The composer and former KMH student Andreas Zhibaj's viola concert Ithaka, his master's degree composition at KMH, has been selected for this year's International Rostrum of Composers, which takes place in Palermo, Italy, in May 2017.
Zhibajs viola concerto Ithaka was performed on April 5 by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Eriikka Nylund as soloist in the Berwald Hall in Stockholm. Conductor was Ben Gernon. The recording of this work has been selected to competition Rostrum, organized by the European Broadcasting Union. On May 19, the concert is broadcast in Sweden's Radio P2.
In this work, Zhibaj deals with the themes of the present day: human flight and the need for spirituality. The mythical resonances of Homeros' Odysseus reinforce the viola concert's symbolism and gives it a historical perspective. Ithaka becomes a symbol of return to what life should be about. The composer intends that art can be guiding, and through "Humanistic music" he tries to reach out to the human being to show her out of captivity that she has put herself in.
International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) is a forum within the UNESCO framework organized annually by the International Music Council. It offers representatives from national radio channels the opportunity to exchange and publish new works. The work must have been composed during the last five years.
Over thirty national radio channels send delegates who present as many works each year. After listening and discussion, the delegates select a piece of work (this year's "selected work") and recommend some others. They also raise one or two works of composers under thirty years of age. These selected and recommended works will be broadcast or played in concerts sponsored by participating radio networks or others following Rostrum's deliberations. Individual composers can not search for IRC because of the special nature of the competition, the compositions are chosen by recommendations. The selected composer in the general category receives a commission from Radio France/IMC for a composition performed by members of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. It is recorded and broadcast by Radio France in a special program called Alla Breve.
Since 2015, IRC is part of a large project called Rostrum+, a collaborative project whose purpose is to rethink how today's music connects to the audience via the radio network, by exploring new strategies for developing the audience, promoting new music, improving the skills of radio professionals and inspire collaboration between performers, senior music education institutions and broadcasters across Europe and beyond.
Several Swedish composers have won or received placements in IRC:
Anders Hillborg's Dreaming River (2002), Pär Lindgren's Oaijé (1996), Daniel Börtz's Parodos (1989) and Ingvar Lindholm's Ritournelle (1957) have received the first prize.
Karin Rehnqvist's Davids Nimm was third in the ranking in 1985.
Sven-Erik Bäck's The Twilight Crane won the category under 30 (1960).
Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Haas, Penderecki, Carter, Takemitsu, Donantoni, Britten, Nono, Crumb, Sciarrino, Kurtág and others have been previous winners.