Afiş /Poster
Afişul festivalului

Vineri, 29 Mai / Friday, 29 May

12.00 / 12.00 pm - Aula Palatului Cantacuzino / The Cantacuzino Palace Hall
Joji Yuasa: conferinţă despre muzica japoneză tradiţională şi contemporană (II) / lecture on Japanese traditional and contemporary music (II)

17.00 / 5.00 pm - Universitatea Naţională de Muzică Bucureşti / National University of Music Bucharest, Sala „George Enescu” / George Enescu Hall
Ansamblul CLARINO / CLARINO Ensemble România / Romania
Conducerea muzicală / Music Director: Emil Vişenescu
Dirijor / Conductor: Ion Bogdan Ştefănescu
Claudiu Danciu,
Constantin Urziceanu, Robert Preduţ, Alexandru Avramovici, Radu Stan, Elena Bărbuceanu, Mihai Bădiţă, Mihai Rebac

Program / Programme:

Vladimir Scolnic – www.clarinet.net (p.a.a) / (World Premiere)
Petru Stoianov – Proporţii 1 (p.a.a.) / (World Premiere)
Cristian Marina – Turbulence (Parafrasi V) (p.a.a.) / (World Premiere)
Eugen Wendel – Clarinalia (p.a.a) / (World Premiere)
Adrian Enescu – Labirint (p.a.a.) / (World Premiere)

Concert realizat cu sprijinul oferit de Muzeul Naţional „George Enescu” / Concert supported by The ”George Enescu” National Museum.

CLARINO Ensemble
Born in 2007 is formed by students and graduates of the clarinet section of the Music University from Bucharest. Thanks to the donation of the very special instruments as contrabas clarinet in sib or alto clarinet in mib made by the clarinet teacher of the Bern Music Conservatory Mrs. Sylvia Schwarzenbach and with the support of the Swiss Embassy in Bucharest with the help of the cultural director Mr.Christian Geisbüller, the Clarino octet is the first one in Romania which posses a contrabas clarinet. Under the guidance of Emil Visenescu, associated teacher at the Music University, the ensemble has a flexible assemblance and propose through its appearances to promote particularly the Romanian contemporary music as well as the universal music. Wishing to be a muse of the contemporary composers, Clarino has also as a purpose in giving the chance to the young players to be on stage, the beginning of their success carrier.

Emil VişenescuEmil Vişenescu
Born in the 10th of March 1969 in Bucharest, Emil Vişenescu studied at the National University of Music with Ioan Cudalbu and Valeriu Barbuceanu. Since 1993 is a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra ”George Enescu” in Bucharest. He graduated several masterclasses. During 2000 – 2002 he learned with Ernesto Molinari at the Music University from Bern – Biel. His skills were recognized, along the years, with several prizes. Emil Visenescu is an active artist on national and international stages and he performed in many concerts, as soloist or as a member in other ensembles. As a soloist he performed with prestigious Romanian orchestras and international ones (Biel, Bern). Since 15 years, as a member of the ”Mosaic” trio, he is playing on many stages in Romania, Belgium, France and Swizerland. Emil Visenescu was invited as member of different juries, he was teaching during the International Summer Course – Breaza and Cisnadie — Romania. In 2006 he was invited to sustain a Recital and a Master-Class by the Jerusalem Academy for music and dance. In 2006 he was a Soloist of the Romanian Radio Orchestra during the International Festival for Contemporary Music-Bucharest. He made recordings for the Romanian Radio and the National Broadcast. Since 2002 he is teaching clarinet at The National University of Music, Bucharest.

Ion Bogdan Ştefănescu
Born on 25th of April 1969, in Romania. He is Doctor in Music (2002), and he has a Master of Music Degree - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA – leading Professor: Alexander Murray (1994 - 1995). He teaches at University of Music, Bucharest - Flute Section (1993) and George Enescu High School of Music, Bucharest (1987). Since 1997 he is Solo Flute of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra, Bucharest, Romania. He sustained recitals and concerts as soloist in Romania and abroad: England, France, Spain, Czechoslovakia, North Korea, Germany, U.S.A. Laureate of many national and international competitions: Composer Uniuon Prize for Solo Activity, 2007, Liones Club Prize for Best Performance in James Glaway Semniar, 2003, etc. He is a member of the three most important Romanian contemporary music groups: Trio Contraste, Pro Contemporania and Profil, with noumerous participations in national and international music Festivals (George Enescu International Festival, Bucharest, Contemporary Music Festival, Bucharest and Darmstadt; Festival of Classical and Contemporary Music, Phoenian, North Korea, National Flute Assosiation, Kanssas, USA, International Flute Assosiation, Munchen, Zeit für Neue Musik, Bayreuth, Germany, Wien Modern, Steingreber Festival). He has published ”Joc de oglinzi: (Jeux des mirroires), ed. Libra, 2004 and ”Vârstele flautului” (Flute’s ages), ed. Libra, 2005.

Ion Bogdan Ştefănescu

Composers and Programme Notes

Vladimir Scolnic
was born in Ukraine in 1947. He completed his studies in composition with prof. Anatol Vieru at the Bucharest University of Music in 1972. In 1994 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem conferred to Vladimir Scolnic the degree of Ph. D (Summa Cum Laude) for his thesis ”Pitch Organization in Aleatory Counterpoint in Lutoslawski’s Music of the Sixties” Vladimir Scolnic has been living in Israel since 1977. He teaches composition and theoretical subjects at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. In the Academic Year 2000-2001 he
became the Head of Composition, Conducting and Theory Department at the Jerusalem Academy of Music& Dance, and in 2005-2006 he was appointed the Dean of the Conducting, Theory and Music Education faculty. During the Academic years 2001-2002 and 1990-1991 he was invited as a visiting scholar to the New York University. In the Academic year 2008-2009 beside NYU he was also invited as a visiting scholar to Ann Arbor University and National University of Music from Bucharest-Romania. Vladimir Scolnic is the recipient of the Award 2002 conferred to him for achievements in the fields of composition, research and education by the NYU & the International New Music Consortium (New York) and the 2004th Israeli Prime Minister Prize for composers. Music written by Vladimir Scolnic includes works for symphonic orchestra, chamber and string orchestra, children choir, works for different traditional and non traditional chamber ensembles, solo instruments, vocal and educational music. His music was broadcasted and performed in public concerts and International Festivals of Contemporary Music in United States, Romania, Moldova, Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, New Zealand and Israel.

www.clarinet.net for a network of clarinet performers
This piece recently composed, is inspired by contemporary communication matters and it is written for various kinds of clarinets. The first performance will take place on May 26, 2009. The ensemble CLARINO, musically directed by the well known clarinet performer Emil Vişenescu, will perform the piece.

Vladimir Scolnic

Petru Stoianov – Composer and professor, Dean of the Faculty of Music at the Spiru Haret University, vice-president of JmEVENTS, founder and artistic director of the Music International Competiton EUROPAFest Jeunesses Musicales, Bucharest, Romania since (1994), counselor (1992, 1993 and 1999), director (1994) counselor and executive director of the ”International New Music Week” Festival of Bucharest, president of the national and international juries of creation and performance. He won national and international prizes in composition. In his creations he does not limit himself to one genre, but he writes symphonic music, as well as chamber or choral music, didactic material as well as musicology. He is seducted by ”sectio aurea”, from its macroform significance to the interval or rhythmic distances and, last but not least, in harmonic plans or instrumental colors. Thus he created and practiced with virtuousity - in an infinite spectrum of nuances the - so called – ”sound with determinated frequencies and duration”. He has composed many pieces on poems by Nichita Stanescu or on poetic backgrounds of the Stanescu. Nowadays he is a widely performed composer in concerts in Romania and abroad and takes place in important festivals and artistic events.

Proporţii 1 / Proportions 1 for a soloist instrument (clarinet in B flat) is part of the cycle ”Proportii”- (Proporţii 2 , work prized at the International Composition Competition of Ancona, Italy,1980) - cycle in which the composer is highlighting the proportion called sectio aurea, in his own way, in which the time axis (the lenth of the sound) and the axis of the sound frequency become one in a most harmonic way. The musical flow is cotinuous, always coming back to the beginning point, built on Bach's model, with its own inner rethorics, with narative sections that build a complex musical universe.

Carmen Stoianov

Cristian Marina was born in 1965 in Cluj, Romania, where he received his basic musical training, as a cello player at the School of Music and in composition at the "Gh. Dima" Music Academy. Since 1987 he has been living in Sweden, where he completed his studies in composition at the Royal Music College in Stockholm and Gothenburg, with Magnus Lindberg and Sven-David Sandström a.o. He attended the "Academie d'été" - IRCAM, Paris 1995, with Luca Francesconi and the "Accademia Chigiana", Siena 1996, with Franco Donatoni. He also studied with Miklos Marós and he attended courses with Brian Ferneyhough, Philippe Manoury a.o. His music, which covers almost all genres, has been performed at concerts and festivals, as well as broadcast in most European countries, Japan and Hong Kong. His scores have been published by Edition Suecia and his works have been recorded on CD by Phono Suecia and Fylkingen Records (Sweden) as well as Edition LGNM (Luxembourg).

Turbulence (Parafrasi.5) for six clarinets (2009)
The work was composed in 2009 and it is continuing the composition cycle for different instruments and chamber ensembles, called ”Parafrasi”, which draws on jazz. That shouldn’t be taken to mean that the pieces are variations on or processings of jazz themes in the strict sense of the word, but rather a research into the possibilities of translating the defining elements of jazz into the language of contemporary classical music. The starting point of each work shall be a fragment, a melodic or rhythmical phrase from a certain standard, or, why not, just a musical gesture or the atmosphere of a certain theme – a chord or a rhythmical formula. The result shall be an autonomous music material, filtered and metamorphosed, but, should the hope and intention of the author come through, still retaining a shadow, a flavor of the initial musical idea, and, implicitly, of the expression and atmosphere of jazz.

Eugen Wendel (Born 1934 in Romania). He studied in Bucharest at the Technical Univesity (electronics, acoustics and electroacoustics) and at the Music Academy (composition). He has Doctor Degree in aesthetics and sciences of arts at the University Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris. Initial activity as a sound engineer at the recording company „Electrecord” of Bucharest and also as a composer. He brought musicological contributions and researches in the domains of musical acoustics, of room-acoustics and of acoustics of musical instruments. He collaborated with instrumentalists for investigating new techniques. Since 1974 he is living in Germany. Eugen Wendel is member of the Society of German composers, of the Union of Romanian composers and musicologists and of other musical and engineering societies. Besides the composer activity, acting as an engineer and producer at broadcast societies, first at Deutschlandfunk (Cologne, Germany) and then, between 1976 and 1998, at the West German Radio (WDR), also in Cologne. Compositions for solo instruments, as a result of the mentioned collaboration with different instrumentalists, some of them with tape or with electroacoustical transformations, works for various chamber music ensembles, also with human voice, as soloist or in choir, and for the symphonic orchestra. His works were performed in concerts and at different musical festivals and recorded at broadcast societies of different countries and on discs.

Clarinalia, for four clarinets
During the work, each player changes the type of clarinet. Pitchwise, at the beginning, each instrument has its own harmonic spectrum (e flat, a, b and f), but afterwards, they all tend towards one commun spectrum, a very low b flat. The rhythm in the first section is very free, as the players’ interventions occur according to the expression if the given moment. This changes after the whole constellation of sounds is compressed in a general b flat. The short section that follows is very rhythmically precise, structured in five bars of 5/8. These two elements – free rhythmical development and determined rhythmic structure – characterise the evolution of the entire work.

Eugen Wendel (English translation Diana Rotaru)

Adrian Enescu (born March 31, 1948) is a composer best known for his involvement in film soundtracks (50 titles). As an individual musician, he also pioneered the local electronic scene during the 1970s. He graduated from the "Ciprian Porumbescu" Conservatory in Bucharest & Untouched student in Palo Alto Electronic School of Music. Among his list of accomplishments we can note music for ballet in Italy, Canada and Australia, music for theater in Romania, Holland, Belgium, Japan, Australia, Canada, Columbia. His music is a combination of electronic & symphonic and jazz music, made with electronic equipments and live performances.

19.15 / 7.15 pm – Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune / Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation, Studioul „Mihail Jora” / Mihail Jora Studio
Orchestra Naţională Radio / Romanian National Radio Orchestra
Dirijor / Conductor: René Gulikers Olanda / The Netherlands

Program / Programme:

Tadeusz Wielecki – Gran (p.a.r.) / (Romanian Premiere)
Joji Yuasa – Chronoplastic III (p.a.r.) / (Romanian Premiere)
- pauză / intermission -
Octavian Nemescu – A=1 for midday (p.a.a.) / (World Premiere)
Jonathan Harvey – Body Mandala (p.a.r.) / (Romanian Premiere)

* Supported by: The Agency for Cultural Affairs - Government of Japan, Rohm Music Foundation, The Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences, The Nomura Cultural Foundation, The Asahi Shimbun Foundation.

Orchestra de Cameră Radio Romanian National Radio Orchestra is the main symphonic ensemble of The Romanian National Broadcasting’s musical formations, having a history of decades. It was founded by Mihail Jora in 1928, and started to perform in public concerts from 1932, from October to June. The orchestra was conducted by illustrious names of those times, like Alfred Alessandrescu, Theodor Rogalski, Ionel Perlea, Constantin Silvestri, Iosif Conta. As permanent conductors one could quote Emanuel Elenescu, Mendi Rodan, Paul Popescu, Horia Andreescu, and as guest conductors: Ion Baciu, Ovidiu Balan, Erich Bergel, Constantin Bugeanu, Gheorghe Costin, George Enescu, I. Ionescu Galati, Cristian Mandeal, Emil Simon and others. The orchestra has accompanied famous soloists from Romania and abroad. It made an impressive number of recordings, both symphonic miniatures and monumental orchestral opuses. The National Radio Orchestra is an elite ensemble honored with important national and international distinctions for its recordings: Charles Cros - Franta; Puerta del Sol - Uruguay; Koussevitzky - SUA. The tours in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Japan, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece confirmed the fame of the orchestra, considered as one of the most valuable of all radio broadcasting orchestras in the world.

www.srr.ro (English translation Irina Stănescu)

René GulikersRené Gulikers
After studying orchestral conducting in Maastricht (The Netherlands), René Gulikers attended several conducting courses and won prizes in competitions in Salzburg (1985) and Besançon (1992). Many invitations followed: he has conducted orchestras in South Korea, Japan, Lithuania, Poland and China. In Russia, he worked with the leading orchestras like the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, The Ural Philharmonic (Yekaterinburg) etc. Since 1997, René Gulikers has been a regular guest with the two main orchestras in Slovenia and with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile. In his country, Gulikers conducted amongst others the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Dutch Chamber Orchestra. In 2007, he conducted the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in the Festival ”World Music Days”. Furthermore, he has conducted contemporary operas in Germany and the Netherlands. From 1988 to 2004, he was Music Director of the Dutch Ensemble '88 for contemporary music.
The Ensemble has given innumerable concerts (and radio recordings) both at home and abroad. Since 2004, René Gulikers has been the principal conductor of the Wire Works Ensemble and since 2006 of the Ensemble 21, both in Germany. From 1988 until 1990, Gulikers taught orchestral conducting at the Maastricht conservatoire. In addition, he has been teaching at the music academy in Münster (Germany) since 1994 and from October 2005, he has been appointed professor at the music academy in Hamburg (Germany).

Composers and Programme Notes

Tadeusz Wielecki
, composer and double bassist, b. July 5, 1954 in Warsaw. He studied double-bass and composition with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Music Academy in Warsaw. In 1986 he granted the Witold Lutosławski scholarship. In 1986-87 he continued his composition studies with Isang Yun in West Berlin and with Klaus Huber in Freiburg in Breisgau. As a double bassist, he performs contemporary solo repertoire. He has held concerts in many European countries, as well as Azerbaijan and the United States. He is engaged in the promotion of contemporary music on the Polish Radio. In 1992 he presided over the Artistic Committee of the World Music Days organized by the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM/SIMC) in Warsaw. He was invited as a lecturer for International Summer Courses for New Music, Darmstadt 2004. He received composer commisions from various institutions and ensembles like De Ereprijs Ensemble, Polish Radio, Poznań Filharmonic, International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz (Austria), Klangforum Wien, Hiroshima Symphony Association. Since 1999, Tadeusz Wielecki has been director of the ”Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music.

Gran / The Ridge
This compostition I wrote in 1981 (previously I called it „The Inner Voice”). I planned it as a static music, without any development, where particular orchestra interventions reverberate in long pauses. The element, which connects the piece, is solo percussion’s ostinato. In 2000 I placed instead of percussion part a new constant sheet: chord pulsation played by a kind of concertino: accordion, piano, vibraphone and cymbal. In this way changed compostion I called „The Ridge”. The ridge is an edge of high mountain. From the ridge I observe peaks and slopes in front of me, I feel duration, permanence and pulsation. Pulsation? Yes, pulsation of the air, space, clouds and of my own nature. In „The Ridge” concertino part is a bit like piece in the piece and bases on pulsations, on the separate pulsation of each instrument. Impositions and dispersions of accents of piano, accordion, vibraphone and cymbal create a sort of a second, inner life, tell another story of this piece.

Joji Yuasa, born in 1929, is a self-taught composer. He first became interested in music while a premedical student at Keio University, and in 1952 turned to music full-time when he joined in Jikken-Kobo' (Experimental Workshop). Since then, Yuasa has been actively engaged in a wide range of musical composition, including orchestral, choral and chamber music, film music, music for theatre, and intermedia, electronic and computer music. He has won numerous commissions from such institutions as the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Saarland Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Phil harmony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Canada Council, IRCAM, National Endowment for the Arts of the U.S.A.,
Suntory Music Foundation and Suntory Hall, etc. Since 1981 through 1994 Yuasa had been a professor of the UCLA, San Diego. Also he had been a composer in residence of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa from 1993 to 1995. His music has been widely performed throughout the world such festivals as the ISCM World Music Days, Warsaw Autumn, ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
Awards & Prizes:
- The 21st Otaka Award and the Grand Prize of the Japan Arts Festival for his Chronoplastic for orchestra (1973)
- The Grand Prize of the Japan Arts Festival for A Perspective for Orchestra (1983)
- The 36th Otaka Award for Revealed Time for viola and orchestra (1988)
- Hida Furukawa Music Award Grand Prix and Kyoto Music Award Grand Prix for Piano Concertino and Symphonic Suite The Narrow Road into the Deep North: Basho (1995)
- The 45th Otaka Award for Violin Concerto in memory of Toru Takemitsu (1996)
- The Suntory Music Award and Art Encouragement Prize of Japan for his musical achievement in 1996 including Violin Concerto in memorial of Toru Takemitsu, Jo-Ha-Kyu for 5 players and Projection No.2 for string quartet (1996)
- Medal with purple ribbon from the Japanese government (1997)
- The Imperial Prize and the Japan Art Academy Prize (1999)
- The 51st Otaka Award for Haptic Cosmos V for orchestra (2003)


Chronoplastic III Between Stasis and Kinesis - In memory of Iannis Xenakis(2001)
This work was composed on a commission from the NHK Symphony Orchestra for a concert of contemporary music in the series ”Music Tomorrow”. Since 1972 I have composed two orchestral works under the same title. The basic idea is to create new music within the contrasting concept of something already known, similar to the idea of ”déjà vu” which the fine arts took over from psychology. ”Chronoplastic” is a work dealing with a time based not on fixed measurement, but rather on its expansion and contraction, so that time and space are sometimes warped or distorted. While I was in the middle of composing this work, my good friend Iannis Xenakis passed away. I deeply respected him for his uncompromising creative
genius. Since then this work was selected and performed at the ISCM World Music Days 2005 Zagreb and Venice Biennale in 2007.

Joji Yuasa

Octavian Nemescu
is born in Pascani (Romania),1940. He studied composition with Mihail Jora at University of Music in Bucharest (1956-1963). Nowadays he is professor of Composition and doctoral advisor at the National University of Music in Bucharest. His creative activity has been developing at different stages. As he was still a student he imposed himself as part of avant-garde movement in Romanian music composition. After 1965 he achieves works of the ”open creation” type, of conceptual and environmental music (with ecological aspect). Octavian Nemescu is part of the 2nd generation which takes this direction (the generation of last century’s ‘70s) which launched a new avant-garde setting as their ideal not the denial of tradition, as previous avant-gardes did, but reclaiming the origins lying at the base of every musical tradition, aiming to achieve a new artistic universality. He involves himself after 1967 into the Romanian spectral trend. Starting with the work ”Concentric” (1969) his creation has got archetypal vocation by cultivating an aesthetic of the essentializing. His honors include the Aaron Copland Prize (USA, 1970), six prizes from the Romanian Composers Union (1970, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1995) and two prizes from the Concours International de Musique Électroacoustique de Bourges (1980, 1982). He has also earned the Prize of the Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1981) and the Prize of the International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music (ICEM) (1985).

A=1 for midday
(2005)
Midday is the moment when Sun emanates the most powerful and burning Light and Heat. The Spirit, the EGO is reaching the hour of total liberation, as the birds in the sky, being extracted from all its shells, its servitudes and the limits of all its covers. So midday is the time of the Truth, of the Force, of the Raising contained by the INCIPIT, of the Primordiality (characteristic to the first letter of the alphabet or to the first figure), of the Unity, of the Totality, of the Ascension (all the ascendant scales), of the Compound perfect cadence (IV-V-I), of the Fundamental triad. Although the work starts and ends with C, it goes up through all the steps OF THE SCALE made of the 12 chromatic sounds, each of them being, one at a time, in the role of centre of gravity, this way knowing the Ubiquity. This can be interpreted also as a Recapitulation (of all the pieces of the cycle of the hours). Now the focus is on the hypostasis of the opposites, of the paradox: the condensation and the dilatation of the sonorous time or the Poly-temporality (the reunion of the linear time with the circular and the non-temporality), the densification and the rarefaction of the acoustic space, the different positions of the chords (built on the same sound), the simultaneity of the opposed musical intervals, the superposition of the extreme intensities (f, mf, p), the synthesis of the vocal and instrumental timbrality of all human components, the hiding and the validation of C – the fundamental that stays at the foundation of this piece, that sings with exaltation the Rebirth, the Homecoming.

Octavian Nemescu

Jonathan Harvey
Born in Warwickshire in 1939, Jonathan Harvey was a chorister at St Michael’s College, Tenbury and later a major music scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge. He gained doctorates from the universities of Glasgow and Cambridge and (on the advice of Benjamin Britten) also studied privately with Erwin Stein and Hans Keller. He was a Harkness Fellow at Princeton (1969–70). An invitation from Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 1980s has so far resulted in eight realisations at the Institute, and two for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, including the celebrated tape piece Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco, Bhakti for ensemble and electronics, Advaya for cello, live electronics and pre-recorded sounds and String Quartet No.4, with live electronics. Harvey has also composed for most other genres: orchestra (Tranquil Abiding, White as Jasmine and Madonna of Winter and Spring – the latter performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle in 2006), chamber (four string quartets, Soleil Noir/Chitra, and Death of Light, Light of Death, for instance) as well as works for solo instruments. He has written many widely-performed unaccompanied works for choir – as well as the large-scale cantata for the BBC Proms Millennium, Mothers shall not Cry (2000). His church opera Passion and Resurrection (l981) was the subject of a BBC television film, and has received twelve subsequent performances. His opera Inquest of Love, commissioned by ENO, was premiered under the baton of Mark Elder in 1993 and repeated at Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels in 1994. His third opera, Wagner Dream, commissioned by Nederlandse Oper in association with the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, the Holland Festival and IRCAM, was premiered to great acclaim in 2007. 2008 saw the premiere of Messages (for the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the Berlin Philharmoniker) and Speakings (co-commission with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, IRCAM and Radio France); Speakings was the culmination of his residency (2005-8) with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from which Body Mandala and …Towards a pure land have also emerged. All three works featured on the Gramophone Award-winning NMC disc released in the same year. In October the ISCM in Vilnius featured Harvey with a new Cello Octet and several other works. Harvey is now in constant demand from a host of international organisations, attracting commissions far into the future, and his music is extensively played and toured by the major ensembles of our time (Musikfabrik, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ASKO, Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam and Ictus Ensemble of Brussels to name but a few). His music has been showcased at Strasbourg Musica, Ars Musica Brussels, Musica Nova Helsinki, the Acanthes and Agora festivals, and at many centres for contemporary music. Some 150-200 performances are given or broadcast each year and about 80 recordings of his music are available on CD. He has honorary doctorates from the universities of Southampton, Sussex, Bristol and Huddersfield, is a Member of Academia Europaea, and in 1993 was awarded the prestigious Britten Award for composition. In 2007 he was awarded the Giga-Hertz Prize for a lifetime’s work in electronic music. He published two books in 1999, on inspiration and spirituality respectively. Arnold Whittall’s study of his music appeared in 1999, published by Faber & Faber (and in French by IRCAM) in the same year. Two years later John Palmer published a substantial study: ”Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti” Edwin Mellen Press. Harvey was Professor of Music at Sussex University between 1977 and 1993 where he is currently an Honorary Professor. He was Professor of Music at Stanford University (US) between 1995 and 2000, Visiting Professor of Music at Imperial College, London and is an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge. Harvey was Composer-in-Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2008.

© Faber Music Ltd 2008

Body Mandala (2006) displays a strong resemblance to the music actually used in religious ritual. While composing the piece, Harvey visited Northen India and witnessed purification rituals in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries: ”the famous low horns, tungchens, the magnificently raucous four-note oboes, gelings, the distinctive rolmo cymbals – all these and more were played by the monks in deeply moving ceremonies full of lama dances, chanting and rituals actions. Though Body Mandala uses entirely Western instruments, with the exception of Tibetan bells and cymbals, Harvey employs techniques to bring their sounds closer to their Eastern counterparts: brass instruments are required to use ”lip vibrato”, producing a pulsation effect on a single note; woodwind players are directed to alternate different fingerings on the same note to produce variations in pitch and timbre; string instrument are instructed to use ”circular bowing”, moving the bow up and down the string to change the sound. Several instruments – clarinet, bass-clarinet, piccolo, piccolo trumpet, solo violin – are given wild, exuberant solos which Harvey asks to be played very freely, as a jazz musician might. Towards the end, there is an extraordinary passage were the Tibetan cymbals are dipped into water as the players improvise as a quartet. There sounds – together with the emphasis throughout the piece on repeated notes, often rising in semitonal steps – create the sense that we are witnessing a mysterious ceremony. However, the music’s effect is above all visceral, as befits a piece whose concern is with the body.

From the booklet of the CD NMC 141, written by Michael Downes