Clarinetist Ib Hausmann can not be pinned down into any category; he loves to build bridges between the worlds of classical music and contemporary music. He also loves to improvise, he composes at times, or adopts a theatrical role as a “clarinet-speaking” Pierrot on stage.
Growing up in his parents’ milieu of art song and opera singing, he started playing the clarinet when he was 10 and soon developed a passion for all types of music from Rameau to Keith Jarrett, as well as for painting and contemporary dance. As a soloist and chamber musician he has been touring the world for many years, and loves to make music in venues both modest and large: from small village churches to the Scala in Milan; for children in Japan, or in the slums of Columbia.
He has found inspiration in a number of teachers and artists: pianists such as Menahem Pressler and Leon Fleisher, composer György Kurtág, along with his chamber music partners: Dénes Várjon, Stefan Litwin, Frank Gutschmidt, Benjamin Schmid, Lukas and Clemens Hagen, jazz pianist Michael Wollny, the Amatis Piano Trio, and string ensembles including the Casals Quartet and the Hagen Quartet.
Hausmann was never interested in perpetuating the classical mainstream. Instead, he loves to search for new creative challenges. If there is one thing he doesn’t like, it’s the kind of cosmetic sleekness and superficial perfection that only serves to gloss over inner emptiness.
His concert programmes and CD recordings are thus brimming with contrasts: the world premiere recording of Morton Feldman’s Clarinet and String Quartet with the Pellegrini Quartet, as well as Quintett’s by Constantin Regamey, a notable pendant to Messiaen’s Quatuor. Hausmann has received German Record Critics Awards for recordings featuring the clarinet sonatas of Max Reger and other works by Berthold Goldschmidt.
His recording of the Prokofiev Quintet with Tabea Zimmermann and Daniel Hope was released on the EMI label. For Deutsche Grammophon he recorded Gerhard Frommel’s Double Concerto for Clarinet and Piano, as well as the CD entitled Terezin with Anne Sofie von Otter and Christian Gerhaher, nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award.