About

Tristan Xavier Köster (b. 1993) is a Los Angeles born composer currently living in Hamburg, Germany. Working with ensembles and musicians in predominantly acoustic settings, Tristan is inspired by the abstract emotive capabilities of music and its ability to be radically interpreted by performers and listeners alike. Searching to exhibit a new “colloquial” sound in the contemporary classical medium, Tristan thinks of himself as a musician constantly improvising and searching for an unheard, yet intuitive, way to approach an instrument or ensemble.

Since moving to Germany in May 2015, Tristan has begun establishing an international presence working as a freelance composer. Collaborating with renowned musicians in North America, Germany, France, Italy, and China, Tristan has had performances in a variety of diverse locations ranging from historical venues such as the Hamburg Laeiszhalle and the Shanghai Philharmonic Hall, to more non-traditional venues like the Villa Aurora (Lion Feuchtwanger’s former home), Hamburg’s Gängeviertel (Brahms’ Birthplace), and the living room of Los Angeles Artist Mark Dutcher. Tristan has written for and been commissioned by various ensembles and festivals all over the world, including the Shanghai Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, members of the LA Chamber Orchestra at the 2015 HearNow Festival, Trio Catch, the Varied Trio, the Mirror Strings Ensemble, and the Soundscape Performance/Composition Exchange. His music has also been featured by Aeon Ensemble’s UN Sustainable Arts Initiative at NYU, Rarities of Piano Music Festival (Festival neue Musik Husum), broadcasted on 90.7 KPFK’s “Native Sounds,” and recognized internationally by the Tonali 2017 Festival. Tristan’s composition, “The Empty City Stratagem” for tenor and large orchestra, has also been awarded the William Schuman Prize by the BMI foundation as 2016’s “most outstanding score”.

One of eight internationally chosen musicians, Tristan is a composer/research fellow in the Zukunft der Orchesterkultur Projekt, funded by the Bundesbeauftragte für Kultur und Medien (BKM) in Hamburg, San Francisco, and Shanghai. Other upcoming projects include a portrait concert in the Rudolf Steiner Haus (Feb. 2018) featuring two commissioned works for the HfMT Percussion and Guitar departments, and a instrumental  with composer-pianist Hector Docx. 

Having mentored under composer Xiaoyong Chen since 2015, Tristan earned his Master of Music Degree with an emphasis in orchestral composition at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Following private study under composer AJ McCaffrey, Tristan completed his BM in composition summa cum laude, at the USC Thornton School of Music, naming Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke, and Donald Crockett as his most significant former mentors. Tristan has also been a visiting composer at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the supervision of Ye Gouhui where he participated in the 2018 “Serialism in China” Theory Congress, recorded and studied the folk music of China’s Guangxi Provence (July 2017), and participated in master classes at the 2015/2017 Shanghai New Music Weeks. He has also participated in various master classes and colloquiums with composers Tristan Murial, Brian Hulse, Valerio Sannicandro, Dan Visconti, and others in various festivals around the world.

Downloadable CV available here. Example score available here, and on orchestral pieces’ pages.

Tristan Xavier Köster, einer 1993 Los-Angeles geborene US-Deutsch Komponist und Cellist, lebt seit May 2015 in Hamburg. Köster arbeitet überwiegend mit Ensembles und Musikern in akustischen Einstellungen und schreibt Musik beeinflusst von die abstrakte emotionalen Fähigkeiten unsere Hören ist. In dem er Musiker eine profunde Menge von künstlerische und interpretierenden Freiheit gibt, hofft er das seine werke radikal interpretiert werden.

In seiner junge Karriere, hat Köster schon mit viele anerkannten Musikern und Organisationen gearbeitet, einschließlich aufritte durch das Shanghai Symphony, die Symphoniker Hamburg, das Shanghai Philharmonic, mitglieder des LA Chamber Orchesters (Hearnow Fest. 2015), das Varied Trio, das Trio Catch, Mirror Strings Quartet, das SoundScape Performance Exchange, Künstler Mark Dutcher, Tonali 2017 Festival, Aeon Ensemble’s UN Sustainable Arts Initiative, 2016 Eclectic Salon. Sein Stück für Orchester und Tenor, „The Empty City Stratagem,“ eine Auftragswerk von der Shanghai Hochschule für Musik, hat ihn auch das renommierte 2016 BMI William Schuman Preis gewonnen.

Tristan Xavier Köster ist gerade eine Masters Kandidat von Professor Xiaoyong Chen an der Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater. In 2015, hat er seiner Bachelor Abschluss in Komposition an der USC Thornton Hochschule für Musik unter Professoren Frank Ticheli, Donald Crockett, und Stephen Hartke absolviert.

Ein Portrait CD seiner orchestralen Musik kann unter folgendem link heruntergeladen werden: tristanxkoester.bandcamp.com/releases

Photo Credits: Axel Koester Photography, 2012, 2015.