Ljubljana – September 2016
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis performed six pieces by European composers selected by the ECCO Artistic Committee. The composers were: Benjamin de Murashkin (Denmark), Indra Riše (Lithuania), Knut Vaage (Norway), Ignacy Zalewski (Poland), Jani Golob (Slovenia) and John Casken (UK).
The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra was established in 1956 within Radiotelevizija Slovenija. The Orchestra was first conducted by a professor from the Academy of Music, the violin virtuoso and composer Uroš Prevoršek. The Orchestra was later conducted by Samo Hubad, Stanislav Macura, Anton Nanut and Lior Shambadal.
Download the programme here.
THE RTV SLOVENIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - LJUBLJANA, 29TH FEBRUARY 2016
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 several choir pieces as well as works for solo instruments, small ensembles and the short solo opera, Lady Macbeth, written for the soprano Marie Grove Jørgensen who gave its premiere in 2010. Benjamin has recently composed a series of 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.
It is in orchestral music that Benjamin’s greatest passions lie and his output includes the orchestral 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 2015 Benjamin was appointed as the Copenhagen Phil’s composer-in-residence for the 2015-17 seasons with a piano concerto and symphony being commissioned.
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 DR Big Band. As an arranger, Benjamin has worked with such diverse artists as Tina Dico, Kim Larsen, Outlandish, Cody, Nabiha, Lucy Love, Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Dressed To Thrill, in collaboration with orchestras in Denmark and Sweden.
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 classical tradition but also contemporary popular styles.
Ignacy Zalewski (born in 1990) is a prize-winner of over a dozen awards of international and all Polish composers’ competitions such as the 1st prize on the Multiculturalism doesn’t work? International Composers’ Competition (2014),
1st prize on the 51st T. Baird Composers’ Competition (2010), laureate of
3rd Prize and Special Award on International Krzysztof Penderecki ARBORETUM Composer’s Competition (2012), 2nd prize on the All-Polish K. Szymanowski Composer’s Competition (2013), Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage’s Award for ‘’outstanding artistic achievements’’ (2012).
He is also scholarship holder of the South-Korean DongSang Research Foundation (2012) and Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education (2012).
His pieces have been performed throughout Poland, in the Kyoto Alti Hall (Japan), at the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra’s Olavshall (Norway), the Lviv Philharmonic Hall (Ukraine), the Concert Hall of Ukraine Composer’s Union in Kiev (Ukraine), the Centre of Modern Art in Nizhnyi Novgorod (Russia) and at the Hinterzarten Konzerthaus, Rostock HMT (Germany). Zalewski has been lecturing at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music since 2014.
Knut Vaage (born in 1961) graduated as a pianist and composer from the Grieg Academy in Bergen. He has received a professional certificate as a lecturer in composition from the Norwegian Academy of Music. Vaage has worked in different styles of music, though concentrating on improvised and contemporary music. Many of Vaage’s projects have investigated the boundaries between improvisation and composed music.
Vaage’s productions range from symphonic works and opera to solo pieces. His music is frequently performed at concerts and festivals in Norway and abroad. Vaage’s instrumental works include Transit, commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture and premiered by Ensemble Court-circuit; Movements for major sinfonietta, commissioned and premiered by the BIT20 Ensemble; Hidden Songs, commissioned and premiered by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Chaconne, Gardens of Hokkaido and Tjat, premiered by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Reflex, premiered by the Orkester Norden; Cyclops, premiered by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Futuration for orchestra and electronics was premiered by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Ed Gardner in December 2015.
Vaage has also written a number of vocal works and works for the stage. His first opera Someone is Going to Come, was based on Jon Fosse’s play with the same name. It was premiered by Opera Vest at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2000 and achieved national and international acclaim.
The opera is translated into English and German, and has been performed in Germany and Luxembourg. In 2010, Collegium Musicum premiered Song of Solomon. Khairos is a full scale opera developed with the librettist Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen, commissioned by Den Norske Opera & Ballet and premiered in 2013. Rebolledo Pedersen also wrote the libretto for Veslefrikk, an opera in one act aimed for the whole family. It was premiered in September 2010 by Den Nye Opera, and won the ARTE audience award for best production.
Jani Golob (born in 1948 in Ljubljana) is a Slovenian composer, violinist, arranger and professor at the Academy of Music at the University of Ljubljana. His music opus is often on the thin line of classic, pop and jazz.
Golob has composed operas, ballets, orchestral works, chamber and vocal music, as well as numerous Slovenian film scores, music for television and music for advertising purposes.
Compositions of Jani Golob are performed by all of the most important Slovene ensembles and orchestras and also different important European artists such as: Slovakian State Philharmony Košice, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Slovenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and conductors: Anton Nanut, Uroš Lajovic, Marko Letonja, Carl Davis, George Pehlivanian, Johannes Wildner, En Shao and others.
One of the UK’s leading composers, John Casken was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, in 1949 and read Music at the University of Birmingham, studying Composition under John Joubert and Peter Dickinson. From 1971-72 he studied in Poland with Andrzej Dobrowolski at the Academy of Music in Warsaw on a Polish Government Scholarship.
It was during this time that he began to have regular consultations with Witold Lutosławski with whom he formed a close association and friendship, and about whose music he has written and lectured. Casken returned to Birmingham as a Lecturer in 1973, and after a Fellowship at Huddersfield Polytechnic in 1980 he was appointed as Lecturer at the University of Durham in 1981. From 19922008, he was Professor of Music at The University of Manchester and retains strong links with Manchester as Emeritus Professor of Music.
Casken has featured at major festivals in Europe, the USA, and in Tokyo at the invitation of Toru Takemitsu. His works range across every genre and their titles reveal that he can be inspired both by literature and legend. Recent chamber works include Stolen Airs (2015) for cello and piano and Serpents of Wisdom (2015) for horn and piano, premiered in January 2016 at Wigmore Hall.
Casken’s music has been recorded on Collins Classics, ECM, NMC Recordings, and Metier, among others. His latest disc of orchestral music, Orion Over Farne, was recorded by the Hallé and Markus Stenz for NMC.
Indra Riše (born in 1961) graduated from J. Vitols Latvian State Conservatory as pianist (prof. M. Švinka) in 1985 and as composer (prof. P. Plakidis) in 1990. In 1993, Riše won the scholarship of the Danish Ministry of Culture and went to Copenhagen, where she continued her studies in composition with Niels Rosing – Schow, and electro – acoustic composition with Ivar Frounberg and thus becoming the first woman in Denmark who mastered a full course in composition.
An essential role in her education also played the Summer Workshop in new Technologies for Music Performance and Composition, University of California, Berkeley (1995), the IRCAM Summer Academy in Paris (1999), the International Composer’s Center in Visby, Gotland (2004, 2007) and the Opera Academy in Oslo (2001).
Riše stayed in Denmark until 2002, composing commissioned works and periodically working as a music copyist and arranger for various orchestras for the Copenhagen Royal Opera, the Samfundet sheet music publisher, and the Danish Radio. Riše has also written piano scores from dramatic – musical works by Danish composers (Ib Nørholm, Erik Norby).
Riše has been living in Latvia since 2002 and is active as a composer, revealing her locally and internationally polished talent in a comprehensive variety of genres, from songs for choirs, chamber music and electronic works to symphonic and vocal-symphonic scores.
Hailed in the UK music press as “one to watch”, Jessica Cottis possesses intellectual rigour, innate musicality and an easy authority; she is a charismatic figure on the podium who brings dynamism, intensity and clarity of vision to all her performances.
Frequently in demand as guest conductor, highlights of recent seasons include performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and recording with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of the season 2016/2017 include Royal Albert Hall debut for the 2016 BBC Proms with BBC Concert Orchestra. In 2014 she was appointed Principal Conductor of the Glasgow New Music Expedition.
Born in Australia and a dual British-Australian citizen, Jessica Cottis was awarded a first class honours degree in organ, piano and musicology from the Australian National University and continued her studies as an organist with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris, winning awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal College of Organists. A wrist injury subsequently halted her playing career and after reading Law, she began conducting studies in 2006, studying with Colin Metters and Sir Colin Davis on the postgraduate conducting course at the Royal Academy of Music.