Contemporary Music for All
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Finalists Composition Contest

From the twenty compositions submitted, twelve from the Netherlands and eight from Belgium, the jury – consisting of Michael Finnissy, Wim Henderickx, Paul Pankert and Jesse Passenier – chose three works for the final contest. These will be performed by the CoMA Ensembles from Maastricht and Eindhoven during the evening concert on the Festival Day on March 5, 2022 in Maastricht. The jury will then select the final winner.

The nominated compositions are:

IKaggen by Wilma Pistorius (Zaandam)

The Miraculous World of Hiëronymus Bosch by Mark Hendriks (Eindhoven)

Missiles à domicile by Marc-Henri Cykiert (Brussels)

In the jury report, chairman Michael Finnissy writes about the submitted compositions:

“They were in a large variety of idioms: some conventionally notated, some more diagrammatic, some had clear indications for performance, others were more ambiguous. Some were jazzy, others had 'aleatoric' elements, some seemed quite easy to play, and others were really challenging.”

To download the full report click here.

Information about the pieces and the composers

IKaggen by Wilma Pistorius

?Kaggen is a piece about ease and lightness, and also about mischief. It is named after a folk hero and creator god from the cosmology of the ?Xam people of Southern Africa. He is a trickster god who can shape-shift, usually taking the form of a praying mantis.

The piece is not a programmatic representation of this folkloristic deity. Rather, it is inspired by what the character represents (for me): the feeling of humour and lightness that sometimes arises when we embrace the unknown, the way this ease and freedom creates space for mischief and playfulness, and an appreciation for the beauty of ordinary things. Technically, it is a piece about the fun of playing together, and the beauty of imperfection.

Wilma Pistorius

Wilma Pistorius was born in South Africa, started playing the cello aged four, and has been accompanied her whole life by a vivid musical imagination. Her musical passion came to the Netherlands with her in 2004, where she later studied bachelor composition with Wim Henderickx and Jorrit Tamminga at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, graduating in 2013. Parallel to this, she studied bachelor cello with Jeroen den Herder at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, graduating with distinction in 2014.

Pistorius describes her music as “serious, but with a wink”. For her it is the most direct way of expressing herself, of subtly challenging both musicians and audiences. Some of her recent works are characterised by a mysterious feminine ambience, shaped by her own experience of life as a woman. For Pistorius, music is fundamentally playful and magical. It is a means of relating to the world, herself, and others, connecting them all with the help of vibrations in the air.

The Miraculous World of Hiëronymus Bosch van Mark Hendriks

The Miraculous World of Hiëronymus Bosch is based on the octatonic scale. Two intervals dominate: the third and the augmented fourth [tritone]. Or in Medieval terms: the divine number three and the devil himself [diabolus in musica].

Futhermore the composition is built out of blocks (the rehearsal letters). One can change the order, repeat or delete a segment.

Mark Hendriks

Mark Hendriks studied Composition at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg, Arranging (jazz) at the Amsterdam Conservatory and Music Technology (Composition Applied Music and Production) at the HKU in Hilversum. During his studies he was already fully active as a composer, arranger, conductor and pianist / keyboardist in both classical and light music.

Today he focusses again completely on composing and often in the most diverse musical styles from modern classical to jazz, from pop to electronic music. A continuous alternation between writing new concert music and composing music for (short) films.

Last year he was one of the composers who wrote a piece for the international project “250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven” by the German pianist Susanne Kessel. He also wrote the overture “Light the Town” especially for the celebration of 100 years of Eindhoven [1920-2020]. Recently he composed a.o. the music for the short films “Service a la Russe” and “Armageddors” and source music for the feature film “Casa Coco” which will be in cinemas from January. He is also one of the four composers who wrote a piece especially for the anniversary of organist Ruud Huijbregts in October. He is currently working with carillonneur Rosemarie Seuntiëns on the music for a fairy tale for Helmond Castle.

Missiles à domicile van Marc-Henri Cykiert

Missiles à domicile is based on the notes mi-si(b)-la-do-mi-si-la. This variable multiple choice ironic tango is written for a self-orchestrating indefinite orchestra. It is a reflexion on the fact that we carry nuclear warheads missiles both in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Every page is a complete score page from which all musicians read as there are sometimes multiple choices and changes of lines. The performance is never twice the same.

Marc-Henri Cykiert

Born in Liège (Belgium) in 1957, Marc-Henri Cykiert began playing the guitar when he was thirteen, studied electronic music at the Wallonia Musical Research Center under Frederic Nyst, and Brazilian music with Jose Barrense-Dias. In 1979, he attended G.I.T. (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Los Angeles.

Between 1980 and 1986, back in Belgium, he studied composition and orchestration with American composer Frederic Rzewski and Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège.

He wrote for different musicians and ensembles: Michael Guttman, Frederic Rzewski, Suzanna Klintcharova, Steve Houben & Strings, the Arriaga String Quartet, Costas Cotsiolis, José Barrense-Dias, Cecile Broche, Luc Tooten, Weber Iago, Camerata Romeu String Orchestra, Katerina Verbovskaya, Bobby Mitchell. With Michael Guttman and Frederic Rzewski, he recorded a CD of his own compositions for violin and piano ‘Capriccio Hassidico’. Two CD's with his music for piano solo include '2 for Peace' with Weber Iago, and 'Katerina Verbovskaya plays Marc-Henri Cykiert'. His compositions have been performed in Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Danemark, U.S.A., Cuba and China.