Composer, pianist, improviser and essayist Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer was born in 1963 Novi Sad, Vojvodina, ex-Yugoslavia as a member of a Hungarian national minority.
Since the outburst of the civil war in his native country (1991) he lives and works in France.
During the early years of his music education he studied piano & double bass. Later on graduated in composition at the Academy Of Arts in Novi Sad under Rudolf Brucci and completed his studies with Louis Andriessen & Diderick Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Netherlands). At the Rotterdam Conservatory he attended lecturers of Witlod Lutoslawski and received a scholarship from the Polish Section of ISCM. Since 1997 studied with György and Marta Kurtàg, as well as world premiered Kurtag's Six Pieces For Trombone & Piano, in De Ysbreker, Amsterdam .
Still as a student, in 1986 he formed his ensemble Tickmayer Formatio, employing classical trained musicians along with new jazz and avant-garde rock performers. The group was active until the year 2001, leaving behind many concert performances and choreographic collaborations.
For three years Tickmayer was a member of the editorial of New Symposium, a magazine for social questions, art & culture in Novi Sad. In this period he has curated and organized two international festivals for contemporary music & art. In 1988, he gave lectures in summer course for improvised & composed music in Szombathely (Hungary).
During the seven years long collaboration with the choreographer Josef Nadj in France, he toured with the dance company leading his ensemble of several musicians that performed the incidental music composed of this author for the dance troupe, participating at the most important theater festivals and venues throughout Europe and abroad.
Tickmayer adapted the well known novel by Aleksandar Tisma: The Book of Blam as a music theater piece, premiered in Amsterdam in 1997.
Upon the invitation of Gidon Kremer, Tickmayer was the composer in residence at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus in 2003 and in 2009 and at the Kremerata Baltica Festival in Sigulda (Latvia) where several of his compositions were performed as well as world premiered. He has also served residencies at Art Omi (USA, 1999) and Civitella Ranieri Center (Italy/USA, 2007). Tickmayer also joined the composition faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music.
His compositions have been performed by Gidon Kremer, Martha Argerich, Kremerata Baltica, Keller Quartet, David Geringas, Roman Kofman, Yuri Bashmet (as conductor), Tatiana Vassilieva, Khatia Bunaitishvili, Alexei Ogrintchouk,The Moscow Solists, The Netherlands Wind Ensemble, De Volharding, Seattle Chamber Players, Concerto Budapest, ZoFo Pianoduo and many others.
As an improviser and non-classical musician he collaborated with musicians and groups as: Chris Cutler , Fred Frith, Robert Drake , Valentin Clastrier, Wu Fei, Peter Kowald, Szabados György, Paul Termos, Grencso Istvan, Dresch Mihaly; The Science Group (one of the founders and pricipal composer) and Thinking Plague .
He also wrote numerous arrangements for Iva Bittova, Kremerata Baltica and The Netherlands Wind Ensemble.
His music were published by record companies as: ReR Megacorp, Nonesuch Records, ECM New Series, Leo Records
and BMC records.
(click here for an autobiographic essay)