Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Contemporary Serbian Music

Joint concert with Creo, the New Music Ensemble at Old Dominion University, Virginia, directed by Andrey Kasparov.
Clapp Recital Hall, Sunday, September 30, 2001, 8:00 pm



MIX (1993) Vladan Radovanović
Tape alone
Rukoveti (A Harvester Gathers
a Handful of Songs) (1999)
Isidora Žebeljan
  1. A Cradle Song
  2. Intermezzo No. 1
  3. Down Town, in Novi Sad, a Rode Tree I Planted...
  4. Intermezzo No. 2
  5. All the Yawl Men...
  6. Whether a True Love, or a Jest, a Joke? ...
  7. Intermezzo No. 3
  8. Oh, My Beloved...
Lisa Relaford Coston,  mezzo-soprano
Andrey Kasparov,  piano
Lamentoso (1977) Milan Mihajlović
Miki Yuasa,  violin
F. Gerard Errante,  clarinet
Andrey Kasparov,  piano

Farce (1976) (from Hexagons)

Srdjan Hofman

Miki Yuasa,  violin
James Ellis,  cello
Oksana Lutsyshyn,  piano

Chamber Music (1997) Vera Stanojević
Lisa Relaford Coston,  mezzo-soprano
Antonio Guimaraes,  flute
F. Gerard Errante,  clarinet/bass clarinet
James Ellis,  cello
Oksana Lutsyshyn,  piano
David Gompper,  conductor
Facere Totum (1993) Tatjana Milošević
Mark Wieger,  oboe
F. Gerard Errante,  bass clarinet
James Ellis,  cello
Oksana Lutsyshyn,  piano
David Walker,  percussion
David Gompper,  conductor


Notes & Bios




The basic idea of the composition is mixing of sound sources obtained by synthesis and sampling. As for sampled sounds, four kinds of human-voice sounds were used. In addition, more than 40 synthesized and sampled sounds were included. Although the nature of the synthesized and sampled sounds differ, there are seemingly similar elements between these two types. In terms of the form, the irregularity of the micro level is combined with the relative regularity of the macro level. The composition was realized in Radio Belgrade's Electronic Studio.

Vladan Radovanovic was born in Belgrade in 1932. He received his Bachelors Degree in Composition at the Belgrade Academy of Music in 1956. In 1957, he taught Music Theory at the Stankovic Music School. In 1958, he participated in establishing the Mediala group. He was one of the founders of the periodical Rok in 1969, and since 1972, he has been the head and the founding member of the Radio Belgrade's Electronic Studio. He initiated the informal group  Yummbel (1982) and the SINTUM project/group (1993)

He started experimenting with tape music in 1961, with electronics in 1966 and with computer music in 1976. He worked in studios for electro-acoustic music in Warsaw (1966), Utrecht (1976), and Budapest (1987). He has been working creatively in music, the visual arts, literature, multimedia synthesis and new media. Independently of and simultaneously with the Western avant-garde of the fifties, he made explorations in similar directions and in diverse media (vovovisual projects in 1954, polymedia and tactilism in 1957, etc.). The central position in his poetics belongs to the synthesis of the arts -- SIMTUM. Besides creativity in the arts, he writes essays on music and on new trends in the arts. He has published more than 150 essays, critical reviews and interviews on music and on other arts (Vidici, Delo, Zvuk, Problemi, Kultura, Interface, Flash Art) or broadcast them.

He has held thirteen one-man exhibitions and performances in Belgrade, Nis Zagreb, Novi Sad, Amsterdam, Ghent, Ferrara, and participated in a number of group exhibitions in Yugoslavia and abroad. His vovocisual works are included in anthologies, catalogues, records and cassettes. His compositions were performed at BEMUS, the Musical Biennale in Zagreb, around Western Europe, and has represented Yugoslavia three times (1969, 1976, 1988) at the festivals organized by the ISCM.

He has published seven books and six scores. His music is featured on two LPs which are dedicated solely to his music, two cassette tapes, and the CD Cosmic Music (Sokoj, CD 202).

He has won two prizes for visual arts, two for literature, nine for music, including three first prizes at the Yugoslav Music on Radio festival, the October Prize in 1971, the Petar Konjovic prize in 1982, the international prize for electro-acoustic music in Bourges in 1978 and the prize from Gianfranco Zafrani records. He is also the author of two radio plays:  Leaving (1966-73) and  The Dreamer (1984).



The composition  Harvester Gathers a Handful of Songs, five songs for soprano voice and piano, was originally written for soprano and symphony orchestra. The composition was inspired by and composed to the verses of The Serbian urban poetry from Vojvodina written at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. The songs are also based on the verses of the Serbian folk lyrics from Vojvodina.

Isidora Zebeljan, born in Belgrade, is a composer of numerous chamber vocal and instrumental works, including the symphonic composition  The Scenes of Picars. An important part of her oeuvre is for theater. Numerous works by Zebeljan have been highly recognized, and she has been awarded several distinguished awards: three YUSTAT awards and Sterija award, the highest annual award for music composed in a theater production and received at the festival Sterijino Pozorje. She also received the prize at the international festival  Tribina kompozitora Sremski Karlovci in Novi Sad in 1993, for her first symphony  The Scenes of Picars, sinfonia in tre movimenti. Ms. Zeveljan presently works as an Assistant professor at the University of Belgrade.



Lamentoso for clarinet, violin and piano, performed throughout Yugoslavia, in Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Hungary, fully revealed the aesthetic principles of this "poet among Serbian composers." The work is composed in an arch form: outer sections are laments, while the inner section, more dramatic in character, contains a powerful climax.

Milan Mihajlovic was born in Belgrade in 1945. In 1970, he graduated from the Belgrade Academy of Music with diplomas in Composition and Conducting. He subsequently obtained the Masters degree in Composition from the same school. Mihajlovic has attended summer courses in Cologne and Salzburg. He is presently a full-time professor at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. He was the Head of the Department of Music Theory, and since 1987 has been President of the Association of Composers of Serbia. Mihajlovic is one of the founders of the Ensemble for Contemporary Music and the International Review of Composers, an international festival of new music, of which he was the first director. He has won several awards, such as Stevan Hristic Award (1970), Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS) Award (1972), the October Prize of the City of Belgrade (1984), first prize at the International Review of Composers (1992) and the Stevan Mokranjac Award (1994).

Milan Mihajlovic is one of the few Serbian composers who has his music published by the world-famous publisher Peters and has his works regularly performed both at home and abroad. Averse to all that is superficial, false and trendy, profoundly conscious of a composer's responsibility, and highly selective, Milan Mihajlovic in his own words "composers in order to create new entity, true and consistent with the meaning from which it has originated." He does not write quickly, nor does he write much, but every work of his displays an enviable amount of musical inventiveness and imagination. The youthful power and lucidity of his early orchestral works, most notably in the Symphonic Metamorphoses and Prelude Aria and Finale, were gradually succeeded by the intimacy of the chamber sound, versatile possibilities of which he has been exploring in his mature works:  The Nocturnes for french horn, wind and string quartet,  Bagatelles for violin, strings and harpsichord,  Elegy for strings,  Eine kleine Trauermusik for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano.



Farce for violin, violoncello and piano is part of Hexagons, a cycle which also includes: Monodrama for cello solo, Pastorale for violin solo and Ritual: a musical scene for six groups of girls and instrumental ensemble. The very title of these works points out a theatrical character of the music.

Belgrade composer Srdjan Hofman was born in 1944 in Glina, Yugoslavia. He completed his studies in composition in 1968 at the Academy of Music in Belgrade, and graduated from the same school with the Masters degree in 1972. He also attended composition courses in Germany: in Darmstadt in 1974, and Stuttgart and Cologne in 1975. He is currently a Professor of Composition at the Department of Composition and Orchestration at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. He also teaches electronic music. Hofman has published a number of articles on contemporary music and the book The Characteristics of Electronic Music.

Hofman's oeuvre includes numerous works for orchestra, vocal and instrumental chamber music, solo pieces, compositions for choir as well as electro-acoustic works. His works have been performed at the leading music festivals at home and abroad, such as Belgrade Music Festival, Days of Music in Budva, Music in Serbia, International Composers' Forum in Belgrade, Ohrid Summer Festival, Yugoslav Creative Music Forum in Opatija, The Biennial of Music in Zagreb, International Competition and Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music in Bourge, Symposium of Electronic Music ISEA '94 in Helsinki, World Days of Music in Stockholm. His music has also beenwidely performed as part of the concert repertoire in the Netherlands, Poland, France, Austria, Australia, Great Britain and the United States. Some of his works (monodrama for cello solo and Farce for piano trio) were part of the official program for international contests of Musical Youth.

Hofman's music is featured on numerous recordings. Many of his recordings are part of the permanent recording collections in a number of local radio stations, and two of his recordings achieved international recognition through the performances at the Composers' Forum in Paris. Hofman's works, including his work Moving Mirrors for two pianos, four performers, are also featured on two CDs.

Hofman has been on juries for the international contests such as Musical Youth and Stevan Mokranjac Prize. He is one of the founders and a selector of the programs for the International Composers' Forum, and a Secretary of the national selection of the International Society for New Music. He has received many awards, among them the first prize at the Third International Composers' Forum in Belgrade in 1994 for his work  Concertanto Music for piano, 13 strings and electronics; the first prize at the Fourth International Composers' Forum in Belgrade in 1995 for his work Signs for flute, violoncello, piano and live-electronics; and the prize of the Association of the Composers of Serbia. He has also received a medal from the University of Arts in Belgrade.


Chamber Music

Chamber Music was commissioned by the chamber ensemble from Essen, Germany. The composition is a setting of two poems by James Joyce (XIV and XXVIII from the poet's collection entitled Chamber Music). The composer was attracted to the Joyce poems because of their strongly emotional and intuitive, rather than formal structure. Says the composer, "It was refreshing for me as a woman to find these poems that speak almost with a feminine, or at least a multi-gendered voice.

In these poems, it seems to me that form is born out of emotion, and not vice-versa. The same process, I like to think, engendered my music, and may explain to the listener the music's certain free and quasi-improvisational character. In this work, it is not the words themselves that lead the music -- but rather the space between them, or subtext, that is a developmental force. The instruments, for the most part, are not treated as individual soloists, but rather as one complex but unified instrument that, born out of the voice part, serves not only to reflect, but also to transform it."

Vera Stanojevic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she studied piano, theory and composition at the Mokranjac School of Music in Belgrade. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia. She was invited for doctoral studies at the Ohio State University in Columbus on a University fellowship (1991-92) and a Presidential fellowship (1994-95).

She has won numerous awards for her compositions, including the 1983 Belgrade October Prize, and the (Yugoslav) State Society for Cultural Affairs grant for a work premiered in 1985. Her works have been performed at various festivals and concerts in several countries, and have been recorded and broadcast on European and American radio and television..

She was awarded two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grants (1997-98 & 1999-2000), and a 1997-98 Greater Columbus (Ohio) Arts Council Grant. In August, 1997, she won the Vienna Modern Masters Millennium Commissioning Competition which resulted in the commission, performance, publication, and CD recording of her Notturno for orchestra. In October 1997 she was awarded an American Composers Forum Composers' Commissioning Project Grant to compose a work for percussionist Fernando Meza. She is also active as a grant panelist for various state arts councils. Recent performances of her works include the premiere of Chamber Music (mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, cello and piano) at the Opera House in Essen, Germany in March, 1997; a subsequent performance of that work at the international conference, Women in Music: The Last 100 Years, in Athens, Ohio in October, 1997; and at The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival in February, 1998. Her new orchestral piece, Notturno, was performed in Olomouc, Czech Republic in June, 1998.


Facere Totum

Facere Totum (Latin for "do everything") is made up of three variations on the subject from J. S. Bach's D Major fugue (Wohltemperierten Klavier, volume I). The title of the work suggests many different procedures of developing and modifying this initial subject-impulse, which functions like an imperative for using a great number of motive changes. The electronic part was realized in 1992 in the Academy of Music Electronic Studios in Belgrade.


Tatjana Milosevic was born in Vranje, Yugoslavia in 1970. She studied advanced composition and orchestration at the Belgrade Conservatory, where she was also a teaching assistant of music theory. She has composed music for diverse media, including chamber, solo instruments, electro-acoustic, vocal, symphonic, and music for theater. Among courses she has attended are: Computer Music Course with Marco Stroppa and the Composition Workshop with Ligeti during the International Bartôk Seminar in Szombathely, Hungary in 1991 and 1993; the International New Music Summer Courses in Darmstadt, Germany in 1996; International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, Holland, 1999.

Her works have been performed at all renowned festivals in Yugoslavia and numerous concerts in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Spain. Her piece The Lights of Betelgeuse or The Secret of A Red Giant for piano, harpsichord and four violoncellos was performed during the ISCMs World Music Days '98 in Seoul, one of the most prestigious new music forums in the world.

She is a recipient of several major awards, including The September Prize in Vranje, Yugoslavia in 1994; the third prize at the Fourth International Review of Composers in Belgrade, 1995; the second prize at the International Competition  Gradus ad Parnassum in Kiev, Ukraine in 1995; and the first prize at the Seventh International Review of Composers in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1998.


Notes & Bios

Lisa Relaford Coston, mezzo-soprano, lives in Norfolk and is active as a chorister and soloist around the Hampton Roads area. She is a member of the principal professional core of the Virginia Symphony Chorus and is also a member of the Virginia Chorale, Virginia's only fully professional choral ensemble. Lisa has won honors for her singing from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Norfolk Art Song Society, when she was chosen to participate in a Master Class with world-renowned singer Marilyn Horne. Her major solo appearances include performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Brahms' Also Rhapsody and Mozart's C minor Mass.

James Ellis, violoncello, from St. Clair Shores, Michigan, received a BM from Western Michigan University, his MM from the University of Georgia and a DMA from the University of Iowa. Currently he maintains an active private studio in Iowa City and teaches at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He also is a permanent member of the Quad Cities Symphony, and occasionally plays with the Cedar Rapids and Southeast Symphonies.

F. Gerard Errante, clarinet, is a clarinetist of international stature whose performances around the globe have received critical acclaim. Mr. Errante has published extensively and has recorded for the CRI label, Telarc, Centaur Records, Capstone and Drimala, among others. His CD,  Shadows of Ancient Dreams, released in 1997, contains compositions for clarinet and electronics written for him. Errante's most recent CD,  Beyond No End with Errante, was released in January 2000. A specialist in new music, Errante was a second-prize winner in the International Gaudeamus Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music. After 30 years of service, Dr. Errante recently retired from Norfolk State University where he was Professor of Music, and twice was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. He has served as Co-Director of the Norfolk Chamber Consort since 1972.  

David Gompper (b. 1954), professor of composition at the University of Iowa, studied at the Royal College of Music in London, (M.Mus., composition, 1978) and at the University of Michigan (D.M.A., composition, 1988). He taught for two years at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His principal teachers of composition were William Albright, Leslie Bassett, Jeremy Dale Roberts and Humphrey Searle. He also studied piano with Phyllis Sellick (RCM), and received a B.M. degree in piano performance from San Diego State University.

He was appointed the director of the Center for New Music in 1994. A number of works have been recently premiered, including an IMTA commission entitled  Shadows II for piano, percussion and brass quintet last summer, and a work for clarinet quintet based on a Hopi Indian tune called  Butterfly Dance last April in Moscow.

David Gompper's international experience has been extensive. In 1995, he was invited by the United States Information Agency to lecture and perform in Kwangju, South Korea, and has lectured and heard his works performed two separate festivals of music at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. He has also been invited to Auckland University, New Zealand and to a festival in Goiania, Brazil. He is currently finishing work on a commission from Arizona State University for bassoon, ensemble and tape, as well as a solo piano work for a Wigmore Hall recital in London October 7th.  

Antonio Guimaraes, flute, is a DMA student at the University of Iowa on a Fellowship from CAPES-Brazilian Government. His main flute teacher has been Dr. Tadeu Coelho, plus master classes with Keith Underwood and Mark Sparks at Aspen. Antonio was born in Brazil where he appeared as assistant principal flute of Minas Gerais Symphony and principal flute of Minas Gerais University Orchestra. He taught flute in the pre-college of Minas Gerais Federal University and was the head of the wind department of the Preparatory School. He won Second Prize in the Young Soloist Brazil Competition in Priacicaba in 1987, the Concerto Competition of the federal University of Minas Gerais in 1987, and the Chamber Music Competition in 1989.

 Andrey Kasparov was born in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan, to a family of Armenian descent. He began studying music at the age of six. At fifteen, he moved to Moscow, Russia, where he later entered the Moscow State Conservatory, graduating with honors in Music Composition and Piano in 1989 and 1990, respectively. In the United States, he studied composition at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. He has also participated in the 1996 Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. Presently Mr. Kasparov is Professor of Music at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Mr. Kasparov's compositions have been performed in Moscow, New York, Paris, Darmstadt, Yerevan, Ottawa, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, and many other cities in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and North America. In addition to his career as a composer, Mr. Kasparov is a very active pianist. He has appeared in concerts as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the former Soviet Union, North America, Europe, and South Africa. In 1994 he was a soloist with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic in the world premiere of the newly discovered revised edition of Béla Bartók's Third Piano Concerto.

Mr. Kasparov has won prizes at numerous composition and piano competitions, such as the 1997 Sergei Prokofiev International Composition competition in Moscow, Russia; the 1998 Orléans (France) International Piano Competition for 20th-century music, and the all-U.S.S.R. composition competitions in 1985 and 1987. He has been a recipient of various awards, including the Indiana Arts Commission Fellowship and the grant from the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music.

Mr. Kasparov's music and performances are featured on the Vienna Modern Masters and Contemporary Record Society labels.  

Oksana Lutsyshyn was born in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. She began studying music at the age of eight. When she was twelve, she entered the Special Music School in Lviv, Ukraine from which she graduated in 1982. The same year she moved to Moscow, Russia and entered the Moscow State Conservatory, graduating with Masters Degree in 1987 and Doctoral Degree in 1991. After moving to the United States, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington.

Ms. Lutsyshyn has appeared in concerts as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the former Soviet Union, Germany, the United States, and South Africa. She gave a New York debut in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in September 1990 and a Chicago debut in the Preston Bradley Hall at Chicago Cultural Center in August 1995.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Lutsyshyn has played in ensembles with prominent musicians, such as violinist Joshua Bell, tubist Harvey Phillips, and tenor James King. She has made a recording for the BBC with Joshua Bell. She has also recorded for the Vienna Modern Masters and Contemporary Record Society labels.

Ms. Lutsyshyn won the Second Prize at the Vienna Modern Masters Third International Performers' Recording Awards Competition. She has also been a prizewinner at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in College Park, Maryland.

In addition to her performing activity, Ms. Lutsyshyn is an active teacher. She has taught masterclasses in many American universities, including Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Currently she is a piano instructor at the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia.  

David Walker (percussion) received his B.M. in Music Performance from the Wheaten Conservatory and his M.M. in Performance from the University of Michigan. He is an adjunct Professor of Percussion at Old Dominion University and Hampton University. Walker performs regularly with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.  

Mark Weiger, oboe, from Burlington, VT, is a full professor of music at the University of Iowa where he teaches oboe and chamber music. Since coming to Iowa in 1988 he has performed as a soloist throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Mexico, Brazil, Austria, France and Italy, presented two Carnegie Hall recitals, been a finalist in nine international competitions, was the Second Prize winner in the New York International Competition and the First Prize winner in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition in New York City. He has performed double concertos with Chicago's principal oboist, Ray Still, and presented solo recitals with such notables as Ronald Roseman, Marc Fink, and Bert Lucarelli. In 1996-97 Weiger became the first solo oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador. As such, he has presented recitals in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, India, Greece, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In 1998 his CD Oboe on Road was released through Centaur. In 1999 his CD of Grand Sonatas for Oboe was released through Crystal. In 2000 his CD Romantic Melodies for Oboe will be released on Eroica. Weiger can also be heard on CRS, Eroica and Green Mountain labels.