Johann Hasler started composing at age 14, and has to the date composed more
than 120 works for nearly every instrumental, vocal and electronic combination
and instrumentation. Some of his works fall clearly in the so-called
"contemporary" style of classical music, while others are neo-tonal, either
neo-romantic or neo-medieval/neo-renaissance. Carlos Barreiro, an important
contemporary music critic of Colombia, usually states that Hasler’s style is "a
disciplined and sistematic review of the history of mus
ic". Several of Hasler’s percussion compositions have been published by
Beruskens Muziekuitgeverij of the Netherlands, Oude Pastorienstraat 34, 5993 XX
Maasbree, The Netherlands, and are available through this publisher’s
distributors in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany.
Johann Hasler (born in Medellín, Colombia, in 1972) started his musical studies at age four in his home city of Cali (Colombia), moving to Bogotá in 1993 in order to continue them at a higher level at the National University of Colombia, where he graduated as a composer in 2003. He started composing at age 14, and has to the date composed more than 120 works for nearly every instrumental, vocal and electronic combination. Some of his works fall clearly in the so-called mainstream “contemporary” style of concert music, while others are neo-tonal, either neo-romantic or neo-medieval/neo-renaissance.
In 1994, coursing his first year of formal composition studies, he was awarded a grant from Indiana University and the United States Information Service to attend the Inter-American composition workshop “Words and Music” as a conference participant with other representatives of countries from the Americas. There he worked and studied for three weeks with other composers, among them Tania Len, Mario Lavista and George Crumb. Upon his return from the United States he was awarded the National Prize of Composition (Colombia’s top composition prize), for his work “Three pieces for percussion, harp, celesta and piano” for large percussion ensemble. This piece was printed next year by the Colombian Institute of Culture, Colcultura. Two years after he got the National Prize of Composition for the second time, for his piece “Délires”, for baritone and chamber ensemble.
During the following years Hasler was quite active in the Colombian electro-acoustic scene, being selected for the last round of the National Competition of Electro Acoustic Composition in 1995, having his works broadcasted through several Colombian broadcasting stations. In 1996 he obtained the National Prize of Composition for the second time, this time with his work “Délires”, for baritone and chamber ensemble.
Hasler was also active in the operatic scene in the first years of the 21st century, as a conductor and chorus master. As such, he worked with the National Opera of Colombia in titles such as Norma, Romeo and Juliet, Rigoletto, Aida and Turandot, as well as in light operas by Johann Strauss and Charles Offenbach. He continued working in light opera once he moved to England in 2003, directing the Newcastle University Gilbert & Sullivan Society for two consecutive seasons. In Newcastle he worked on the musicological research for his double concentration PhD in music (in both composition and historical/theoretical musicology), which is devoted to the relationship between Western esoterism (such as astrology, alchemy, cabala and magic) with music theory. He hopes to submit his dissertation by 2008, and to have a lecture-concert with selections from his composition portfolio in the last months of 2007.