The Essential Youth concert will present in one evening five new orchestral compositions by the composers: Liisa Hirsch, Adrián Demoč, Ian Mikyska, Christian Ferlaino and María de Grandi Ruzafa. The ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra will play their new scores. Its members are young European players who gathered for the first time in 2017 to meet the expectations of the Ostrava Days audience, who wanted to watch performers playing contemporary scores with joy, curiosity, passion and at a top level. Since then, the ONO orchestra has 40 Czech and world premieres of major compositions to its credit. There will be more in Prague on Tuesday, November 15.
"The concert will be an extraordinary event. I don't remember ever coming across a similar project: orchestral compositions by young and very young composers across Europe - from Estonia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Slovakia, authors between the ages of 24 and 41. The evening is actually the "Ostrava Footprint" - the result, but also a contribution, of the internationally recognized Ostrava Days. We will also talk about this with all five composers at the concert. You might be wondering – will the tracks be any good? It cannot be said and it is not important. The authenticity of the work is essential. I worked with all five composers as part of the three-week Ostrava Days Institute and Festival, with most of them more than once. All of them are serious, focused on the composition, none of them tries to impress and succeed in a calculated way of pandering to what they like. And this gives hope that there is something more to their compositions than the sound itself, that it is an authentic manifestation of the creators of the new generation."
Petr Kotík, conductor, composer, founder of Ostrava Days
"This opportunity from the Ostrava Center for New Music allowed me to explore on a much larger canvas some of the ideas I had developed in works for smaller ensembles, including inspiration from Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and monochrome ink landscape painting," says 28-year-old Czech composer Ian Mikyska, who, alongside the composition he also profiles as a viola da gamba, guitar and recorder player, English translator or editor. In his new composition Shan shui, whose title literally means water mountain, he uses music as a metaphor for the landscape, the strokes of the strings are then a rendering of the strokes of the brush.
The principles of fine art did not only inspire him. Estonian composer Liisa Hirsch (1984), who is known for her research-oriented approach to composition, directly named her work Canvas. This composition had its premiere in the cast for string orchestra already in 2019, and now the author has radically revised and expanded it. Her music leads listeners and players to focused silence and listening.
Concentrated listening is the essence of the compositional method of the Slovak composer Adrián Demoč (1985). His compositions are created by constantly listening to sounds and gradually reducing them to the most important ones. Climbing music takes its name from a central melodic line that repeatedly fades away and returns, often in irregular shapes and curves, reminiscent of a climbing plant. Demoč, who now lives with his family in Spain, where he works as a music teacher at various levels of education, is one of the laureates of the Czech Philharmonic's composition competition in 2019. Like Ian Mikyska and Liisa Hirsch, he was also a resident of the Ostrava Days Institute in the past. The three mentioned authors will be joined by the Spanish violinist and composer María de Grandi Ruzafa (1998) and the Italian composer, saxophonist and ethnomusicologist Christian Ferlaino (1981). Irvin Venyš (bass clarinet) and Martin Opršál (percussion) play solo in Mikyska's piece with the ONO– Ostrava New Orchestra, students and graduates of European music academies; the whole concert is conducted by Petr Kotík.