Composers and arrangers are essential in the choral ecosystem, but sometimes they live a bit apart. Writing for a choir, especially for an amateur choir, is a very demanding task, and needs a deep knowledge of the instrument. Classical contemporary composers are not fully aware of the musical quality of the amateur choral world, the high interest of our choirs towards new repertoire, and the widest diffusion that a successful score can have.
One project: the festival composers’ programme
Our festival aims to improve the relationship between composers, arrangers, choirs and conductors, and to bring the worlds of classical composers and amateur choirs closer. Therefore the Festival Europa Cantat XVIII offers a full programme for composers and arrangers, for the whole length of the festival. The detailed programme for composers and arrangers will be published here in November 2011.
Are you curious? Ask, and let us answer your questions!
Who is the composers’ programme offered to?
To composers and arrangers eager to improve their skills in choral writing, share their thoughts with colleagues and performers and
to share their music in a very receptive environment. In four words: every composer and arranger, which means that
activities will address different needs at different levels.
Do I have to register for the whole programme? Shall I decide in advance which activities to follow?
You are free to register for how many days you wish, and every morning you can choose among different parallel activities. If you just want to get a taste of the festival for one or more days, you can buy one-day tickets and even register on the morning of your participation.
What’s the programme like?
The two main activities are seminars and the Study Tour. Some seminars take place at the same time as the Study Tour and each day you can decide what to choose. Seminars include lectures, reading sessions and demonstrations by colleagues from all over the world. The main subjects of the seminars can be gathered under two titles.
Composers and choirs. The first goal is to make all the protagonists of choral life meet and exchange opinions, ideas, wishes and experiences. With the help of the participating choirs we’ll explore the composer’s palette: choral sounds, timbres and colours of the voice and choir. We’ll look for an effective way of writing for amateur choirs, rehearsing new scores, sketches and arrangements with a choir in residence.
Composers’ world. Meeting with today’s important composers will inspire the participants and establish a creative environment. The festival, especially the Music Expo, will allow composers to share their music and get in contact with conductors, publishers and choirs Seminars about new technologies will help to keep up with the new possibilities of treating the human voice.
The Study Tour will provide the possibility of visiting over 50 ateliers working at the same time. Many choirs will perform new compositions and arrangements, some ateliers and some choirs will give premieres during the festival. Every morning we will make visits to some ateliers to listen to rehearsals of contemporary music and be inspired by different styles and choral sounds. In the afternoon you’ll be able to attend rehearsals and performances of new works.
Did the festival commission music? Is it possible for it to be performed at the festival?
The festival has a special commission project: ten significant contemporary composers, who are not used to writing for amateur choirs, are writing ten pieces for ten participating choirs; ten premieres will be heard during the festival at the presence of the composers. In addition to this, other works have been commissioned for some ateliers and for the Europa Cantat Chamber Choir. If you are a composer and you would like to hear your music performed at the festival you can:
contact a participating choir willing to sing your music (we will encourage choirs to do that)
participate in the European Award for Choral Composers and… win a prize! We would like to have composition award winners perform at the festival
register for the European Seminar for Young Composers in Aosta. A selection of the music composed during the seminar will be performed in the frame of the Festival Europa Cantat XVIII Torino 2012 (more information on www.feniarco.it)
Who are the teachers of the composers’ programme?
There will be two composers coordinating the whole programme and leading the Study Tour, and many teachers and clinicians. The ten composers of our special project will be at the festival and give a lecture or seminar, lead a round table, rehearse their music or run a special project. Other composers and conductors specialized in contemporary repertoire will give their contribution to the programme. This high density of great and experienced musicians will create the right atmosphere to inspire you and stimulate your creativity giving new motivation and practical tools for developing your skills as choral composers.
European Award for Choral Composers
This new award is the development of the successful Golden Tuning Fork Award, run since 1988 by AGEC, now merged with Europa Cantat in the new European Choral Association. The Award will have three different sections:
(a) a cappella,
(b) accompanied by up to four instruments (classical),
(c) a jazz combo of maximum three players (popular music).
The compositions will be submitted by ECA-EC member organisations, and winning compositions will be premiered during Europa Cantat XVIII (more information on www.eca-ec.org).