Happy Birthday to multi award-winning composer Thomas Simaku!

UYMP wishes a very Happy Birthday to multi award-winning composer Thomas Simaku!  Simaku turned 60 on 18th April, with a host of compositions, large and small, under his belt, including works such as Concerto for Orchestra, the Soliloquy Cycle, five string quartets, The Scream for String Orchestra, and a lot more!

Upcoming works include a piece for chamber ensemble, which Simaku is writing especially for the prestigious ensemble Klangforum Wien and which will receive its premiere later in the year.

The celebrations of this milestone will begin with the world premiere of his a cappella La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir, which will take place at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on May 30th, sung by the University of York vocal ensemble The 24, conducted by Robert Hollingworth.


Of this piece Simaku writes: “Taken from the volume ‘Lirici Greci’, Plenilunio (Full Moon) is the Italian version of the poem by the Greek poetess Sappho translated by the Nobel prize-winning Sicilian poet Salvatore Quasimodo. The music begins with a song-like expression introduced at a slow pace, as if emerging from the remoteness of time itself. It is clearly based on the musical utterance of the 'white modality', but these modal segments are constantly surrounded by chromatic inflections throughout the work.

A variety of short segments, predominantly modal, but stemming from different chromatic ‘locations’, are often superimposed. The task of filtering out this 'amorphous' texture and giving its constituent elements - be they melodic or harmonic, or a combination of both - a renewed identity, becomes an essential compositional aim, through which the process of crystallisation occurs.  The main strategy of the piece is thus exploring the interrelationship between these two sound-worlds (modal and chromatic) and their temporal qualities (ancient and modern), musical or otherwise. The piece is dedicated to Robin Boyle on his 80th Birthday, in gratitude for his unwavering support, which has meant so much to me!”

(20 Apr 2018)

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