Thomas Kürstner, born in Weimar in 1972, and Sebastian Vogel, born in Magdeburg in 1971, have always worked together as composers, musicians and performers. They studied musicology, composition as well as German language and literature in Halle, Dresden, Vienna and Berlin. Since then engagements have taken them to Frankfurt, Berlin, Hanover, Hamburg, Zürich, Vienna, Munich, and other places.
From 2001 to 2003 they served as musical directors at the Frankfurter Theater am Turm. In 2003 Kürstner/Vogel moved as composers and in-house musicians to the Burgtheater Vienna to follow director Nicolas Stemann with whom they have enjoyed a close cooperation. In Vienna they created, among other works, the incidental music for the debut performances of Elfriede Jelinek’s plays “Das Werk” and “Babel” as well as for Gert Jonke’s “Die versunkene Kathedrale”.
Together with Stemann they also developed the artistic format “Gefahr-Bar”. Its principle is to present events consisting of musical and literary material that originates on the very day of performance and whose staging should exceed the period of rehearsal. In 2009 they composed for the Thalia Theater, the Salzburger Festspiele and the Schauspiel Köln the incidental music for Jelinek’s “Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns”, and subsequently also for Lessing’s drama “Nathan the Wise” as well as for “Faust I/Faust II”. Since 2009 Kürstner/Vogel have repeatedly worked with director Armin Petras, for example at the Maxim Gorki Theater (on the occasion of “Rummelplatz” and “Die Wohlgesinnten”) as well as at the Staatstheater Stuttgart. In 2011 they composed the music for the screen adaptation of Juli Zeh’s novel “Schilf” (directed by Claudia Lehmann). On the occasion of the 2013 music and literature festival “Wege durch das Land” (NRW), the song cycle “Auf steigt der Mond” was first staged based on poems by Alexander Blok for mezzo-soprano, string quartet, piano and modular synthesizer. Their most recent major composition assignments took them to the State Opera in Berlin where they composed incidental music for orchestra, singers and again modular synthesizer for the first staging of Elfriede Jelinek’s “Rein Gold”, as well as to the Theater Bremen. In 2014 their first opera “Anna Karenina” saw its debut performance.
Numerous productions involving their creative input where invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen.