25 May 2023 / Thursday / 19:00
9 Zlota St. (entrance from Jezuicka St.) The Dominican Friars’ Monastery
Farnaz MODARRESIFAR – Improvisations for santur and instruments / premiere
Martyna KOSECKA – Homāio for Persian ney/flute, santur, percussion, string trio and electronics / premiere (Supported by the funds from Norsk Kulturfond)
Fozié MAJD – Farāghi for violin and cello / Polish premiere
Farzia FALLAH – Lalayi for string trio / Polish premiere
Anahita ABBASI – Zavaya / Polish premiere
Ewa LIEBCHEN – flute
Farnaz MODARRESIFAR – santour
Anna KWIATKOWSKA – violin
Paweł CZARNY – viola
Mikołaj PAŁOSZ – cello
Magdalena KORDYLASIŃSKA – percussion
Idin Samimi MOFAKHAM – live electronics
Martyna KOSECKA – conductor, live electronics,
Openness to the world and awareness of tradition – these features can be found in the program of the joint performance of leading Polish performers of contemporary music and musicians from Iran. Lively contacts with the West in the 1960s and 1970s were conducive to the emergence of outstanding talents, among which a special place belongs to the composer and ethnomusicologist Fouzieh Majd (born 1938). Wider recognition of her highly original achievements in the field of instrumental and electroacoustic work was not favored by cultural policies hostile to music after the Islamic revolution. Unlike Majd, who still lives in Tehran, many Iranian composers work in Europe and North America, and their works are performed by renowned ensembles in the programs of the most prestigious musical events. An internationally renowned composer is Anahita Abbasi (born 1985), currently living in San Diego, who in 2017 was one of the founders of the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA). The patriarchal view of the place of women in society and culture, perpetuated by the policy of the Islamic state, creates insurmountable obstacles for women who want to pursue their creative ambitions – the task of the Association of female composers living in Iran and in the diaspora is to empower Iranian female artists by “promoting originality, diversity and equality”. Martyna Kosecka (born 1989), a Polish composer who lived in Tehran for many years and together with Idin Samimi Mofakham (privately her husband), initiated the first international festival of contemporary music in the Middle East. Farzia Fallah (born 1980), active in Germany, also belongs to the young generation of Iranian composers.
The interests of Iranian artists are diverse and not always related to the musical tradition of their country. Nevertheless, the program of this concert consists of works referring to the Persian musical culture – the most obvious, though not necessarily the most important, reference is the use of traditional Persian instruments. We will come closest to tradition by listening to the improvisation by Farnaz Modarresifar (born 1989) – a santour virtuoso (stringed instrument, a kind of dulcimer) living in Paris, who also invited Polish musicians to perform with her.
flow unit + Farnaz Modarresifar: Ewa Liebchen – flute, Anna Kwiatkowska – violin, Paweł Czarny – viola, Mikołaj Pałosz – cello, Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala – percussion, Farnaz Modarresifar – santour, Martyna Kosecka – live elctronics
The female composers are associated with the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA)
Anahita ABBASI (world citizen – 1985) was born and raised in Iran. In 2005 she moved to Austria and pursued her undergrad at the University of music and performing Arts Graz, where she studied music theory with Clemens Gadenstätter and Christian Utz & composition with Beat Furrer and Pierluigi Billone; while working closely with Georges Aperghis, Franck Bedrossian, and Philippe Leroux. Since 2014, Abbasi is residing in San Diego, USA, and currently finishing her Ph.D. in composition under the supervision of Rand Steiger at the University of California San Diego. In 2014, she received the work-scholarship from Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg. A recipient of a 2015 Morton Gold ASCAP young composers award, Ms. Abbasi was also nominated in 2017 at the Cairo Contemporary Festival as one of the “women composers of our time” alongside Kaija Saariaho and Isabel Mundry. In 2019 she was one of the winners of the composition competition of the Acht Brücken Festival.
Aside from teaching composition, giving lectures and curating workshops on fundamentals of creation, and serving as a juror at composition competitions, she is also a founding member of Schallfeld Ensemble in Graz, Austria as well as IFCA (Iranian Female Composers Association) in New York City; where she is curating concerts, workshops, conferences, creating platforms and advocating for young composers and acts as their ambassadors in presenting their music to others.
Martyna KOSECKA’s music grows out of her interest in philosophy, physics, linguistics and the mythologies and fables of the world. She is a Polish composer, performer, conductor, curator and researcher in new music. In her projects she works with narratives, microtonality, symbolism and ritualism, by using multidisciplinary solutions. She emphasises the richness of transcultural relationships in art, drawing from the cultures of Iran, Poland and Norway, the countries she has connected through her life. Martyna currently lives and works in Oslo, where she is involved in the curatorial activities of VoxLAB, the Periferien contemporary music concert series and the Norwegian Society of Composers. Since 2018, her compositions have been published by Donemus Holland.
Kosecka’s music was played at numerous festivals and concerts around the world, among them the International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn, NeoArte Synthesizer of Arts Festival (Gdańsk), AudioArt Festival Kraków, rainy days festival (Luxembourg), OstravaDays Festival of New and Experimental Music (Czechia), Tehran Contemporary Music Festival (Iran), Intonal Festival (Sweden), IMPULS Festival (Austria), Music Biennale Zagreb (Croatia), Armel Opera Festival (Austria/Hungary), or Risuonanze Festival (Italy).
In 2013, with Iranian composer Idin Samimi Mofakham, she co-founded Spectro Centre for New Music, specializing in giving workshops in contemporary music and organizing concerts. Their intensive tries and vivid activity helped to run the International Contemporary Music Festival in Tehran, the largest festival focused on contemporary music in the Middle-East area.
Fozié MAJD (born in 1938 in Berlin, Germany) is a Persian composer and ethnomusicologist.
She started learning piano at the age of six and spent her primary education at Jeanne d’Arc School in Tehran. Emanuel Malik Aslanian was her piano teacher and influenced her future musical thinking. She also took music classes in cello and santur. At the end of the 1940s, Majd went to England to study music at the “Morton Hall” school. After finishing high school and starting her first compositional steps, she studied music at the University of Edinburgh. Then Majd returned to Iran and began teaching “History of Western Music” at the music conservatory in Tehran and counterpoint at the Tehran Institute of Musicology.
In 1966, after receiving a scholarship from the French government, she went to France to study composition with Nadia Boulanger. After that, in 1968, and after receiving a scholarship from the National Iranian Radio and Television NIRT, Majd went to study ethnomusicology under the supervision of Trần Văn Khê at Sorbonne University. She returned to Iran in 1971.
After her return to the country, she started her research in folk and classical Iranian music system “radif” at the Center for the Preservation and Distribution of Iranian Music. Also, in the early 1970s, she founded the “Music Collection and Recognition Group” in the National Iranian Radio and Television of Iran and, by inviting various musicians, organized artistic programs for The Shiraz Festival of Arts and Mashhad Toos Festival. The goal of this group, under Majd’s leadership, was to collect and archive Persian folk songs at the National Iranian Radio and Television (NITV) from various Iranian regions and tribes, traveling to Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Hormozgan, and Bushehr provinces between 1971 to 1979.
Farzia FALLAH, born in Tehran (Iran), has been living in Germany since 2007, having studied Composition at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen with Prof. Younghi Pagh-Paan and Prof. Jörg
Birkenkötter and at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln as well as the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg with Prof. Johannes Schöllhorn. She is currently based in Cologne as freelancer,
working internationally with various ensembles and musicians from Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Taiwan and the United States. She had premieres at renowned festivals such as Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik (DE), Acht Brücken Festival Köln (DE), Transart Festival Bozen (IT), Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik (AT).
In 2023 she received the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis. She was also awarded by the Forum junger Komponisten of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste (2022) as well as the Oldenburger
Kompositionspreis für Zeitgenössische Musik (2020). She has been a fellow of Deutsches Studienzentrum in Venice, Archiv Frau und Musik in Frankfurt as well as Künstlerdorf Schöppingen,
Künstlerhaus Lauenburg and Künstlerhof Schreyahn. In 2023, a portrait CD of her will be released by WERGO in cooperation with Edition Zeitgenössische Musik.
Farnaz MODARRESIFAR (b. 1989 in Tehran, Iran) is a Franco-Iranian composer and santour player (santour is a Persian dulcimer). She started her career as a musician at the National Conservatory of Tehran and later obtained her First-Class Bachelor’s Degree in Santour Performance from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran. She holds a First-Class Degree in Composition from the École Normale de Musique de Paris – Alfred Cortot and CRR de Boulogne-Billancourt. Modarresifar has also two Master’s degrees in Improvisation and Musicology from the PSPBB and the university of Paris8.
Since 2012 she has performed with many esteemed ensembles. She has appeared on Radio France-Musique and has performed in various music festivals and residences. Modarresifar is one of the most well-known santour players of her generation and has received several awards as a composer and musician including winning Alain Louvier Prize, the ACIMC composition Prize, First Prize in the Tehran Soloists Festival, the Festival of the Conservatories of Fine Arts of Iran, and the Ava-ye-Mehr Festival, and is a member of the National Elite Organization of Iran. Farnaz is the selected composer for « Academy of young composers » of Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, in which her compositions will be premiere in 2022-2023 in Philharmonie de Paris and Théâtre du Châtelet. She is also the selected composer for Atelier de Composition with Georges Aperghis for 2023
“Flow” in the name of the group is the answer to the question that the pianist Adam Kośmieja, the violinist Anna Kwiatkowska and the cellist Mikołaj Pałosz asked themselves during rehearsals: Why do we do this? Why do we play the most ambitious pieces, putting the performers on the most demanding tasks? It’s about this flow: “a state of satisfaction and euphoria caused by complete dedication to some activity” (Wikipedia).
The trio composed of the aforementioned instrumentalists is the core of the band, which is joined by other well-known performers on the new music scene: flutist Ewa Liebchen, clarinetist Julian Paprocki, violist Paweł Czarny, percussionist Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala and others. As a trio, the group began its activity in September 2020 with a concert announcing the Warsaw Autumn festival.
In 2022, the flow unit appeared at many events with new programs: at the Kody festival in Lublin (May) with a program built around Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, at the concert announcing the Warsaw Autumn festival (July), at joint performances with young instrumentalists in Warsaw and Radom (October), the Łódź Philharmonic (November), Prom Kultury in Warsaw and TR Warszawa Theater (November), Witold Lutosławski Studio in Warsaw (December). A particularly ambitious, pioneering and large-scale undertaking carried out by the members of the ensemble is the first Summer New Music Courses in Bydgoszcz, which took place at the turn of July and August, and are addressed to young performers. Plans for 2023 include the continuation of the Courses, a stage project prepared with the mime and director Bartłomiej Ostapczuk, premieres of Polish and foreign works, performances in concert halls in Poland, Great Britain and Norway.
Ewa LIEBCHEN – Flutist, soloist and chamber musician, specializing in the performance of contemporary music. She has made numerous performances and premieres of works of Polish music. Many of them were commissioned under the program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Commissions for Composition.
She is a graduate of the Accademia Italiana del Flauto (2002) in the flute class of prof. Raymond Guiot and the Academy of Music. F. Nowowiejski in Bydgoszcz in the flute class of prof. Jadwiga Kotnowska (2005). Laureate of national and international music competitions as a soloist and chamber musician. Scholarship holder of such organizations as Fundacja Kultury, ZAiKS, Top Wind and Accademia Musicale Chigiana. She is also a two-time winner of the “Young Poland” Scholarship Program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
As part of her pedagogical activity, she conducts presentations and workshops in the field of contemporary performance for instrumentalists, teachers and composers. She gave lectures at music universities (F. Nowowiejski AM in Bydgoszcz, S. Moniuszko AM in Gdańsk, G. and K. Bacewicz AM in Łódź). As an artist-in-residence, she was invited to the Synthetis International Summer Composition Courses in Radziejowice (2015, 2017), and was a guest at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music (SCCM) in Chendgu, China (2017).
She is a flautist of the Chain Ensemble, an ensemble performing new music led by prof. Andrzej Bauer. He has also been a member of the flute duo Flute O’Clock for fifteen years. In 2010, the duo’s first album was released by DUX. The album Now was awarded by the Hi-Fi i Muzyka monthly for Record of the Year 2010 and was nominated for the Fryderyk 2011 award in the Phonographic Debut of the Year category. The flutist has recorded albums with music by Polish composers – Sławomir Kupczak and Dominik Karski, which were released by DUX and Bôłt Records. In 2018, also by Bôłt Records, her first solo album Electric Sheep was released. A piece from this album – Halny by Sławomir Kupczak – was recommended by the 66th International Rostrum of Composers. The next album project “Goodnight Mr. Górecki” (Bôłt Records) recorded with Emilia Karolina Sitarz – piano, Barbara Kinga Majewska – soprano and Hubert Zemler – percussion was released in October 2020 on the 10th anniversary of the composer’s death.
The premiere of the latest solo album “Dizzy Divinity” (Bôłt Records) took place in autumn 2022 at the Sacrum Profanum festival.
Anna KWIATKOWSKA (1978) graduated from the Academy of Music in Cracow. She has participated in numerous masterclasses as well as the Impuls courses in Graz and the Summer Courses of New Music in Darmstadt. In 1998-2008, as the leader of the Violarium string trio, she gave many concerts in Poland and abroad (Germany, Italy, Austria, Lithuania, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Mexico). Anna Kwiatkowska performs as a soloist performing both outstanding pieces of contemporary violin repertoire (including Berio, Boulez, Carter, Haas, Kurtág, Nono, Saariaho, Sørensen), as well as pieces written especially for her by leading Polish composers (including Wojciech Blecharz, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Jagoda Szmytka, Sławomir Wojciechowski, Sławomir Kupczak, Artur Kroschel, Rafał Zapała, Wojciech Błażejczyk, Dominik Karski). She has performed, inter alia, at the Days of New Italian Music and Days of New Danish Music in Krakow, Summer Music Festival in Copenhagen, Bendigo Intenational Festival of Exploratory Music in Australia, International Chamber Music Festival in Beijing, Audio Art Festival in Cracow, Musica Polonica Nova festival in Wrocław, Poznań Music Spring, the “Łańcuch” (“Chain”) Festival in Warsaw and at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. She collaborated with the MusikFabrik ensemble in Cologne, performing at important events and in prestigious venues, such as the Musikfest in Berlin or Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum. Anna Kwiatkowska is a co-organizer of educational contemporary music workshops for young people as part of the “Harmonies and Noises” series and the “Dźwiękowisko” (“Sound Playground”) educational series in cooperation with the Institute of Music and Dance. Her album “Eidos”, recorded together with the pianist Joanna Opalińska, was nominated for the Fryderyk 2017 Award in the chamber music category. Kwiatkowska is a scholarship holder of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Performs with the Warsaw-based Chain Ensemble. She also performs contemporary music in the flow unit group formed with the cellist Mikołaj Pałosz and the pianist Adam Kośmieja, and in a duet with Mikołaj Pałosz, with whom in 2021 she recorded the CD “Aure” (Requiem Records).
Paweł CZARNY – violist, member of Royal String Quartet since 2018.
Graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he attended the classes of Piotr Reichert and Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka. Paweł won Second Prize at the Michał Spisak International Music Competition in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Third Prize and a Special Prize in the 3rd Wrocław Competition for Young Violists, as well as Third Prize (together with the Tesseris Quartet) in the 1st International String Quartet Competition in Radom.
As a member of Royal Quartet he is the host of Kwartesencja Festival. He performed in many festivals: Sacrum Profanum, “Chain” Witold Lutosławski Festival, Beethoven Festival in Moscow, Jerzy Waldorff Summer Festival, to name a few. Many concerts were broadcasted live by TVP Kultura and Polish Radio Program 2. Royal String Quartet was first to arrange and perform two never published before String Quartets by Grażyna Bacewicz.
He holds the position of principal viola in the Chain Ensemble chamber orchestra led by Andrzej Bauer. He has appeared in numerous concerts and festivals at home and abroad, including chamber music projects with members of Berliner Philharmoniker during the Summer Music Academy in Lusławice. He has also collaborated with Agata Szymczewska, Bartłomiej Nizioł, Kevin Kenner, Bruno Canino, José Gallardo, Jakub Jakowicz, and Szymon Krzeszowiec at the Ensemble International Chamber Music Festival held in Książ Castle in Wałbrzych. The violist is a member of the Accademia Gustav Mahler of Bolzano, Italy. Furthermore, in collaboration with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra he has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York. Recently he joined forces with Antonina Styczeń and Zuzanna Federowicz to record Weinberg’s Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp on the TACET label, which received a nomination at the International Classical Music Awards 2018.
He holds scholarships from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and the Polish Children’s Fund.
Mikołaj PAŁOSZ (born 1976) is a freelance cellist specializing in contemporary and avant-garde music performance. He obtained a PhD in Music Performance at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Prizewinner at international music competitions including the Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Cracow and Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw. He appears at the Warsaw Autumn, Wrocław Musica Polonica Nova, Katowice Polish Music Premieres, Poznań Music Spring, as well as Audio Art and Ad Libitum music festivals. Mikołaj is a member of the Warsaw Cellonet Group and Chain Ensemble. As a member of Netherlands-based Cello Octet Amsterdam (formerly Conjunto Ibérico) he has toured throughout Europe, USA and South America. His solo contemporary music recital CD Cellovator was released in 2008. Mikołaj has composed works for solo cello Pretudes (2012) and created audiovisual compositions Dłubak Soundsystem (2012) and AVC (2016) sponsored by the city of Warsaw and Polish Minister of Culture. Together with violinist Anna Kwiatkowska, Mikołaj forms a duo, and along with pianist Adam Kośmieja the flow unit trio, presenting contemporary and latest repertoire. Mikołaj Pałosz is collaborating with leading Polish composers in creation of new works and has premiered many pieces often dedicated to him.
Magdalena KORDYLASIŃSKA-PĘKALA is a marimba and percussion player specializing in the performance of chamber and solo music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Winner of the Polityka Passport and other prestigious awards and scholarships, she collaborates with Miłosz Pękala, with whom she forms the percussion duo PękalaIKordylasińskaIPękala, as well as the Chain Ensemble of new music led by the outstanding cellist Andrzej Bauer. She cooperate also with Hashtag Ensemble.
Magdalena also co-creates the Kwadrofonik quartet (two pianos, two percussions), with which she gives concerts all over the world (Poland, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Japan), performing pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, and the quartet’s own compositions – arrangements of Polish melodies and folk songs – Folklove, Folk Requiem, Baczyński. Astronomia poety. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has participated in many festivals and concerts in the country and abroad, incl. Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum, Donaueschingenmusiktage, Klang Festival Kopenhagen, Hearing Warsaw, Music Design Form Szczecin. The marimbist also conducts teaching activities. For many years she has been a teacher at ZPSM No. 4 im. Karol Szymanowski in Warsaw and since 2018 she works also as an assistant professor in the percussion class of the Academy of Art in Szczecin. As a teacher and concert musician, she is invited to present percussion courses and workshops for students and teachers.
Magdalena comes from Szczecin. She started learning to play percussion at the age of 18 in the percussion class of Dariusz Jagiełło. In 2006, she graduated with honors from the Academy of Music. F. Chopin in Warsaw and polished her artistic workshop also during her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, in the percussion class of prof. Gert Mortensen. She get her PhD degree in 2020 at Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
She is working with composer to enrich the repertoire of percussion music and dedicated to her duo pieces, such as Passacaglia by Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska or Returning Sounds by Miłosz Bembinow became well known percussion duo compositions.
Magdalena colaborate also with great musicians as Katarzyna Myćka, Asuna Arashi, Felix Kubin, Percussion Claviers de Lyon and orchestras National Philharmony Warsaw, Sinfonia Varsovia.
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