Hans Huyssen is a composer, Baroque cellist and conductor with a special love for early European Baroque music, rare traditions of indigenous South African music, as well as contemporary music of the kind that meaningfully responds to relevant contexts. In musicological studies accompanying his practical work he has applied complexity theory to music, developing a practice-based epistemology that facilitates the framing of music as complex phenomenon. Further work from this vantage point aims at outlining a systems-orientated, interdisciplinary approach that would principally include the whole ‘ecology’ of a musical event and might therefore perhaps best be described as musecology.
Complexity thinking has enabled Huyssen to integrate his diverse musical interests and to combine artistic and academic work in many different ways. Performances as artistic director of the Munich based ensemble for Early & Contemporary Music così facciamo, as well as the Cape Consort in Cape Town, require him to commute between Germany and South Africa frequently.
Huyssen is a STIAS fellow, holds a NRF research rating for his work aimed at facilitating intercultural dialogues in South Africa and was a recipient of the Helgaard Steyn Award, South Africa’s most prestigious composition prize. He was a senior lecturer at the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State and at the South African College of Music of the University of Cape Town, to which he is still affiliated as associate researcher.
He is founder of mucavi records, the only South African CD-label locally producing recordings of early music on period instruments.