Ostrava, October 18, 2022 – Five young composers and five new composition for symphonic orchestra, performed at the acoustically outstanding concert hall of DOX Center for Contemporary Art: the blueprint for another Prague intervention by Ostrava Center for New Music (OCNM). And, most importantly, an encouragement for young artists to compose for a symphonic ensemble. “Composing for big orchestras is a key undertaking for every artist, especially when young, because it’s the big orchestra works that will go down in history,” says Petr Kotík, ONCM’s artistic director who has selected the five European composers.
The concert will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 7PM. It is the fifth in the “Essential” series that OCNM has been putting on at DOX+. The pieces will be performed by ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra, a unique international ensemble established in 2017. ONO includes top-class young performers from all around Europe and has excelled at various major events, performing pieces by young composers as well as new-music milestones, including Luigi Nono’s monumental Prometeo or Iannis Xenakis’ major orchestra pieces.
Fun, but Also Frustration
The youngest composer is twenty-four, the oldest is forty-one. Each has a different artistic experience and approaches composition from a unique point of view. In a sense, their orchestral debut earns them a place in music history: “For the last few months, my work has been one huge experiment. Something is being created from nothing – you compose and you learn to write for different orchestral instruments. I’ve had a lot of fun, but there’s also been frustration. And I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been able to confirm that I can achieve anything that I tackle earnestly. I didn’t know that a year ago. I hope my ONO friends will enjoy performing my composition. That’s the only thing that matters,” María de Grandi Ruzafa, Spanish composer and violin player, told the Headliner online magazine for its October issue. The title of her piece, Otesánek (Fairytale no 1), refers to one of the best-known Czech fairy tales. At the same time, it manifests an “ecogothic” aesthetic: it embodies guilt, anxiety and stress resulting from ecological issues, climate crisis and the pandemic era. Simply put: the time we live in.
First Time for Orchestra
“The offer to write a new composition for ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra was flattering and also exciting, as it is my first opportunity to write for an orchestra ever,” says Christian Ferlaino (1981), Italian composer, saxophonist and ethnomusicologist. His new composition Synthetics 1 – Floating is marked by contrasting approaches to tempo and a melody that “floats” above the orchestra. His pieces often interrogate the potential of improvised music vocabulary: apart from classical composition, he has considerable experience as a jazz author, not to mention his involvement – as an academic researcher and active bagpipes player – in traditional folk music from central Calabrian region.
Ian Mikyska (1994), Czech composer and interdisciplinary artist, has written a composition inspired by Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, while Adrian Demoč (1985), Slovak composer living in Spain, will contribute a piece dominated by a single melodic line whose sound evokes climbers and creepers. Estonian composer Liisa Hirsch (1984) has reworked her 2019 composition Canvas, expanding it for a symphony orchestra. We’re saving further interesting details about their works for our next press release. ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra is an international youth ensemble composed of students and graduates of music schools around Europe. For this performance, soloists Irvin Venyš (clarinet) and Martin Opršál(percussion) will join the orchestra; Petr Kotík will conduct all five compositions.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
7PM DOX Center for Contemporary Art
DOX+ Multifunctional Hall (Poupětova 3, 170 00 Prague – Holešovice)
ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra (international)
Irvin Venyš, clarinet (Prague)
Martin Opršál, percussion (Brno)
Petr Kotík, conductor (New York/Ostrava)
Adrian Demoč: Popinavá hudba (Voluble Music)
Ian Mikyska: Shan Shui
Christian Ferlaino: Synthetics 1 – Floating
María de Grandi Ruzafa: Otesánek /Fairytale no. 1/
Liisa Hirsch: Canvas
Ticket Price: CZK 400 / 200 (students, senior citizens). Tickets on sale from October 12, 2022 through GoOut.net. This concert is an Ostrava Center for New Music production in collaboration with DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. See www.dox.cz for more information.
We’d like to thank the Czech Ministry of Culture, Prague City Hall, the Statutory City of Ostrava, Moravian‑Silesian Region, State Cultural Fund and Veronika and Libor Winkler for financial support.