mantler at a special ceremony on December 3rd at Vienna’s Porgy & Bess club.

Michael Mantler’s most recent ECM recording is “Hide and Seek”, with words by Paul Auster, featuring Robert Wyatt and Susi Hyldgaard as vocalists.