New Music

CAROS COMPOSITORES: 4º Concurso de Composição está em curso!

Queridos e estimados compositores—queria também anunciar, agora em português, a 4ª Edição do Concurso de Composição para Flautas Transversais da Academia de Flauta de Verão! Temos duas categorias diferentes que achamos que vão vos inspirar:

1) OBRA A SOLO para uma das "low flutes": flauta em sol, flauta baixo, ou flauta contrabaixo.

2) QUINTETO para 5 flautistas com instrumentação flexível.

O nosso concurso está aberto à compositores de todas as idades e nacionalidades, e temos abertura para qualquer estilo de escrita. Estamos ansiosos para ver, tocar e ouvir o que vocês podem imaginar!

Obras que obtém um 1º Prémio terão estreia durante a 5ª Academia de Flauta de Verão em Julho de 2017 no Porto. Serão gravados em audio e vídeo, e serão publicado pelo notável Scherzo Editions, e há ainda um prémio monetário.

Nota-se que a Scherzo Editions já foi premiado pela National Flute Association em 2016, com um 1º Prémio para Obras Recém-Publicadas (Newly Published Music Competition)—BRAVO, Scherzo Editions, uma empresa 100% portuguesa!!

O Concurso conta com o apoio precioso da Powell Flutes, EUA e da Kingma Flutes da Holanda, da Scherzo Editions e ainda com a ajuda da ESMAE no Porto—OBRIGADA A TODOS!

O regulamento pode está no site da Academia de Flauta de Verão. A data limite é dia 20 de Março de 2017—por favor, ajudam a partilhar estas informações, obrigada!

Portugal at the US National Flute Association Convention!

We're small, but we're mighty! For anyone attending the NFA Convention in San Diego, CA, put this on your calendar for tomorrow, Sunday, August 14th, 9am: the US premier of Portuguese composer André M. Santos's work for solo flute: O motivo da menina Laite, published by Scherzo Editions of Lisbon.

The work will be performed by American flutist Tracy Doyle, of Colorado, a winner of the NFA's 2016 Convention Performer's Competition, and a Powell Flute player. The premier will be Sunday at 9am, on the program of "Newly Published Works" — works whose publishers won First Prize for the edition—in the California Room at the Convention venue. 

I sure wish I could be there to hear it, but you can be sure that the room will be filled, and Portugal will be "put on the map" as we say. Tracy has kindly agreed to send an "on-the-ground" report from the Convention afterwards, for me to publish here on the blog—keep your eyes out for that!

Toi-toi for the performance (that's Portuguese for "break a leg"), Tracy!!

Powell Flutist Tracy Doyle, with a beautiful out-West, Colorado background

Powell Flutist Tracy Doyle, with a beautiful out-West, Colorado background

Women Out In Front!

Dear readers of the male persuasion: please forgive me, but today I just have to write a bit about the rise of women in music, inspired by something amazing I read in the New York Times. Later I’ll write more on this theme, because although it may seem in this year of 2016, that women and men are pretty much on the same footing in the (classical) music business, I’m not so sure we are, truly.

Either way, I think it’s good to look back and see how far we've come, in order to not take things granted. Whenever I mention this subject, or certain historical figures, young players are often taken aback—hasn’t it always been the way it is now? The answer is, alas, a firm NO!

In any case, today I just have to mention a performance of a remarkable and entertaining work for soprano and small orchestra by Gyorgy Ligeti, called “Mysteries of the Macabre”, which was simultaneously sung AND conducted by the American soprano Barbara Hannigan with the Göteborgs Sinfoniker of Sweden. As the article mentions, moving from singing soprano to conducting is fairly rare, but to take both roles at the same time is—was—unheard of. Watch the video here (the work is a real stunner: modern, dramatic, but also hilariously crazy) to see it for your own eyes. 

Oddly enough, after watching this almost operatic rendition (what an outfit!!), I’m now having a hard time even imagining a standard performance, with a soprano soloist and a conductor! I’m crossing my fingers that either the work or the soprano/conductor appear on our orchestra programming; if it happens, you’ll be the first to know!

Barbara Hannigan singing and conducting Ligeti's "Mysteries of the Macabre"

Barbara Hannigan singing and conducting Ligeti's "Mysteries of the Macabre"

Summer Flute Academy Composition Competition - WINNER!

A quick entry about the First-Prize Winning work from the 3rd Composition Competition of the Summer Flute Academy: "Traveling", for flute and alto flute duo, by Ricardo Matosinhos. The work is in four movements, each very picturesque and extremely well-written for both instruments, with a touch of extended techniques here and there, but very accessible to any listener! The composer, also a horn player, is now composing for flute, and all we can say is WELCOME!! The work will be edited and published by Scherzo Editions before the end of 2016—you can order it online

We professors of the Academy were particularly proud that two advanced participants gave the work's premier at our final presentation, in the Teatro Helena Sá e Costa in Porto, and extremely well and beautifully played it was! The performers were André Cameira, flute, and Patrícia Pires, alto flute — BRAVO!! Here's a photo of these two fine players with composer Ricardo Matosinhos after the performance. Cheers to all, and on to next year's competition, dear composers!

Flutists André Cameira and Patrícia Pires, with composer Ricardo Matosinhos, center

Flutists André Cameira and Patrícia Pires, with composer Ricardo Matosinhos, center

Bravo, Scherzo Editions of Lisbon!

At the last three editions of the Summer Flute Academy, we have been pleased to include João Vidinha, owner-founder of Scherzo Editions. Scherzo Editions has been busy publishing works by Portuguese and foreign composers, mostly living ones, for a variety of instruments and ensembles. As João has described it, he is looking for "fresh" compositions, music that is well-written and stylistically interesting, without following any particular "school". 

Scherzo Editions is a fundamental element in the Academy's annual Composition Competition for Works for Flute, in that the winning works are subsequently published by Scherzo. Not only is this great for the winning composers, but also for us flutists, since the emphasis at Scherzo is on attention to the legibility and practicability of the score for the PERFORMER! Scherzo's editions are truly a joy to look at and to play from!

Recently, along with publishing all the required commissioned works for the Portuguese Young Musicians' Prizes, Scherzo received a FIRST PRIZE in the American National Flute Association's Newly Published Music Competition—right alongside long-established editors such as Bärenreiter Verlag and Theodor Presser Company, which is an amazing achievement! The winning work, by the Portuguese composer André M. SantosO motivo da menina Laite, for solo flute, will have its US premier at the NFA Convention in San Diego, California, later this month! To purchase, order directly from the Scherzo site. Bravo Scherzo Editions and André M. Santos!!

João Vidinha of Scherzo Editions, with the NFA prize-winning work, at the Summer Flute Academy

João Vidinha of Scherzo Editions, with the NFA prize-winning work, at the Summer Flute Academy

A Day to remember!

What is a FULL DAY? One like yesterday that started with the final presentation of the Summer Flute Academy, in which 3/4 of the program was music by living composers, with 2 out of 3 present in the hall! FANTASTIC new works—prize-winners of our 3rd Composition Competition—by Jorge Ramos and Ricardo Matosinhos (have I mentioned that Portuguese composers rock?)—the first for full flute ensemble, from piccolo down to contrabass, conducted by yours truly, the second a duo expertly performed by André Cameira (flute) and Patrícia Pires (alto flute). Soon the videos will be online at the Academia de Flauta de Verão's website for all to enjoy! Check them out! 

In the afternoon, I was honored to be a jury member again in the Prémios Jovens Músicos (Young Musician's Prizes) at the Casa da Música in Porto. The final round of the the Senior category was held, with beautiful and poised performances by all three finalists, with Mafalda Carvalho taking home 1st prize—CONGRATULATIONS! She performed Casella's Sicilienne et Burlesque and the Nielsen Flute Concerto. Put September 23rd on your calendar to hear her perform the first movement of the Nielsen with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon at the Winner's Concert—looking forward to that!