Sinfonia Varsovia will perform the world premiere of Martyna Kosecka: Concerto for Clarinet, Multipercussion and String Orchestra. The concert will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook…
Amos Elkana is a multi-award-winning composer, guitarist and electronic musician. In their decision to award him the Prime Minister’s Prize for Music Composition the jury noted that Elkana is the author of “very original music, independent of the prevailing fashion, guided by unique and delicate taste,” and radiates “a strong sense of honesty.”
Amos was born in Boston, USA in 1967 but grew up in Jerusalem. His father was historian and philosopher of science Yehuda Elkana. Amos began playing guitar and studying music at age 15. He returned to Boston to study jazz guitar at the Berklee College of Music and Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. His primary composition teacher at NEC was William Thomas McKinley. Later on he moved to Paris where he took composition lessons with Michele Reverdy and additional lessons with Erik Norby in Copenhagen and with Paul-Heinz Dittrich and Edison Denisov in Berlin. Elkana continued his studies at Bard College, New York City where he earned an MFA in Music and Sound. At Bard he focused on electronic music and took lessons with Pauline Oliveros, David Behrman, Richard Teitelbaum, George Lewis, Maryanne Amacher, Larry Polansky and more.
In 1993 Elkana had his Carnegie Hall debut with “Saxophone Quartet No.1” composed for the Berlin Saxophone Quartet. In 1994 Elkana composed “Tru’a”, a concerto for clarinet and orchestra, that was recorded by Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Tru’a was premiered in Israel by Gilad Harel and The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Frédéric Chaslin and in Taiwan by the TNUA orchestra.
“Arabic Lessons”, a tri-lingual song-cycle in Arabic, Hebrew and German to the words of Michael Roes, was composed in 97-98 and premiered in the Berlin Festival in 1998. For this work Elkana received the Golden Feather Award from ACUM. In its review of Arabic Lessons, the Jerusalem Post called it “a perplexing, beguiling 40-minute opus in which the composer challenges the so-called ‘acceptable’ form of the lieder, shattering it and building it anew, as if constructing a new world from its ashes. …Arabic Lessons is one of the most significant works composed in Israel for quite a while.”
In 2006 Elkana composed “Eight Flowers” for solo piano in honor of György Kurtág’s 80th birthday. The work was premiered that same year in Schloss Neuhardenberg near Berlin during a festival celebrating Kurtág and in his presence. Since then this work has been performed all over the world including the ISCM World Music Days in Sweden in 2009.
Elkana’s short opera “The Journey Home” comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by telling the true and incredibly touching story of a Palestinian man who lived in this troubled land during most of the 20th century. The opera was commissioned by opus21musicPlus and premiered in the Gasteig Auditorium in Munich in 2013.
In 2013-2014 Elkana was invited to be a fellow for a year at the International Research Center »Interweaving Performance Cultures« in Berlin where he worked on his next opera “Nathan the Wise”. This fascinating project brings Lessing’s play to life as a tri-lingual opera. The original text was edited into a libretto in Hebrew, German and Arabic by Elkana’s long time collaborator Michael Roes while preserving Lessing’s unique poetic language.
Elkana’s new Piano Concerto “…with purity and light…” (2015) was commissioned by the Israel Symphony Orchestra and premiered on July 21, 2016.
“Casino Umbro” is the title of Elkana’s recent CD released to great critical acclaim on the American label Ravello in 2012. The CD includes four compositions: Casino Umbro, String Quartet No.2, Arabic Lessons and Tru’a. It was reviewed by Frank J. Oteri on New music box.
Apart from concert music, Elkana composes regularly for dance and theater. He frequently works with director/choreographer Sommer Ulrickson and Artist/Stage designer Alexander Polzin. This team produced several works which were staged in the US, Germany and Israel. Among them “After Hamlet” which is a dance/theater piece that takes an original twist on Shakespear’s Hamlet, “Never Mind” which deals with the Capgras syndrome, “Remains” and “Zwischenspiel”.
Elkana is an expert of the open-source program “Pure Data” and he teaches it and electronic music in general as well as composition. In the past he taught at UC Santa Cruz and gave lectures on his music at the Munich Academy of Music and Theater, Academia de Muzică “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca, the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music among others.
Elkana is also an active performer. He regularly participates in concerts and performances of improvised music where he plays the electric guitar and the computer. In 2010 he opened the International Literature Festival in Berlin giving a concert of his music for Recorded voices of poets, Electric guitar and electronics.
Petra was born in Celje, Slovenia in 1986 and has been living in the Netherlands since 2011. Since her beginning Petra has been following her path of searching for new sounds and she has never been barred by the traditional way of how we think about sound and music. While attending her study of Composition and Music Theory with Uros Rojko, at the Academy of Music in University Ljubljana, Petra attended festivals and seminars across Europe, where she gained new knowledge and opened her views and philosophies. She finished Master in Composition with Martijn Padding and Peter Adriaansz at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Many times, the source of her inspiration comes from topics outside of music, such as the issues of modern society and human experiences.
Petra collaborated with outstanding musicians such as Rei Nakamura, Saskia Lankhoorn, Luka Juhart, ensembles like Nieuw ensemble, Ives ensemble, Asko|Schönberg, neuverBand, Slagwerk Den Haag, WESPOKE, Slowind, MD7, Kompulz, Slovenian Percussion Project STOP, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, choirs like APZ Tone Tomšič, Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, conductors as Steven Loy, Rossen Milanov, Bas Wiegers, Gregory Charette, Matina Batič, Jerica Bukovec and more. She received commissions from, among others, Diamant Fabrik, Experimental studio SWR, Gaudeamus Muziek week, Dag in de Branding, Orgelpark Amsterdam, RTV Slovenia and Festival Slowind.
In the Netherlands, Petra is known for her pervasive and uncompromising approach to creating her visions. In 2013, her first opera entitled ‘Becoming the System’ came to life, which received rave reviews in Amsterdam and experienced three more repetitions, including at the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht. In 2018 Petra was selected as ‘Nieuwe Makers’ by the Fonds Podiumkunsten for her 2 years project ‘disOrders’ with Ensemble Modelo62 on the topic “Mental DisOrders”. The Dutch National Theatre described the project as: “The composer uses music, sounds, performance art, video and electronics to paint the implications of afflictions such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. She confronts her audience with the inner world of a person who is forced to walk a different path through life than most of us. Can we find it in ourselves be emphatic and redefine our concept of ‘normal’?”
Her creative mind and unique artworks brought her several grants and awards. Petra’s piece Prana for symphony orchestra won the 66th international ROSTRUM of composer prize, which was held in Argentina in 2019. It was selected by the delegates as the most outstanding. The work was premiered by RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra with Rossen Milanov as a conductor. The inspiration for this work stems from the idea of creating and capturing the atmosphere of attraction between two contrasting poles (e.g., magnetic resonance). The concept of capturing “Prana” as inspiration; in Hinduism, it represents the breath of the life force. “Prana is understood as a universal energy that flows in currents in and around the body.”
Her achievements among others brought her the art residency and fellowship of prestigious Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany and the Berlin Art Prize for Music 2021.
Benjamin de Murashkin was born in Denmark in 1981, but already at the age of one moved to Australia with his family, where he lived for 21 years before returning to his country of birth. In Australia, Benjamin took his Bachelor with honours, majoring in composition, at The University of Melbourne. Benjamin graduated with a Master of Music, majoring in composition, from The Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2011. In 2014 he completed the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Solistklassen) in composition at The Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Benjamin’s works include pieces for solo instruments, small ensembles, choir and the song cycle, Musik Der Wogen, written for the soprano Frederikke kampmaan, who gave its premiere at the Wiener Kameropera in 2017. Benjamin has composed a series of short concertos with string orchestra for alto flute, accordion and violin respectively, the violin of which was premiered by Vera Panitch at Benjamin’s debut concert from the conservatory in 2014.
Benjamin’s orchestral output includes the works LOGOS, first performed by the Copenhagen Philharmonic in 2010 and Distant Murmuring, premiered in 2011 by the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Benjamin was commissioned by The Copenhagen Philharmonic to compose a trombone concerto, which was premiered in March, 2013 with Christian Schmiedescamp as soloist. In 2014 Benjamin was appointed as the Copenhagen Phil’s composer-in-residence for the 2014-18 seasons with commissions including a piano concerto and a symphony.
Composing for film and radio has also featured in Benjamin’s output, resulting in scoring Frelle Pedersen’s full-length feature Hundeliv, as well as continuing his collaboration with Norwegian director Eirik Sæter Stordahl, scoring his radio dramas, Love Me Tinder, Brandø and Vildmarken, all for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
Benjamin has studied composition with Brenton Broadstock, Simon Bainbridge, Detlev Glanert, Bent Sørensen, Hans Abrahamsen and Niels Rosing-Schow amongst others, and worked with musicians such as The Copenhagen Phil, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Danish Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Recherche, Kronos Quartet, Arditti Quartet, Michala Petri, Hymnia, Mythos and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s Big Band.As an arranger, Benjamin has worked with such diverse popular artists as Tina Dico, Kim Larsen, Outlandish, Cody, Nabiha, Lucy Love, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Body Rhythm Factory and Dressed To Thrill, in collaboration with orchestras in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. As an orchestrator Benjamin has worked on orchestrating operas for the Malmö Opera and the Danish Opera Academy, as well as creating an orchestral suite of music from the musical The Devil’s Apprentice by Madeline Myers for the Lyngby-Taarbek Symphony Orchestra.
Benjamin regularly improvises at recitals, and aims at creating a fusion between the intuitive and the systematically approached methods of composition in a language that bears influence not only of the full span of the classical tradition but also of contemporary popular styles.
Celia Swart (1994, NL) is a new music composer, saxophone player and visual artist.
Growing up playing saxophone and piano, she found her love for composing. In 2018 Celia completed her bachelor degree in composition at the Royal conservatory in The Hague (NL), where she has studied with Yannis Kyriakides, Guus Janssen, Peter Adriaansz and Diderik Wagenaar.
In the past years she has written compositions for orchestras among the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra and Ricciotti Ensemble and ensembles like Nieuw Ensemble, Herz Ensemble and Kluster5. She also plays and writes music for her own modern jazz group SWART, who released their debut album Lost In in October 2018.
Her music has been played at venues and festivals like Bang on a Can Loud Weekend (USA), Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Bimhuis, TivoliVredenburg and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) and is broadcasted on radio and TV like NPO Radio4, BBC Radio3 (UK) and NPO1 Vrije Geluiden.
In her music are narrative- and film influences important parts, and she also creates multi-media works with visuals of her illustrations and stop-motion animation.
In 2018 she was nominated for the Tera de Marez Oyens Award for her composition Boven Hoge Gebouwen, which was written for Kluster5 and in 2019 she is nominated for the International Rostrum of Composers 2019 (Argentina) for her work In My Web. In 2021 she has won the Keep an Eye Production Price Award, where she will make a completely new stage production that will premiere this year during the Wonderfeel Festival in 2021!
Ville Raasakka (b. 1977) works with environmental composition, focusing on ecology, materiality and acoustic environments. His orchestral work gained a recommendation at the prestigious International Rostrum of Composers in 2019 in Argentina. He has been commissioned by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (The Netherlands), Royaumont (France) and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
His works have been performed at the most prominent new music festivals around the world, such as Eclat (Stuttgart), Klang (Copenhagen), Archipel (Geneva), June in Buffalo (US) and the Bifem Festival (Bendigo, Australia). Mise-En Ensemble (New York) performed his works in a portrait concert in Seoul (South Korea) in 2018. His artistic work is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2019-2021. He studied with Veli-Matti Puumala at the Sibelius Academy and privately with Georges Aperghis in Paris and supplemented his studies in masterclasses with Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Friedrich Haas and Hans Abrahamsen.
Raasakka has worked with Ensemble Lemniscate (Basel), Ensemble Schwerpunkt (Hannover), Defunensemble (FI), Dal Niente (Chicago), Uusinta Ensemble (FI), Curious Chamber Players (Stockholm), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (FI), Alter Face (ES), Helsinki Chamber Choir (FI), Gageego!
(Gothenburg), Lapland Chamber Orchestra (FI), Nyky Ensemble (FI) and Hyvinkää Orchestra (FI) as well as soloists such as Emil Holmström (FI), Saar Berger (DE), Markus Hohti (FI), Marco Blaauw (DE), Lauri Sallinen (FI), Tomeu Moll-Mas (ES), Kaisa Kortelainen (FI), Tinna Torsteinsdottir (IS), Janne Valkeajoki (FI), Stephanie Chua (CAN), Väinö Jalkanen (FI), Mariann Marczi (HU), Risto-Matti Marin (FI), Antti Tikkanen (FI), Minna Pensola (FI) and conductors such as Hannu Lintu (FI), Dima Slobodeniouk (FI), Rei Munakata (SE), Nils Schweckendiek (FI), Dalia Stasevska (FI), Nazanin Aghakhani (AUT) and Ville Matvejeff (FI).
He has given guest lectures at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe (Germany), the Liszt Academy of Music (Hungary), the Aalto University (FI) and at the Sibelius Academy (FI). He was the festival leader of the Ung Nordisk Musik in 2005-2010 and the artistic director of Uusinta Ensemble (FI) in 2012-2016. Since 2017 he is working as a curator for the Tristero Piano Trio (FI) and since 2019 as the producer of the Klang Helsinki concert series.
Latvian composer Georgs Pelecis is born in Riga, capital of Latvia (1947). After finishing the musical college of the native town he graduated from the class of composition in the Moscow Conservatory with the famous Armenian composer Aram Kchachaturjan. Later he graduated from the same conservatory as musicologist with the master dissertation devoted to the Netherlands composer of the 15-th century Johannes Ockeghem and then – the doctor dissertation about counterpoint of Palestrina.
Since 1970 till present Georgs Pelecis is professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Latviam Academy of music. Many years he works on both fields as musicologist and composer. In the first sphere he has written a number of essays about music or Renaissance, Baroque, classicism and art of the 20th century. In the 1994 he has got the medal of International Palestrina Centre in Rome. In the second sphere he is the author of a great number of pieces for piano, choir, orchestra and different ensembles which are performed in many concerts and festivals all over the world. Consonant and diatonic sounding as well as new simplicity and positive moods are typical for his creation.
On March 23, Donemus Records will release a new recording of Simeon ten Holt’s Palimpsest by Soloists from the Open Sound Orchestra…
The title Palimpsest comes from the Greek language and historically refers to a parchment scroll that was rewritten after the original writing had been scratched off or made invisible. Often the original text remained somewhat legible. This last characteristic is always perceptible to the listener in the composition. Despite differences in key or character, the motif can be traced back to the initial theme.
The first and second violin introduce the theme, after which the composition comes to life through an accumulation. The overall form of the composition is divided into a number of episodes separated by so-called transitions. In these, the violinists pass the fast movement part to each other as in a relay. The second change is followed by an Interlude, which can be regarded as a chromatic and through-composed loop; the fourth episode is followed by a coda.
Open Sound Orchestra
OpenSoundOrchestra is presented by young and professional musicians with the main goal to popularize contemporary music. The orchestra is fond of both minimalism and serialism, as well as electronic music. OpenSoundOrchestra records and plays music by young and well-known Russian composers in different halls such as the conservatory and the philharmonic, stadiums and small concert rooms. The name of the orchestra “Open Sound” stands for the openness of new music and new ways of representing it to the audience.
The orchestra was founded by passionate musicians Stanislav Malyshev and Olga Kalinova.
On 28 February at 8pm the Aachen Symphony Orchestra will stream a performance of JacobTV’s Tallahatchie Concerto. The soloist is Asya Fateyev and the conductor is Conrad van Alphen…
Jacques Ibert’s entertaining “Hommage à Mozart”, composed for the 200th birthday of the master, radiates cheerfulness and a touch of irony. The Dutch Jacob ter Veldhuis, praised as the “Andy Warhol of new music”, embarks on a “voyage of discovery for moments of beauty, bliss and ecstasy” in his Tallahatchie Concerto. Claude Debussy colored his Rhapsody with Spanish and Moorish melodies and rhythms. Bizet’s melodious First Symphony sparkles with temperament and originality.
An overview of the concert program:
Jacques Ibert: “Hommage à Mozart”
Jacob ter Veldhuis: Tallahatchie Concerto
Claude Debussy: Rhapsody for saxophone and orchestra
Georges Bizet: Symphony No. 1
The guest conductor is the internationally renowned Dutch conductor Conrad van Alphen, while the soloist is the young saxophonist Asya Fateyeva.
“Concert at home”
“Konzert zu Hause” is the new streaming portal for classical music from classicnl in cooperation with Theater und Sinfonieorchester Aachen. The current Corona measures make it impossible to experience classical concerts live in the concert hall. Yet it is precisely in these times that people’s need for classical music and concert experiences is at its greatest! For their audience, the Aachen Symphony Orchestra has therefore developed the platform “Concert at Home”.
By enjoying the concerts from home, one’s financial contribution also supports the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and enables them to continue this offer for their audience. Therefore, one may decide on the price for enjoying a concert: € 5,- € 10,- or € 15,-.
Acclaimed as the ‘Andy Warhol’ of new music, Dutchman Jacob Ter Veldhuis in his Tallahatchie Concerto, sets off on a voyage of discovery to moments of beauty, bliss and ecstasy. In 20 years’ time, this concerto has become a standard work among saxophone concertos. Soloists such as Arno Bornkamp, Branford Marsalis, Ties Mellema and Robert Buckland have included the work in their repertoire. It was on the desks of Radio Kamerorkest, Brno, Cincinnati, Dusseldorf, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestras, among others, while the wind band version has been performed by, among others, Branford with the US Navy Band.
There is also a piano extract, and versions for string quintet and piano or saxophone quartet and piano.
On 28 February at 8 pm one can look forward to the 4th symphony concert in the stream. Tickets are now available at the website of classicnl.
Rick van Veldhuizen (*1994, Tilburg) although reared on pop and folk, discovered classical music at the age of 11. He started composing pretty much at that point.
Education: Starting in 2008, he studied composition and piano at the Fontys Conservatorium’s Young Musicians’ Academy with Kees Schoonenbeek and Jelena Bazova, respectively. After that, he went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire with Martijn Padding and Calliope Tsoupaki, followed by a Bachelor’s degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studying with Joël Bons and Willem Jeths, which he obtained in 2016 with a cum laude mention. He started a master’s degree in Berlin, but the aesthetic environment turned out to be squarely incompatible. He now resides in the Netherlands again.
Van Veldhuizen is typically concerned with being emotionally immediate. His maximalistic and complex approach serves not to alienate, but rather draw listeners into a very specific inner world, filled with granular feelings and atypical microtonal structures. Although his roots lie in the 20th century music of Ravel, Berg, Berio and Ligeti, he doesn’t eschew influences from electronic dance and pop music, musicals, literature and theatre. Both conventional techniques and extended techniques weave through his colourful instrumental writing, yielding unique sounds, combinations and textures. In some pieces, synthetic sounds or beats are provided as a counterpoint to acoustic instruments.
Van Veldhuizen’s work is quite varied, and extends from piano trios, symphonic wind orchestra and chamber orchestra to a mini-opera for singers, trombones, harp and electronics. He has worked with ensembles such as the Swiss nexus reedquintet and Score Collective, and received commissions from, among others, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nederlands Studenten Orkest, Stichting Cellosonate Nederland and multiple commissions from Nationale Opera & Ballet.
His piece (un)mensch for symphonic wind band received 1st prize at the International Composition Competition Harelbeke in 2016, the piece …reflections in a breaking glass door for wind ensemble received the 1st prize at the CoMA Maastricht Composition Competition in 2011, and weltjugend U6  was a runner-up in the 2014 Calefax competition.
Throughout 2019, Doris Hochscheid (cello), Frans van Ruth (piano) and Gonny van der Maten (organ) toured the Netherlands with cōnflārī which they recently commissioned. In 2020, the Nederlands Studenten Orkest performed ‘unde imber and ignes’ across the Netherlands, as well as in Luxembourg and Aachen (Germany) to great acclaim. In 2021, the piece ‘mais le corps taché d’ombres’, originally intended for the Mahler Festival 2020, which was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic, will be performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.