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.

http://yorkconcerts.co.uk/programme/the24-may/

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)

Recent news

  • Sadie Harrison leads Composer Residential with K’antu and South West Music School

    We are so pleased that Sadie will be working alongside Ruth Hopkins and the fabulous K’antu Ensemble at the October Composer Residential (11th-13th) run by the South West Music School. During the weekend course the students will be writing new works inspired by early music, folk and world musics, with taught sessions on medieval to contemporary notation and performance issues. Sadie will be presenting several of her own works which draw on similar sources.

  • Martin Scheuregger’s article ‘The Music of Thomas Simaku’ published in TEMPO

    UYMP are exceedingly proud to announce that Martin Scheuregger’s article, ‘The Music of Thomas Simaku’, has been published within Cambridge University Press’ quarterly review of new music, TEMPO.

  • Blake's 'Scoring a Century' London triumph

    Photo credit: Robert Workman

    British Youth Opera gave a dazzling London premiere of David Blake’s (composer) and Keith Warner’s (librettist) millennial opera ‘Scoring a Century’ on Saturday night, at the Peacock Theatre, Holburn. Previously performed only by Birmingham Conservatoire, in 2010, both the libretto and the score had been revised for the current production. Blake’s deft scoring leads Mr and Mrs Jedermann (Everyman) unwittingly through Warner’s entertaining snapshots of life in various countries in the ever-changing 20th century, in an expert pastiche of musical styles.  

  • Thomas Simaku Broadcast on National Radio in Finland

    Following the success at the 2019 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)  – World Music Days , Thomas Simaku’s most recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been broadcast by four European radio stations. The latest programme was on National Radio of Finland on 3rd September – the programme is available for 30 days at the following link: https://areena.yle.fi/1-50234960

  • Launch of Northern Composers' Co-operative

    Photo credit: Lynette Quek

    Thanks to the support of the Mayfield Trust, in June UYMP hosted a meeting of 20 composers who are based in the Yorkshire region.  Peter Wiegold was an inspiring facilitator and the meeting generated lots of ideas for dealing with the isolation composers can experience once they leave formal education.  The composers present decided to form a Co-operative and UYMP is proud to have initiated it and be supporting it.