58th International Festival of Contemporary Music< Back
04 | 14 | 2014
20 > 21 September, 3 > 12 October 2014
The 58th International Festival of Contemporary Music of La Biennale di Venezia, directed by Ivan Fedele, will start on 20 and 21 September with a tribute to Steve Reich, who will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in music, and will continue its programming from 3 to 12 October.
The title Limes suggests a music that is far off in space and time, featuring the Eco Ensemble of Berkeley and the Bay Area music, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi that combines Basque and modern traditions, the Meitar Ensemble of Tel Aviv, the polyphonic choir of the Albanian tradition, Violinat and Lapardhase, the music of Anatolia, a crossroads of cultures (Turkish, Iranian, Syrian, Armenian), revisited by the cultured ethnic improvisations of the Galata Electroacustic Orchestra. Ethnic roots, folklore, folk traditions, presented in their original version or filtered through the lens of modernity, run through the 58th Edition of the Festival in a continual cross-reference between the ancient and modern.
20 new performances in the Festival, including short single acts, the results of the Biennale College, mostly written by composers under thirty: Tre cose (a caso) sull'amore by Claudio Gay (1988), O-X-A by Accursio Cortese (1980), MagenZeit Opera by Gabriele Cosmi (1988), The Myth of Homo Rudolphensis by Yair Klartag (1985).In addition to these young composers, there are also many undiscovered names: Eduard Hamel (1986), Amir Shpilman (1980), Ondrej Adámek (1979), Ofer Pelz (1978), Aaron Einbond (1978), Giovanni Dario Manzini (1978), Yotam Haber (1977), Andrea Manzoli (1977), Dai Fujikura (1977), John MacCallum (1976), Erel Paz (1974), Frank Bedrossian (1971), Admir Shkurtaj (1969),but also a name like Denys Bouliane (1955), considered among the greatest composers in Canada, or still yet the Spaniard of Basque origins Ramón Lazkano (1968), or the Cypriot Yannis Kyriakides (1969). There are also some young Italian composers, who by now feel at home on international programmes, enough to have chosen for this reason to reside abroad: Daniele Ghisi (1984), Oscar Bianchi (1975), Stefano Bulfon (1975), Aureliano Cattaneo (1974) and Silvia Borzelli (1978).
In addition to the great European ensembles - Intercontemporain, Divertimento, Contempoarte, Eco Ensemble – once again the Festival is dedicating a space to "creative soloists", individual performers and their innovative style of execution that has always played a major role in the development of contemporary music, turning the limelight on rising artists and others of already consolidated fame. There will be a first recital featuring Matteo Cesari, flautist, and Dario Cauldron, double bass player – both in their thirties - while the pianist Francesco Prode and the percussionist Dario Savron will play together in the second recital. In addition to these soloists, the masterful Francesco D'Orazio, a violin soloist with the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice, the cellist Aser Polo and the clarinettist Shizuyo Oka with the Orquesta de Euscadi.
In addition, this year the other arts - cinema, theatre, dance – are present at the Festival like never before, discovering in music a common ground in which to blend their creative experiences in a dimension of "global art" that combines them and develops them further.
There will be short pieces choreographed by Virgilio Sieni, created to original music by Giovanni Dario Manzini and the celebrated Vesalii Icones by Peter Maxwell Davies – a concert-spectacle that again crosses dance with music and pays tribute to the great English composer on his 80th birthday.
On the occasion of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, at the Corderie dell'Arsenale, the Festival will present the movie Mancanza-Inferno by Stefano Odoardi, shot in L’Aquila, the Italian city destroyed by an earthquake in 2009 and not yet rebuilt, with music by Andrea Manzoli; the Chamber opera by Amir Shkurtaj Kater I Rades on the dramatic sinking of the Albanian patrol boat; and the concert of Galata Electroacustic Orchestra that builds a theoretical bridge between Mediterranean musical cultures.
New collaborations, co-productions and joint commissions with the Orchestra of the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, the Cantieri Teatrali Koreja, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, the Mata Festival of New York, Ensemble Intercontemporain are added to the traditional association with the Teatro La Fenice and its orchestra, bringing some appointments outside Venice.
STEVE REICH AND AMERICAN MUSIC
African and Balinese rhythms, ars antiqua, modal jazz, Jewish cantillation, and the influence of Berio and Milhaud: these are the inspirations Steve Reich combines in an original music, exceeding and modifying the minimalist horizon from which he started.
The music of Steve Reich, who has managed to acquire an increasingly vast audience, will receive tribute from the 58th International Festival of Contemporary Music with the presentation of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement on 21 September at the Teatro alle Tese, where two of Reich's most celebrated works will be performed. The first is City Life, composed in 1995 and developed by the joint commission of three major European ensembles - Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern and the London Sinfonietta. It is a symphonic poem on the city of New York, which seeks to grasp the beating heart of the city: amplified acoustic sounds of a classical orchestral ensemble are blended with the soundtrack of the traffic of an ordinary day in the American metropolis. The second is Triple Quartet from 1998, scored for amplified string quartet with pre-recorded tape; an alternative version of this work exists for three string quartets (hence the title), or string orchestra. Both pieces will be performed by the Orchestra of Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer.
Around the sound universe of Steve Reich, the two concerts of the Eco Ensemble Berkely (20 and 21 September, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale) broaden the American music scene and its multiplicity of styles, with particular regard to the Bay Area, in a movement that brings influences from Europe to America and vice versa.
The first concert features all the pieces in their Italian premiere that use musical informatics – to extend and manipulate the sound – in its latest research developments by the CNMAT (Centre for New Music and Audio Techonologies) with which the Eco Ensemble and its composers frequently collaborate. There is the saturated music of the Frenchman Franck Bedrossian - a pupil of Grisey, Murail, Stroppa, Leroux, and since 2008 composition teacher at UC Berkeley - that with Swing alludes to the world of jazz and to the movement of sound, to its sudden and unpredictable change of direction; there's Cindy Cox, who graduated from Indiana University and was a pupil of Lili Kraus on the piano, an instrument which in the song presented, Pianos, expands into a "super piano" by means of timbres and colours selected by Cox for the midi keyboard that interacts with the ensemble. There are Edmund Campion and John MacCallum who develop Steve Reich's phasing technique, thanks to new technologies that enhance its accuracy to the point of controlling the most infinitesimal changes in time. Both in Auditory Fiction by Campion – who already as a student at Columbia University and a researcher at Ircam with Gérard Grisey won important prizes such as the Prix de Rome, Nadia Boulanger, Paul Fromm and Charles Ives – both in Delicate Textures of Time by MacCallum – who was Campion's pupil in Europe and America - the musicians of the Echo Ensemble use a click-track, which allows them to play while always in their ears a rhythmic reference beats for reference, essentially another conductor.
The second concert, with one Italian premiere and one world premiere, features Steve Reich with Nagoya Marimbas, in which the composer takes up the phasing of his early works but with a richer melodic material and greater complexity, requiring great virtuosity on the part of the musicians; John Adams, one of the most accomplished and popular composers of the United States, winner of three Pulitzer prizes for music, with Gnarly Buttons for clarinet and an ensemble of 13 elements, including a banjo, a mandolin and a guitar player; Philippe Leroux, a refined creator of acoustic and electronic melodies, who long worked at the Ircam and then in Canada, and is now in residence at Meitar Ensemble in Tel-Aviv, with De la Texture that originates from the music of Rameau and Couperin, from baroque ideas about composition and rhythmic diversity that arises from the overlapping of multiple voices; finally, Aaron Einbond, who studied at Harvard with Mario Davidovsky, then at the universities of Cambridge and Berkeley before coming to Ircam, with Edmund Campion and Philippe Leroux, who operates at the intersection between instrumental music, sampling, sound installation and new technologies, at the Biennale with a new creation.
THE INAUGURAL CONCERT AND MUSICAL THEATRE OF THE BIENNALE COLLEGE
After the September previews, the Festival will open 3 October at the Teatro Malibran, with the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Biennale's historical musical partner. A triptych of some of the most performed composers of the last few generations: the Frenchman Pascal Dusapin, author of the much-loved Perelà Uomo di fumo (Perelà Man of Smoke), who juxtaposes the French currents of the 1990s, amid spectralism and scientific research, with the craftsmanship of writing, with an unrivalled wealth of stylistic influences; the American John Adams, who has honed the rhythmic energy of minimalism with the harmonies and orchestral colours of the late-romantic period, Kaija Saariaho, among the few female personalities to make a strong entrance into the world of musical creation, becoming one of the most powerful and original voices - and one of the most requested by concert organisers around the world - of the contemporary music scene (in 2003 her first opera - L'Amour de loin, a libretto by Amin Maalouf and directed by Peter Sellars - received the Grawemeyer Prize, one of the highest awards for composition). Kaija Saariaho will be followed by the Italian premiere of Graal théâtre, a concerto for violin and orchestra that relies on the participation of Francesco D'Orazio; also in its Italian premiere is the suite from the opera, Doctor Atomic by John Adams, performed for the first time in 2005 with a libretto and directed by Peter Sellars. Dusapin's works Go and Exeo, drawn from series 7 Solos pour Orchestre, in which the orchestral structure is treated as a single instrument will also be played. On the podium Pascal Rophé, who became famous precisely with 20th-century repertoire.
Subsequently, on 4 October at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, four short single acts will bepremiered. They are an example of theatrical chamber music, born from the experience of the Biennale College, shared by all sectors of the Venice Biennale and aimed at promoting young talents by offering them the chance to work in contact with great masters of the industry for the development of creations.
The works were selected through an international call for musical theatre projects presented in teams: composer, lyricist, director, set designer. The young artists selected developed their project in three work stages – in the course of the last Festival and then 6 - 15 December 2013 and 15 - 16 March 2014; two more stages are scheduled in June and July and from 22 September until their work arrives upon the stage of Teatro Piccolo Arsenale for a single evening of performances. The mentors who have accompanied the artists in the development of their projects are: David Moss, vocalist and percussionist, Giuliano Corti, playwright, Giancarlo Cauteruccio, director, Ljuba Bergamelli, soprano, Jo Bullit performer, Claudio Ambrosini, composer, Jean-François Peyret, director, Ivan Fedele, composer. Even the 11 singers who are the protagonists on stage were selected through auditions, held in March, with young artists from Conservatories all over Italy.
Tre cose (a caso) sull'amore by Claudio Gay, for the dramaturgy of Laura Tassi, directed by Chiara Palaniappan and scenography by Tommaso Osnaghi, lays at the heart of what might seem to be a classic triangle: him, her and the analyst. In actuality the play addresses a couple's relationship as observed by a third party, in a world where the media and social networks delude us into thinking we are weaving a huge network of relationships while in fact they are increasing our inability to truly relate to one another.
O-X-A by Accursio Cortese, which avails itself of Orlando Di Marca for the libretto and directing and Isabella Tahir for the stage play about the meaning of "for" (X, which in Italian is shorthand for "for") in the title that recalls, in addition to youthful slang, the wooden cross used by the puppeteer to move his puppets. The letters O and A recall the two protagonists, Orlando and Angelica, who will be transformed, among other things, into Harlequin and Esmeralda while passing from the Sicilian puppets to Commedia dell'Arte, from Orlando Furioso to the Servant of Two Masters of Goldonian memory.
MagenZeit Opera of Gabriele Cosmi, libretto by Michelangelo Zeno, directed by Alberto Oliva and with scenography by Marco Farhang, is inspired by elements from the Weimar's Zeitoper and presents onstage the clash between generations through the surreal juxtaposition of the greed of an obese and tyrannical mother and the inconsistency of a daughter on the verge of anorexia. In the middle, an unfortunate doctor: fought over by both sides, he is the candid victim of colossal misunderstandings.
The Myth of Homo Rudolphensis by the Israeli now based in Berlin Yair Klartag, libretto by Yael Sherill, directed by Franziska Guggenbichler and Aileen Klein, ponders the absurdly short life of Homo Rudolfensis, a species that according to the play allegedly appeared 2 million years ago in Africa, and which the authors see as being infinitely sensitive and honest, in order to co-exist with the Homo habilis, which quickly displaces him.
TRADITION AND MODERNITY IN ANCIENT AND DISTANT CULTURES
The Festival is dedicating two concerts with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi to the uniqueness of the Basque culture and its relationship with a music as ancient as its history (9 and 10 October, Teatro alle Tese). An internationally known Basque team performing for the first time in Italy, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi is the protagonist of a diptych in which musical heritage from the origins of their culture, the ancestral magic of these sounds and avant-garde music alternate, and sometimes merge. For the first time at the Biennale, Harkaitz Martinez and Mikel Ugarte, that is, the duo Oreka TX, which since 2001 has partnered with an enviable array of international stars (Pat Metheny, Dulce Pontes, Hevia, Taraf de Haïdouks, Manu Dibango), will perform in an improvisational performance on the txalaparta, the traditional Basque percussion instrument with rich sounds and archaic echoes that requires great technical skill.
The Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi will perform a concert by internationally known composers who were commissioned to create pieces for the thirtieth anniversary of the Orchestra (2012), hence the title Mosaic: short music pieces (6-7 minutes each) that make up a patchwork of widely diverse ways and thoughts. Some composers have chosen to take up tradition, though developing it in a different way: Michael Finissy, a scholar of popular cultures that he considers "close to the heart of music", in Zortziko has taken up typical Basque dances, found in part in the works for piano by Charles Valentin Alka, and in part in a collection of Basque folklore. Peter Eötvös for The gliding of the Eagle in the skies has found a traditional element of inspiration in Basque drum, which he discovered while listening to "the extraordinary traditional lyrics" of this people. The piece by Isabelle Mundry, Calles y sueños arises instead from an entirely interior image, that of an unknown location, which brings her to travel along an imaginary road. James Dillon reechoes from the very title, White Numbers, the motif that inspired it: the labyrinthine composition on a white background on which numbers have been engraved, also known as The Lily White, by Robert Rauschenberg. The work by Mario Lavista, Tres cantos a Edurne, draws its inspiration from religion and, like a pictorial triptych, opens up into three interrelated parts. Mauricio Sotelo is the composer of Urrutiko Urdin (Blue in the Distance) that evokes a blurry horizon between sea and sky. Gérard Pesson in Ravel à son âme pays homage to Ravel, beginning from a melody by the composer in 1923, in turn written in homage to Ronsard. Finally, the Director Ivan Fedele, fascinated by archaic sounds, as evidenced by his Folk Dances, has composed the Txalaparta, creating a reaction, in an original musical alchemy, between the ancient percussion instrument and the symphony orchestra.
The same orchestra will present, in a second concert, the music of three of the finest Spanish composers of Basque origin. This is Luís De Pablo, a seminal figure of European music, with a work dedicated to the great cellist Aser Polo, Frondoso misteri (Leafy Mystery),an allusion to the mystery of death overshadowed by an impenetrable forest in which the author uses an "adversarial game between time, which flows in constant motion, and the immobility of the heights" (L. De Pablo); Gabriel Erkoreka, class of 1969, who has largely performed in Britain, with Océano, which he declares to be the occasion for a study on dynamics: "a sea of non-equalized dynamics which, like a breath - at once regular and asymmetric, simulates the oscillatory movement of the waves"; and lastly Ramón Lazkano, 1968, that in the piece Ortzi Isle (Silent Skies) divided into 5 sections, each focusing on a particular instrument of the orchestra in functional relationship with the clarinet, overshadows reminiscences of an opposite nature, from Mahler to Lachenmann.
Conducting both concerts will be José Ramón Encinar, a conductor of international renown but also a well-known composer, who was trained at the Accademia Chigiana by Donatoni.
With the Meitar ensemble of Tel-Aviv the Festival lands in areas geographically less known, but very fertile and active today on the scene with numerous artists who have entered into the circuits of classical music (6 October, Ca' Giustinian). Founded by pianist Amit Dolberg, in 10 years of existence the ensemble has commissioned and performed more than 200 new songs, collaborating with Mark Andre, Walter Zimmermann, Philippe Leroux (currently in residence), Matthias Pintscher, Fabian Panisello, Vladimir Tarnopolsky, Giya Kancheli and many Israeli composers. The concert that will be held at the Biennale is an occasion to know the composers of recent decades in this geographical area and features three world premieres: Approach Prune Destroy Begin, which Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Mata Festival and Biennale di Venezia have commissioned the 27-year-old Eduard Hamel to create, is based on recursive musical phrases; Estro poetico armonico by Yotam Haber and the new creation of Erel Paz, who composes a music sensitive to the most sophisticated orchestral nuances, in a compelling blend of melody and harmony. To these premieres are added Chinese Whispers for amplified ensemble by Ofer Park, which uses repetition and variation to deconfigure the original "message"; and Continuo(ns) by Philppe Leorux, where the "continuous" of the title alludes to the Baroque writing technique with which Leroux is deeply fascinated.
MUSIC AND DANCE
Composers, musicians, dancers, and choreographers meet in two projects designed jointly by the directors of the Dance and Music Sectors of the Venice Biennale, Virgilio Sieni and Ivan Fedele.
Indigenous women (8 October, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale) is the choreographical diptych of Virgilio Sieni created on original music by Giovanni Dario Manzini, author of symphonic and chamber music, who studied Visual Arts in addition to composition with the jazz improviser Tim Richards and with Andrea Portera at the Scuola di Fiesole. Peter Eötvös also chose him last year for the finale of the international composition competition dedicated to Toru Takemitsu. Structured on the combinatorial game of the quartet and duet, the choreography, with the 4 very young performers of Butterfly Corner, will have two phases to its presentation: the first presentation during the Dance Festival at Corderie dell'Arsenale for the Vita Nova cycle, and the second during the Music Festival.
On the subject of anatomy, Vesalii Icones by Peter Maxwell Davies will also be jointly produced; part of a concert played by the Contempoarte Ensemble under the direction of Mauro Ceccanti (7 October Teatro Piccolo Arsenale), it was created in homage to the forthcoming eighty years of that most lively English master, whose tenth Symphony has just premiered at the Barbican in London conducted by Antonio Pappano.
In his simultaneous concept for dance and music, Vesalii Icones, here choreographed and performed by Jari Boldrini and Vittorio Ceccanti (cello), weaves together the stations of the cross with the anatomical drawings of De humani corporis fabrica by Vesalius (1543), made by painters from the school of Titian. With Vesalii Icones, which helped create the fame of Peter Maxwell Davies, Fantasy and two Pavans will also be performed, emblematic of his polystylism, and which aims to recover ancient Gregorian, Renaissance and Baroque forms, but also ballroom dances. The concert reserves for spectators the world premiere of Sonata for Violin Alone that Maxwell Davies composed in 2013 for Duccio Ceccanti.
MUSIC AT THE CORDERIE
Four of the shows of the 58th Festival are closely related to the theme of the setup of the International Architecture Exhibition at Corderie dell'Arsenale, with two particular references to the recent history of our country.
There will be the screening of the film Mancanza-Inferno by Stefano Odoardi, with music by Andrea Manzoli, one of the most prominent Italian composers (3rd October). The movie shot in L’Aquila, the Italian city destroyed by an earthquake in 2009 and not yet rebuilt, is the visionary story of a very human Angel – inspired by Rilke's Duino Elegies and performed by Angélique Cavallari – who prowls the streets of a city in abandoned and in ruins, a city-hell where 20 inhabitants from L’Aquila are imprisoned with no apparent way of escape. The music blends with the images in an extreme and indissoluble embrace. The film is a journey into the ruins of every human being. Mancanza-Inferno, produced by Strike fp and O film, is the first part of a trilogy which will be completed by the episodes about Purgatory and Heaven.
Stefano Odoardi, filmmaker and Visual artist who spends his time between Italy and Holland, is creating his third feature film after his debut with Una ballata bianca (A White Ballad). The composer of the music for this performance, Andrea Manzoli, graduated in composition at the National Conservatory of Strasbourg, getting his specialist degree at Santa Cecilia; his music is performed by the Orchestra Sinfonica A. Toscanini, I Pomeriggi Musicali, the Neue Vocalsolisten, Ensemble Algorithm and Orchestra della Toscana, among others.
Kater I Rades. Il naufragio (12 October), chamber music by composer Albanian Admir Shkurtaj, produced in collaboration with Cantieri Teatrali Koreja of Lecce, directed by Salvatore Tan, has as its subject a more dramatic event in our recent history: the sinking in the Strait of Otranto of the Kates I Rades patrol boat full of 120 refugees fleeing Albania and who plunged into chaos, rammed by our Italian patrol boat the Sibilla in a contest seeking to defer their attempt to land on the Italian coast. In that Good Friday of 1997 more than 80 people perished (31 were under 16 years of age). The story became a tragic symbol of "boat people" looking for a country that will restore to them the freedom and dignity of human beings.
Alessandro Leogrande, author of the narrative report Il naufragio. Morte nel Mediterraneo (Feltrinelli Prize 2011 Ryszard Kapuscinski and the Paolo Volponi Award), has written the libretto of the opera. Telling the story musically is Admir Shkurtaj, who arrived in Italy in 1991, where he graduated from the Conservatory of Lecce in composition and electronic music. An instrumentalist and composer-improviser (the accordion is his instrument of choice), Shkurtaj writes music for theatre, film, chamber ensembles and orchestra. The love for his land and for Bartók pours into his passion for musical traditions. The opera follows the Albanian polyphonic choir concert The Violins of Laphardà, (Violinat e Lapardhase) (Lapardhà is in the province of Valona), among the most famous formations in Albania, with performances in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Greece, Macedonia. Founded in 1983, it is composed of 5 voices, all male: three major, divided into Marres, who exposes the song, Kthyesi and Hedhesi, in counterpoint to the first; the last two entries are the so-called Iso or drone. The choir has a repertoire of more than 260 pieces, including songs and instrumental melodies to be played on the double flute (cyla dyjare). The most known pieces are: Legend of Tana, Legend of the bridge, Legend of Ymer Aga, What the eyes of Joanina saw, Otranto. The author of the texts and music is the rapsoda Fetì Ibrahimi.
Finally, Compasso da navegare offers the historical theme of the "Mare Nostrum" (literally, Our Sea), the Mediterranean, in the concert with the Galata Electroacustic Orchestra (GEO), composed of 34 musicians from universities and conservatories in Istanbul, Barcelona, Cagliari and Genoa directed by Robert Dawson and Tolga Tüzün, where ethnic music and improvisation come together in an electronic environment that multiplies and elaborates on these seductive sounds. The original ensemble of the GEO, which takes its name from the Genoese district of Istanbul, blends ancient and modern, different musical traditions and genres, creating a dialogue between classical instruments (cello, harp, percussion), and others of the Anatolian folk tradition (ney, tar, baglama, kemençe), and still others belonging to different sound worlds, such as jazz (sax, electric guitar and electric bass), to which are added, in a unique alchemy, voice and electronics. The metaphor used for the concert, Compasso da navegare (A Compass for navigating), is the pilot book: each "ship" (a group of musicians) carries and "unloads" their goods, their own musical identity, to then load another. The concert is included in the sound installation by Sinan Bökesoy, a young Turkish composer and multimedia artist, which will build a "bridge" between the Bosporus and Venice, mixing the background sounds of Istanbul's port with the musical continuum, when switching from one style to another, of the live music of GEO.
FROM SOLOISTS TO LARGE ENSEMBLES
Each year the Festival offers the limelight to great performers – from those with names firmly established in the musical institutions to the new and extremely new performers of the international landscape. This highlights the importance of the performative praxis in contemporary music, of which the performer is also a re-creator, and not just a virtuoso player.
The protagonists of the first recital on the programme (October 7, Ca' Giustinian) are the 28-year-old flautist Matteo Cesari, student of Mario Caroli, awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at Darmstadt and Stipendienpreis in the 44th Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, and former soloist for Intercontemporain, and the 35-year-old double bassist Dario Calderone, a pupil of Stefano Scodanibbio, and winner of first prize at the W. Benzi and Stipendiumpreiz competition of the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, a soloist for many orchestras and the founder of the Maze ensemble last year. The concert brings to the printed page of music two firsts, both for double bass, composed by Italian Oscar Bianchi, winner of the Gaudeamus in 2005, in residence in Berlin, Warsaw and Johannesburg, and by the Cypriot Yannis Kyriakides, artistic director of the MAE ensemble and Professor of Composition at the Conservatory of the Hague, interested in combining traditional and digital media. You will also hear: Ira-Arca for bass flute and contrabass, which Beat Furrer, co-founder and soul of Klangforum Wien, based on the formal principle of hoquetus (hocket), alternating periods of almost inhaling and exhaling a breath; own pace (amnesia 3), the third of a cycle of five pieces all dedicated to the theme of oblivion, a musical fragments of "forgotten material" here transformed and recoded by Silvia Borzelli, an Italian residing in Amsterdam; and beyond (a system of passing) by Matthias Pintscher, bestselling author and active as a conductor throughout Europe. Crowning this sequence of authors is Ioji Yuasa, an essential figure in Japanese music, founder of the Experimental Workshop in Tokyo with Toru Takemitsu, winner of two Grand Prix Italy (1966 and 1967) and of the Suntory Music Award (1996). In Venice he will present Terms of temporal detailing - Homage to David Hockney.
The second recital, with piano and percussion (11 October, Ca' Giustinian), features the high technical and interpretive level of Francesco Prode, devoted to the contemporary repertoire after meeting Stockhausen at Kürten in 2005, and Dario Savron, who has played with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Dutch Radio, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Arena di Verona, and is also active as a composer. The concert places prominent names side by side: Philippe Hurel, founder with André Valade of the ensemble Cort-circuit with a work in tribute to the master of the French spectralism, Tombeau in Memoriam Gerard Grisey; Luigi Nono with one of his most performed pieces, ... sofferte onde serene..., where the live piano expands with that processed and recorded on tape (Alvise Vidolin on the electronics); the Franco-Greek composer Georges Aperghis, an obligatory reference point for the French musical theater, with Quatre pièces fébriles, which creates "a game of mirrors between piano and marimba, between sharp attacks and their resonance". Finally, the German-Italian composer Fabio Nieder, with a passion for traditional German singing which he inherits from training in Central European cultural circles, hence the special relationship with the Lied, like that composed for Dario Savron, Thümmels Vergissmein-Lied for marimba, singer and soundfile, a piece of high skill, where the singer is the percussionist himself, a "man-tool" as written by Nieder, since the singing seems to come from the marimba together with the notes, merged into a complex colour with the sounds of "short waves", rain, hail, water, wind, all the way to "white noise".
From solo performances to the large European ensembles Intercontemporain and Divertimento, illustrious formations devoted to contemporary music. The Divertimento Ensemble, directed by Sandro Gorli (10 October, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale), focuses the concert on four Italian composers of the new generations: Daniele Ghisi with Abroad, which puts to music Pessoa's poems in English, contrasting acoustic universe of Sonnets (which are academic, in literary terms) to that of the electroacoustic world of Iscrizioni (under the banner of freedom of expression); Stefano Bulfon with Die Art des Meinens built using "developmental writing and pseudo-iterative procedures"; Aureliano Cattaneo with Canto, in which he searches for the continuity of the note sung and the subtle vibration of the "voicing"; finally Fabio Nieder, author of Der Schuh auf dem Weg zum Saturnian which, with the work dedicated to Dario Savron, constitutes one of the many pieces of the future opera Thümmel or the extinction of the word, inspired by the homonymous figure of the Triestine painter.
In opening the concert Nordwesten, one of the eight chapters of Die Stücke der Windrose of Mauricio Kagel, a musical journey through different cultures (klezmer, indios, Polynesian music, jazz and ragtime), which obliges us to change viewpoint each time, defying conventions. The protagonist is a Salonorchester, an ensemble originally intended for dance music in lounges and cafés that Kagel chose in the name of the "great value of folk music". With Nordwesten he departs for the Andes: "In this piece I make reference for the first time to the indigenous music of the Andes of South America – writes Kagel. Also in Nordwesten, after the first part in which an imaginary Indian procession approaches the podium, a farewell dance is held, which I wrote using a strict polypentatonix, in homage to a sound system from which we have surely remained estranged".
L’Intercontemporain goes on stage with its 14 close-knit musicians headed by a young French-Canadian Jean Michaël Lavoie (11 October, Teatro alle Tese), which debuted at La Scala in 2011 and then with the Orchestra of Radio France and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, among others, presents a very interesting program with some rising composers, belonging to the 1980s and from Israel, Czech Republic, Japan.
In its first world premiere a new work will be performed, commissioned by the ensemble and the Venice Biennale, of the Israeli Amir Shpilman, who studied composition with Efim Yoffe in Tel-Aviv, then in Paris, and finally in New York, where he earned a master's degree at City University with Jason Eckardt. Also active as a performer and promoter, Shpilman was a member of the ConTempo ensemble of Ursula Oppens, has founded the Cuny NewMusic Festival and founded the ensemble Moto Perpetuo. His recent work Hedef for 15 instruments was world premiered by members of ensemble Intercontemporain and Modern together under the leadership of Matthias Pintscher, winning the first prize of the Heidelberg Spring Festival, Young Composers Academy.
Chamber Nôise for cello and double bass is presented by the 35-year-old Czech Ondrej Adámek, who received commissions from major ensembles and musical institutions (Klangforum Wien, Lucerne Festival, Diotima String Quartet, Donaueschingen Festival, Warsaw Autumn). In his music the sound takes on a particular colour with new Executive techniques that Adámek has designed for classical instruments, or with new instruments of his own invention or with the combination of videos, electroacoustic sounds and instrumental ensemble.
Dai Fujikura, a native of Osaka but since a very young age a resident in London, where he studied with Edwin Roxburgh, Daryl Runswick and George Benjamin, will be at the Biennale with Fifth Station. His career has seen a lightning fast rise and today his music is performed from Caracas to Oslo, from Lucerne to Paris, but above all Dai Fujikura receives commissions from the best musical institutions, such as, recently, BBC Proms; in France his first opera, with choreographer and filmmaker Saburo Teshigawara, is co-produced by the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Opera of Lausanne and Lille; his music is programmed at the Lucerne Festival, Salzburg, Punkt in Oslo; he has worked with conductors like Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Gustavo Dudamel, Jonathan Nott, Alexander Liebreich. The first CD devoted entirely to his music, Secret Forest, was released by NMC in 2012 and in 2013 Commons published Mirrors with four of his orchestral works. A forthcoming album of his works is in publication with the label Kairos. Fujikura has also collaborated with the world of pop and experimental jazz: with Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Jan Bang.
In addition to these younger authors, there will be the pianist, violinist and composer Denys Bouliane, a pupil of Ligeti at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg from 1980-1985, after a master's degree in composition at Laval University in Québec City, today he is among the greatest exponents of Canadian contemporary music and has risen over the last twenty years to European fame with performances by major ensembles and orchestras (Modern, Cort-Circuit, Icarus, MuikFabrik, London Sinfonietta, Mozarteaum Orchester Salzburg and WDR Sinfonieorchester). At the Biennale Rythmes et échos des rivages anticostiens will be performed, a visionary reconstruction of the music of their ancestors, imagined on the shores of the island of Anticosti. The concert concludes with a piece by the maestro György Ligeti: Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists, belonging to the late 1960's, the most fertile period of the Hungarian composer, who after much experimentation reached a total freedom of musical language that he himself defines with no little irony "neither tonal, nor atonal".
Finally, at Sala delle Colonne of Ca’Giustinian (3 October) there will be the projection of the film Mancanza-Inferno (Lack-Hell) of Stefano Odoardi, with music by Andrea Manzoli, one of the most prominent Italian composers. The movie shot in L’Aquila, the Italian city destroyed by an earthquake in 2009 and not yet rebuilt, is the visionary story of a very human Angel – inspired by Rilke's Duino Elegies and performed by Angélique Cavallari – who prowls the streets of a city in abandoned and in ruins, a city-hell where 20 inhabitants from L'Aquila are imprisoned with no apparent way of escape. The music blends with the images in an extreme and indissoluble embrace. The film is a journey into the ruins of every human being. Mancanza-Inferno, produced by Strike fp and O film, is the first part of a Trilogy which will be completed by the episodes about Purgatory and Heaven.
Stefano Odoardi, filmmaker and Visual artist who spends his time between Italy and Holland, is creating his third feature film after his debut with Una ballata bianca (A White Ballad). The composer of the music for this performance, Andrea Manzoli, graduated in composition at the National Conservatory of Strasbourg, getting his specialist degree at Santa Cecilia; his music is performed by the Orchestra Sinfonica A. Toscanini, I Pomeriggi Musicali, the Neue Vocalsolisten and Algoritmo Ensemble, Orchestra della Toscana, among others.