About the Composers and the works

George ENESCU (1881 – 1955) Chamber Symphony for 12 solo instruments Op. 33

Romania's most famous musician – violinist, conductor and pianist – George Enescu was primarily one of the 20th century's pre-eminent composers. He himself remarked: 'Anything positive said about one of my compositions pleases me more than dithyrambics on my achievements as an instrumentalist.'

His tremendous talent brought him at the age of eight to the Conservatoire of Vienna; and there, three years later, he was already playing in the Vienna Philharmonic under Brahms, Mahler and others. Then, he moved on to Western Europe, to Paris, where he absorbed that last degree of elegance, refinement and wit. Enescu finished about 50 works in all (and many more remained unfinished).

He had an enduring love of Romania which shines in his music as much as in his writing. As a teenager he 'adored' Paris – where he completed his music studies – but felt 'artistically uprooted' from the country of his birth and very much like 'a little peasant from our Danube pastures.' In 1940 – unlike Bartok and Casals who left their countries as a sign of protest against fascism – Enescu gave up his international concert tours and returned to Romania to be with his people for the whole length of the war. He said: As long as my country is suffering I don't want to stay away from it'; and he only finally left Romania in 1946 for health, personal and political reasons.

This is what Yehudi Menuhin, who studied with Enescu at the age of 11 and later when he was 15, had to say about Romania's most famous musician:

'He inherited, like Bartok, a rich folk tradition, the colour and sound in music of an almost sensual feeling, which only comes to the born and indigenous musician. The violin is indigenous in this sense to that whole region of the Danube basin where he spent his earliest years, and nowhere in the world is there a stronger sense of belonging to the earth. This is what Enescu inherited by birth; and then consider him as a polished, courtly, cultivated musician and man, which he was through having absorbed the culture of Vienna and later of Paris and London . . .
His chamber music belongs to the permanent repertory. I feel it will be Enescu, as it has been with Bartok, that his deepest contributions to our culture will only be appreciated as the fruit of his life's work comes to be heard by an ever-widening public.'

Enescu's last work, the Chamber Symphony for 12 solo instruments Op. 33 finished in May 1954, two months before the stroke that crippled him, is a poignant testimony to the composer's pain, regret and acceptance of his imminent mortality. Written in a gigantic and very complex sonata-form encompassing all four movements, the work is an unusual composition where the major roles are played by the winds, horn and trumpet, while the piano sustains the harmonic resonances and the strings have only a secondary, coloristic importance. It is based on an earlier attempt of the composer to write a Septet for Winds and Brass (1900) and bears similarities with his Quartet No 2 and the great aria of the Sphinx from his opera Oedipe in the dark, intense and foreboding atmosphere of the Scherzo and the Adagio. However, the trajectory of the work travels from darkness to light and the fourth movement encapsulates all the significant moments from the previous movements.

MENDELSSOHN (1809 – 1847) Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor
A Composition Model in the project.

Not since Mozart had there been a boy prodigy, both as pianist and composer, of the calibre of Mendelssohn. That Robert Schumann should have praised him – two years after his death at the tragically early age of thirty-eight – as the Mozart of the nineteenth century is a testimony to the development of the prodigy into a composer of works of emotional depth and of transcendental beauty. He wrote the unusual Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor in 1823 when he was fourteen.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908 – 1992) Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps
A Composition Model in the project.

Messiaen wrote this work in 1941when he was a prisoner of war in the Stalag VIIIA in Gorlitz, Germany. He was inspired by the words in St John's Apocalypse and by images of the famous Apocalypse tapestry in Angers: an Angel dressed with a cloud, a rainbow on his head, the face like the Sun and legs like two pillars of fire descends from the skies placing his right foot on the sea and the left foot on earth announcing that Time will cease to exist. The work's language is spiritual and immaterial. Birds appear as 'our desire for light, stars, rainbows and jubilant vocalises' which bring harmony and peace - in contrast with Time's sadness and weariness.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) – Quintet in A, D667, ‘The Trout’ (1819).
A Composition Model in the project.

In 1817, the 20-year-old Schubert wrote a song to the words of his near namesake Christian Schubart, a German composer and poet who had spent ten years in prison for his ‘free-thinking’ views. He would write the words for many of Schubert’s songs and this one was entitled ‘The Trout’ (Die Forelle). Sylvester Paumgartner, a wealthy patron of music and amateur cellist, was delighted with the song and asked Schubert to compose a pianoforte quintet in an unusual instrumentation, including a double bass.
Schubert started on it during a happy holiday with his friends in Styr in the Austrian Alps in the summer of 1819 and finished it that autumn in Vienna. The fourth movement, Andantino, is a set of variations on the song, hence its name ‘The Trout’ Quintet, and the solo cello in the fifth variation was probably written with his patron’s pastime in mind.
After 1819 ‘The Trout’ disappeared and only reappeared ten years later after Schubert’s brother, Ferdinand, sold it to Viennese publisher Josef Czerny and critics proclaimed it a masterpiece. But that was a year after Franz had died.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 – 1921) – Septet Op. 65 in E flat (1881).
A Composition Model in the project.

Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) was born in Paris and had one of the longest careers in music history, stretching from Beethoven’s traditions to the modernism of the 20th century. In his lifetime he was acclaimed as a genius. He had been a child prodigy comparable to Mozart and remained a most conscientious performer (organist and pianist) until the end. At 86, he was still practising the piano every day and a short while before his death in Algeria, he played the piano part in the Septet in a concert in Paris. Sometimes labeled the French Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns had a gift for mixing instrumental timbres and creating colourful textures.

Ana-Maria AVRAM (1961 - ) 10 Romanian Songs from Béla Bartók’s folk music collection

Ana Maria Avram, composer, pianist and conductor, was born in Bucharest, Romania. She graduated from the Music Academy in Bucharest and subsequently studied musical aesthetics at Sorbonne University in Paris. In 1994 she was awarded the Romanian Academy Grand Prize for Ikarus, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet. Since 1988 she has been a member of the Hyperion Ensemble in Bucharest - a group of composers and performers who pioneered experimental and innovative trends in Romanian music. With them she toured Europe as a composer and conductor.
Apart from the Kronos Quartet, her works have been commissioned by prestigious ensembles such as 20 Jahrhundert, l’Orchestre National de France, the Bucharest Philharmonic and the Romanian National Radio Orchestra. Her music has been performed in London’s Royal Festival Hall, in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Vienna, Paris and Moscow and her work On the Destruction of the Soul, commissioned by Radio France, was released on CD.

Aurelian BACAN (1985 -) Three Sketches

Aurelian Bacan was born in Romania . He began his musical studies aged six, playing the accordion. He later took up the clarinet and graduated from the Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, becoming one of the most exciting Romanian clarinettists of his generation. Now he holds the coveted position of Solo Clarinet with the Transilvania Philharmonic Orchestra in Cluj-Napoca and is studying composition in the city’s Gheorghe Dima Music Academy with Professor Adrian Pop. He won the first Liviu Comes International Competition with the work Theme and Variations for clarinet and piano, and the Alexandru Zirra Competition with Self-Portrait for wind quintet.

Marcus BLUNT (1947 - ) Two Serenades

Marcus Blunt was born in Birmingham, UK. He studied composition at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. His compositions are mainly instrumental, from piano solo to large orchestra, and have been performed in Canada, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mallorca, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, USA, as well as throughout Britain and on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. His complete solo piano works were recorded by Murray McLachlan for the Dunelm label.

Two Serenades were inspired by holidays: the first on the beautiful Gower coast in South Wales, the second in a foggy autumnal Venice.’ Marcus Blunt

Ivan BOŽIČEVIĆ (1961 - ) Marittimo

Ivan Božičević was born in Belgrade and graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Music where he also obtained a Master's degree. He attended courses in Darmstadt and studied the organ at the Frankfurt Music Academy. He received numerous composition awards and he taught counterpoint, analysis and harmony at the Belgrade Faculty of Music and at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He now lives in Croatia and is a founder member of the Split Society for Contemporary Music.

Roberto BRISOTTO (1972 – ) Danse Pour L’esprit De L’eau

Roberto Brisotto was born in Motta di Livenza (Treviso), Italy. He started his musical studies at the age of ten and graduated in piano and organ performance and composition at the Cesare Pollini Conservatoire in Padua. Later he attended master classes in piano, chamber music and organ with internationally renowned musicians and studied philosophy at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. At present he is studying choir conducting and vocal composition at the Giuseppe Tartini Conservatoire in Trieste.

Brisotto has won many awards in national competitions both as organist, choir conductor and composer. His works include choral and instrumental works, chamber music, sacred and liturgical pieces and music for multimedia exhibitions and the theatre.

Since October 2008 he has been resident organist at the Cappella Civica in Trieste’s San Giusto Cathedral – the only one in Italy apart from the Vatican’s San Pietro offering a complete musical service throughout the liturgical year.

Brisotto has had an extensive performing career as pianist, organist, soloist and accompanist. For many years he conducted the Giovani del Contrà youth choir in performances in major Italian cities and on Swiss National Radio’s Neuchatel International Choral Festival.

Carmen Maria CARNECI (1957 - ) Quatuor pour Marguerite

Romanian composer and conductor Carneci participated in many festivals of new music and is a regular guest conductor at the Stuttgart State Opera. She received important awards in Mannheim, Rome, Köln, Bucharest and Hong Kong, and commissions from The State Opera in Bonn. Her works are published by Ricordi-München and Furore-Edition-Kassel.

The work was inspired by Messiaen and by the novel Quoi? l'Eternité by the Belgian-born writer Marguerite Yourcenar. It explores the parallelism between music composition and literary writing and treats the four instrumental voices as four characters.

Michael CRETU (1960 - ) Dance and improvisation

Double Bassist Michael Cretu was born in Bucharest. As a composer, he wrote chamber music and works for Solo Double Bass, and transcribed Paganini’s Violin Capriccios for the Double Bass.
In Dance and improvisation Cretu was inspired by the very old Romanian folk song, The County Constable, about an impoverished peasant who is charged with stealing a horse, pleads he did it to sell it and buy food for his starving family, and is let off, with the horse, by the merciful constable.

Adina DUMITRESCU (1964 - ) J'ai trouvé les histories (Stories I have found) for Solo Violin, Solo Piano and String Quintet

Adina Dumitrescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. She studied composition at the Academy of Music in Bucharest, taught musical informatics and Romanian folklore and obtained in 2005 a PhD in musicology with her thesis On melodies and melody. Adina Dumitrescu is the composer of almost fifty works: symphonic, choral, concertos, vocal and instrumental chamber music, as well as music for the theatre, radio and television.

They are old stories, picked at random, without any chronological order, just fragments of recollections connected by the impression left by the oldest of them: an event that took place in 1823. Even that is forgotten. Yet both the events themselves and our impression of them are real: the reality of two worlds. We remember an event and think we have recaptured it as it was. In fact we are living with impressions without being aware of it or the chemistry that produces this state. Let it be and feel positive about it – that’s essential!

Eberhard EYSER (1932 - ) The Nightingale was singing all night long

Eberhard Eyser was born in Marienwerder, Germany. He studied at the Music and Theatre Academy in Hannover, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, with Fritz von Bloh, Hermann Scherchen, Jannis Xenakis and Bruno Maderna.
He won many composition prizes, among them Third Prize at the 50th Anniversary Competition of the Prague Broadcasting Orchestra in 1965 for Métastrophy, the Light Music Award in Stockholm in 1976 for the overture Persistance Pays, the First Carl-Maria von Weber Chamber Opera Prize in Dresden in 1978 for Abu Said, the First Prize in Florilège Vocal de Tours in 1990 for the choral works Noche Azul, Motetus and Talamo and the Stockholm Culture Capital of Europe1998 Award for A Stockholm Symphony.

He wrote some 400 works of all genres including orchestral, vocal, chamber music, wind instruments, string instruments, piano, electronic music, chamber operas, ballet music and music for stage.

Many of Eberhard Eyser’s works have been recorded and produced on CDs, such as the chamber operas King of Hearts, Last Voyage and The Deep Water for Caprice Records; the overtures Persistance Pays and Circus for Bluebell Records; Anacrón for orchestra for Vienna Modern Masters Records; Duo 3C for violin and marimba, Barden for violin and guitar, Minimetti for guitar-solo, Colludo for percussion and strings and Racconti for violin, guitar and piano for Nosag Records; and Correlazioni for violin and guitar for Daphne Records.

Massimo FERRINI (1964 – ) Ascoltando luci eterne (Listening to eternal lights)

Massimo Ferrini was born in Cecina (Livorno), Italy. He studied the French horn and composition at the Pietro Mascagni Musical Institute in Livorno and conducting at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatoire in Florence. He specialised in composition with Boris Porena at Musicus Novus in Livorno and in choral conducting with Walter Marzili at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome.

At present Ferrini is studying for an academic degree in composition at the Pietro Mascagni Institute of Higher Musical Education in Livorno and is permanent conductor of the Santa Cecilia Vocal Group of Bibbona, which he founded in 1995.

He wrote both sacred and profane works written for various ensembles such as: Giulia and Res Minia Formis for orchestra; Laudate Dominum – Psalm 116 and Misericordia Domini for choir and organ; Toccata for small orchestra; Mirror for voices and instruments; and Eyes of the dawn for piano, written for the sound track of the short film Carnival.

Lorena FONTANA (1961 – ) (Joint composer, with Daniele Garuti, of The Link.)

Lorena Fontana was born in Formigine (Modena), Italy. She obtained her Certificate in Advanced Studies in Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She trained as a singer at the Liceo Musicale Orazio Vecchi-Antonio Tonelli in Modena and in 1991 she graduated at the Francesco Venezze Conservatoire in Rovigo. She also studied Big Band conducting and specialised in Improvisation in New York with Lee Konitz.

She is a winner of Italian Radio RAI 3’s Orion: New Music Frontiers Competition with her composition Hit-Hot.

Fontana has written music for television and radio including the song Io gioco for Zecchino d’Oro, the major Italian TV festival of songs for children. She also wrote and performed Mother’s Milk Lullaby, the jingle for a national campaign of the Italian Institute of Health in Rome promoting breast-feeding.

She is currently professor of Vocal Studies in Popular Style at the Vecchi-Tonelli Music Institute in Modena.

Daniele GARUTI (1976 – ) (Joint composer, with Lorena Fontana, of The Link.)

Daniele Garuti was born in Modena, Italy. He completed his musical studies at the music institutes Vecchi-Tonelli in Modena and Arrigo Boito in Parma. He graduated in Musicology at the University of Parma and obtained a degree in orchestral conducting after studying with Vram Tchifchian. He later specialised in operatic and classical repertoire with Aldo Ceccato and Massimo Pradella.

He collaborated as a composer in Progetto Streghe – a children’s show inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Witches; made his début as a conductor in Rigoletto in 2007; and as a tenor he sang in venues such as Teatro alla Scala and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He is currently studying vocal technique with Carlo Gaifa in Milan.

Garuti is president of Francesca Caccini Associazione Culturale.

Robert HUGILL (1955 -)

Robert Hugill was born in Cleethorpes, UK. He is a mainly self-taught composer who has acquired a particularly strong reputation for the quality of his musical settings of religious texts, with several of his works recorded on the Divine Art label. He was the music director of the Church of St. Andrew and St. George, Rosyth, Scotland. As a singer, he is a member of London Concord Singers and the Latin Mass Choir. His motets and mass settings are in use in several Catholic and Anglican churches in Britain.
Hugill received commissions from the The Burgundian Cadence early music group and from the Crouch End Festival Chorus. A recording of his Passion - a 40- minute unaccompanied setting of the Passion story from St. John's Gospel was broadcast on the Vatican Radio as part of the Jubilee celebrations in 2000. Hugill has also written operas, incidental music and works for orchestra (premièred by the Salomon Orchestra) and was on the panel of the British Composers Awards for the liturgical and choral categories.

György LIGETI (1923 – 2006) ) Balada si Joc (Ballad and Danse) for Two Violins
Hommage à Hilding Rosenberg for Violin and Cello

Ligeti was born in Romania of ethnic Hungarian parentage and studied at the Music Conservatoire in Cluj. At 22 he left Romania and continued his studies at the Budapest Music Academy. Ligeti became an Austrian citizen in 1967. Like Bartók, he felt very close to the authentic Romanian folk music he grew up with, and used it in his works such as the Romanian Concerto and Balada si Joc.

The two works are charming miniatures which will be heard in Romania for the first time. The first encapsulates the spirit of a Romanian ballad followed by a vigorous dance; the second was written as a musical birthday greeting to the outstanding Swedish composer. The original title of the piece was in Swedish, with the mention: ‘evoking the spirit of Bartók’.

Martin LORIDAN (1980 -) Les Lamentations du Phoenix

Martin Loridan studied at Grenoble University of Musicology and at the Paris Conservatoire, where some of his teachers were former students of Olivier Messiaen. He obtained the Prix d’harmonie, Contrepoint, Fugues et formes, Orchestration, Ecriture 20e/21e Siècle et Analyse. He has also studied film-music, jazz and piano.
He has written music for several films, made arrangements and orchestrations for various ensembles and orchestras and composed a musical tale for children for choir and chamber orchestra. In 2008 he was composer-in-residence at the Conservatoire de Bayonne and in 2010 finalist of the Concours international de composition de Verrierres-les-Buissons. He has worked with the European Film Treasure company and the cinématheque Lobster. In 2009 he worked on the orchestration of Surgir! L’occident - a film-opera selected for the 2010 Locarno Film Festival and in 2011 he was finalist in the Untwelve international composition competition (Chicago) and selected for the New Music Festival at the University of Central Missouri. He teaches harmony, music theory and guitar, and conducts a jazz workshop for teenagers.

Peter NICKOL (1946 -) Sea, Shore and Tide

Peter Nickol studied music at York University, UK, and composition at Exeter and Manchester, with Philip Grange. Though a late starter, he has been composing for twenty years. Five of his works were chosen by the Society for Promotion of New Music for inclusion on their annual shortlist and he received commissions from the Exeter Festival Chorus and Exeter Cathedral Choir. His most performed piece is a Christmas carol, Joy in the Morning, setting words from The Wind in the Willows, and a short piece from his Night Thoughts collection will be part of the Grade 5 Trinity Guildhall piano syllabus. In 2011 John Armitage Memorial Trust selected New Year for choir and organ for inclusion in its annual concert of new choral music.
Nickol is also an editor and designer of educational music books, a typesetter and music engraver.

Irina ODAGESCU (1937 -) Continuum Y

Irina Odagescu was born in Romania. She graduated in composition from the National University of Music in Bucharest and later studied with Xenakis, Ligeti and Stockhausen in Darmstadt. She has received many prestigious national and international awards, is a Professor at the National University of Music in Bucharest, Doctor of Musical Science, Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Pitesti in Romania, vice-president of the National Choral Society and made a Knight of the Order of Cultural Merit.
She is well known for her choral, vocal, symphonic and chamber works which have been performed in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She has given lectures on 20th century Romanian composers at the University of Pau, France, and on Romanian women composers at the Fairbanks University in Alaska.

Jonathan ÖSTLUND (1975 - ) The Outermost Gate

Born in Sweden, Östlund worked under the guidance of Rolf Martinsson and Fredrik Högberg and is presently studying composition at the University of Music in Piteå with Jan Sandström.

The work is inspired by Swedish poet Nils Ferlin’s poem But if I go through the fields:
But if I go through the fields where the sky is wide,
If my hands are empty, so tell me you women of harvest
In the time of reaping, who will give me her heart as a flower?
Who will give me her heart for joy and for comfort
as a scent that will play around my cheek?
So that I, on my way towards oblivion, will not stumble at the outermost gate.

Uberto PIERONI (1952 - ) Foglie d'autumno

Uberto Pieroni was born in Correggio, Italy. He graduated from the Arigo Boito Music Academy in Parma with a degree in choral music and choir conducting. Later he attended courses in music analysis and composition with Franco Donatoni, Aldo Clementi, Witold Lutoslawsky and André La Porte.

He won several international composition prizes and is president of the Città di Reggio Emilia Orchestra and Choir, and of the Ferruccio Tagliavini Cultural Association. Pieroni is head of the Information Laboratory at the Institute of Higher Music Studies in Reggio Emilia, where he also teaches recording techniques and music information technology.

John REEMAN (1946 – ) Tableau

John Reeman was born in Horwich, Lancashire, UK. After following a variety of occupations, he entered Hull University as a mature student to study composition and the flute. He was awarded the annual music prize, an Honours degree and later a Master’s Degree in composition.

In 1995 he won the Gregynog Composers’ Award of Wales. His Flute Concerto was one of the final three works in the 1990 International Concerto Composition Competition launched to mark the Morley College Centennial. In 2000 his When the wind blows for violin and piano was selected for performance and recording in the UK and Eire Composition Platform. In 2002 his Scena for String Quartet was awarded the first prize in the In Memoriam Zoltan Kodaly International Composers’ Competition in Hungary. In 2008 one of his choral works, The Peace of God, was awarded the first prize in the USA’s Vanguard Voices Premières composition competition. A number of his pieces have been published and recorded and his music is regularly performed throughout the UK and in venues abroad including Australia, the USA, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Hungary and Denmark.

John Reeman has written a wide range of works for both professional and amateur musicians. These include short solo pieces for young players, various ensemble compositions, and music for brass and wind bands, string ensembles, choirs and orchestras.

Hugh COLLINS RICE (1962 -) A Melancholy Pavan

Hugh Collins Rice was born in Oxford. Much of his early musical experience was gained in brass bands, playing and broadcasting with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. A first class degree in music at Oxford was followed by postgraduate composition studies at the University of Sussex and an Oxford M.Litt. research thesis on Schoenberg.
He has won a number of significant composition prizes, including the 1995 Composers’ Guild/MCPS Prize for Robin’s Lament - performed by the Britten Sinfonia (conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies) and broadcast on Radio 3. He was a featured composer at the 1996 Cambridge Festival of Contemporary Music and his work And they Went to a Place received its first performance in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
In 1995 he was invited to the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples to work on a string quartet, I Fiori. The early stages of its composition were conceived in the stimulating environment of the spectacular gardens of La Mortella, William Walton’s home on the island. I Fiori is dedicated to Lady Walton and was warmly received at its first performances by the Coull Quartet in London and Warwick.

Sviatlana RYNKOVA (1985 – ) Three allegories The ox and the gadfly

Sviatlana Rynkova was born in Gomel, Belarus. She studied piano and composition at the Republican College of Music in Minsk where she graduated with honours in 2004. She continued her studies in composition at the Belarussian Academy of Music with Vladimir Korolchyuk, and graduated with honours in 2009. She also studied composition with Biagio Putignano at the Bari Conservatoire on a scholarship from the Italian Government.

Rynkova has won several composition awards including: Third Prize in the Farbatony competition in Kanev, Ukraine (2006); Third Prize in the Maestro competition in Simferopol, Ukraine (2007); and the Special Prize of the President of Belarus (2008).

She has written many orchestral, choral, vocal, chamber music and piano works which have been performed in Belarus, Italy and Ukraine.

Her works include: Fantasy for piano and orchestra; Night for mixed chorus; Three Miniatures for wind quartet; Winter Dream for piccolo, oboe, double bass and accordion; Fairy Tale for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano four hands and little bell; Two Poems for soprano and cello; Ballade for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano; the suite Buratino; and the suite The Legend of Lake Naroch, for piano four hands.

Ondřej ŠÁREK (1979 – ) Five Concertante Waltzes

Ondřej Šárek was born in Brno, Czech Republic. He studied composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno with František Emmert and musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University.

He won many prizes in composing competitions: First Prize in the 2009 Iowa State University Carillon Composition for his work Hunting St. Hubert for carillon and brass quintet; and First Prizes in the XXIV Žehušice and the Celebration of French horn competitions. His work The Fairy Song won Second prize in the 4th Krakow International Composers’ Competition and Rondo for Big!: Third Prize in the first Křivoklát (Czech Republic) National Competition of Composers. He has also won prizes for his Three Sentences (Sofia International Competition) and Hymnus – Sol ecce lentus occidens (the 2009 Ohio Brass Arts Festival Contest).

Šárek wrote a mini-opera, theatre music, symphonic, choral and chamber works. He is the author of How to play the ukulele.

Nathan SHIRLEY (1981 – ) Annabel Lee

Nathan Shirley was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. He studied the piano and, at seventeen, he began private lessons in composition with Olga Harris, a Russian composer and Aram Khachaturian’s last student. At twenty-one, after studying at two music schools, and at the University of North Carolina, he began studying on his own.

Shirley’s composition Music for Strings and Marimba was a winner in the 2002 Andrzej Panufnik International Composers’ Competition in Poland. In 2004 his piece, Locorum Musica, for flute and string orchestra, was chosen in the first International Garden Music Competition in Krakow and in 2006 he served on the jury of the same competition. Also in 2006, he was awarded first place in the Orpheus Music Composition Competition in Australia. In 2007 he won an award in the Renee B. Fisher Composer Awards in New Haven, Connecticut.

Shirley has composed for film, animation and theatre but composing for the concert hall is his true passion. In 2005 he began accepting commissions for new works and has since written for musicians worldwide.

Bjorn Bolstad SKJELBRED (1970 - ) Crystals

The Norwegian composer finished his Masters in Composition at the Norwegian State Academy in Oslo. He engages in several genres of music and musical environments such as: stage productions, music for young people and music supporting other art forms.

Dans l’Ombre du Gibet is the final movement of Crystal – a work inspired by composers Messiaen, Ravel and Ligeti, and by painters Jackson Pollock (Number 1, 1950, Lavender Mist and Full Fathom Five) and Mark Rothko (Ochre and Red on Red). The movement is re-creating the eerie and poignant atmosphere of Ravel’s Le Gibet from Gaspar de la Nuit, where, in the distant sounds of bells tolling, the corpse of the hanged man appears red in the sunset’s light.

Salvador TORRE (1956 - ) Clouds. Hommage to Messiaen

Salvador Torre was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. He graduated in composition, flute and chamber music at the National Music Conservatoire in Mexico City. He continued his composition studies in Paris on a scholarship from the French Government. He completed his doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris, and received a First Prize in Composition and Flute and a diploma in Electro-acoustic music. His works have been premiered in London, Paris, Germany,Canada, Japan, Holland, Slovenia, Chile, Argentina and Mexico

Clouds, Homage to Messiaen is a simple and respectful tribute to Olivier Messiaen using the limited transposition modes of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps. In describing various kinds of clouds, I thought of the behaviour of particles of gas and water forming the clouds and the tiny drops they produce. Musically, one could associate the idea with a certain minimalism. Rhythmically, the moving particles form micro-rhythmic structures mirrored in the articulations between instruments, each with their own independent rhythm patterns. The purpose of the Brownian Cloud movement is to stop the random chaos by trying to control the trajectories of the particles.’ Salvador Torre

Luca VANNESCHI (1962 -) Pagine di un poema dimenticato

Luca Vanneschi was born in Montepulciano, Italy. He received a diploma in flute at the Morlacchi Conservatoire in Perugia and studied composition with Detlev Glanert, Carlo Alberto Neri, David Graham, and Dinu Ghezzo. He has written works for orchestra, chamber groups and soloists, as well as music for the theatre, sound tracks, and musical commentaries for TV and radio programmes. His music has been performed in many European countries and in the US, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and broadcast by the BBC, RAI (Italy) and ZDF (Germany). His recordings are featured on Agenda, Athena Records, CENNY, LGNM Editions and Pentaphon labels.
Vanneschi was awarded several First Prizes in international competitions such as G. F. Ghedini (La Spezia 1996); IBLA Foundation (New York 1997); Wiener Sommer-Seminars für neue Musik (Vienna 1999); Brass in Association (Leeds University, 2002); IMRO/Mostly Modern (Ireland, 2002); Ars Poetica (Moldova 2002); and Concours de Composition pour Ensembles du Percussion (France, 2009). In 2002 he was elected Fellow of the North American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hans Werner Henze has called Vanneschi’s music ‘intelligent, non-conformist, elegant and full of grace.’

Rodney WASCHKA II (1958 - ) Winter Concerto

Rodney Waschka II was born in Memphis, USA. He received his doctorate from the University of North Texas and also studied at the Institute of Sonology in the Netherlands Royal Conservatoire. He is a Professor of Arts Studies at North Carolina University where he teaches composition, computer music, and directs the Arts NOW Series. Waschka's works are recorded on American, Portuguese and Canadian labels and published by Borik Press and American Composers Editions. His music has been promoted worldwide by the National Endowment for the Arts, The North Carolina Arts Council, the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain) and the Texas Composers’ Forum.

Drew WILSON (1960 - ) Nocturne with Cloudscape for Solo Violin, Solo Piano and Strings

Born in Plymouth, England, Wilson studied English Literature at Cambridge and Music at the Royal College of Music and at Goldsmiths College in London, where he obtained a Master Degree in Composition. Whilst at the RCM, he received the Cobbett and Hurlstone Prize and was the first to be awarded the Doctorate of Composition for an opera, The Journey to the West, written to his own libretto.

The title of the work is derived from an 1870 wood engraving by Gustave Doré called Folktales - A Voyage to the Moon, in which a sailing ship is lifted into the sky, it would seem by the gravity of a vastly enlarged moon. I imagine the moment the ship rises out of the water there is almost as much noise and excitement as a rocket lifting off a launch pad. But once she attains extraterrestrial orbit, she floats once again with a surreal serenity.’ (Drew Wilson)

Lucian ZBARCEA (1983 - ) A Lover's Promise

Lucian Zbarcea was born in Bucharest, Romania. He studied piano and composition at the National University of Music and, following his graduation, was offered a scholarship by the Indonesian Government to study at the High Institute of Arts in Dempasar in Bali. Zbarcea won several important prizes in national competitions and some of his works are influenced by harmonic and rhythmic elements of traditional Indonesian music.