Winners of the Witold Lutosławski Competition Announced
no-image, Winners of the Witold Lutosławski Competition Announced
First prize has gone to Thomas Simaku, the Albanian composer living in the U.K., for his Concert for Orchestra. Simaku received a check for 10,000 euro, and his piece will be performed at the finale of Warsaw Autumn 2013 – the International Festival of Contemporary Music.
Thomas Simaku, photo: press materials / www-users.york.ac.uk
Second prize was granted to British composer Chris Roe for his Lavoisier’s Mirrors. Roe was awarded 5,000 euro; the first performance of his composition is going to take place in September 2013 at the Szczecin Philharmonic, played by the International Lutosławski Youth Orchestra.
Third-prize winner (3,000 euro) is Natalya Chepelyuk from Russia, for her Aria II. Honourable mention was received by the Japanese composer Chikako Yamanaka for Signal to Signalless. In 2010 Yamanaka took 3rd place in the Toru Takemitsu Competition, with the main prize going to the Polish composer Marcin Stańczyk.
The members of the jury of the Composition Competition, organized on the 100th anniversary of Lutosławski’s birth, included Luca Francesconi, Kazimierz Kord, Magnus Lindberg, Steven Stucky, Paweł Szymański and Tadeusz Wielecki. The Witold Lutosławski Competitions began while the composer was alive – the competition series was founded in 1994. Lutosławski’s aim had been to support young composers and this year the organizers did not impose an age limit on participants – the winner is 55 years old. The requirement was to compose a piece, at least 10 minutes long and intended for a large symphonic orchestra – the format in which Lutosławski designed for much of his work.
Jerzy Kornowicz, the president of the Polish Composers’ Union, said,
The organizers received 160 extremely comprehensive compositions, which require at least 5 or 6 months to be written. The fact that so many composers from all over the world have decided to devote this much time to write and submit a piece testifies to the competition’s great success.
Thomas Simaku, winner of this year’s Lutosławski Composition Competition, commenced composition studies in Titan, and later worked for 3 years with folk musicians in the town of Përme, situated in the south of Albania. In 1991 he emigrated to England, where he received a doctoral degree in composition. He attended a workshop led by renowned composers Bernard Rands and Brian Ferneyhough. For over 20 years, his compositions have been played at concert halls all over Europe and the rest of the world. They have been performed by Arditti Quartet, Diotima Quartet, Kreutzer Quartet, European Union Chamber Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, MusikFabrik, and others. In 2004 Simaku received the first award in the Kazimierz Serocki International Composers’ Competition. Currently he is holding the position of Reader in Composition at the University of York.
Sources: The Institute of Music and Dance, Polish Radio, own materials.
Author: Filip Lech; 24.06.2013
Translation: Anna Micińska; 25.06.2013