Thomas Simaku at the 2019 World Music Days

Thomas Simaku’s work La Leggiadra Luna was performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) – World Music Days in Tallinn on 4 May 2019. Composed for mixed choir a cappella, this work is a setting of Sappho’s poem translated from ancient Greek into modern Italian by the Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian poet Salvatore Quasimodo.

Performed by a Grammy Award-winning ensemble and broadcast live, the programme was transferred across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union.

Simaku’s works have been selected by international juries in ten editions of this festival, which has been described as the ‘Music Olympics’. Founded in 1922, the ISCM Festival is the oldest forum of new music in the world, which takes place every year in a different country. Simaku’s piece in the 2019 edition of ISCM was performed by the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putniņš . The concert was broadcast live on national radio, and transferred across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union. Thomas Simaku was one of three British composers representing the UK at this prestigious festival this year.

In his review of the concert Timmy Fisher wrote: ‘The most memorable moment of the evening, however, came at the climax of Thomas Simaku’s La Leggiadra Luna (The Beautiful Moon), in which a thundering eight-note chord reverberated around the St Nicholas’ rafters for what felt like an eternity.’

(9 May 2019)

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:

  • 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.