Tuphānī Rakasa (2019)
20th /21st Century Festival Commissioned Piece (2020)
James Maunders is Winner of the PTC Commission Prize:
2018 AGBU Sayat Nova Composition Competition
About the Composer:
James started to compose music when he was a teenager, and his early tape-based pieces from this time reveal an early fascination with the unusual juxtapositions of sounds and collisions of styles which have been a hallmark of his music-making ever since. This is perhaps a reflection of the music which interested and excited him from a very young age – medieval dance music, prog-rock, electronic minimalism, bebop jazz, Eastern folk music, the music of Stravinsky & Messiaen, and the grand orchestral tradition of the European concert hall. James started out as a chorister, clarinetist and saxophone player, but following an undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with Anthony Gilbert, Adam Gorb, Simon Holt & Clark Rundell, he’s enjoyed a mixed and international career as a jazz pianist, orchestral percussionist, vocalist, composer and teacher, and continues to be enormously busy in his fortieth year, although composition is taking up more and more of his time. One of his main aims as a composer has always been to write music which excites and moves an audience – not to say that he has embraced populism, but that his music often pulsates and dances, or allows the luxury of melody to dominate. His music often draws together a number of different stylistic currents to make something totally new and original, for instance his recent (and extensive) cantata “Yaldo” draws upon Syrian folk music, the music of the Byzantine Church in the middle ages, free jazz, Hebrew cantillation & complex Stravinskian rhythms to create a compulsive and explosive sound world. With a background in electronic music production, it’s not surprising to hear the influence of dance culture in his compositions often to the fore – as an example take the piece “Badder Gyrations”, an “urban orchestral riot” which grows into a growling dubsteb-flavoured groove, before fragmenting into a kaleidoscopic melee of broken and recycled funk and soul fragments, coming together into a pulsating trance beat. James has been recently working on a number of exciting projects: a concerto for the clarinetist Thomas Carr, commissioned by Newbury Symphony Orchestra, which was performed this summer; an a capella vocal piece for the Cecilia Consort, and a solo piano piece commissioned by the Piano Teachers Congress of New York, which will be performed next year in Carnegie Hall, and also has planned premières of his music this season in London, New York, Newbury & across the UK.
Participants must be students of PTC Members.
Participants will perform the commissioned piece along with one (or more) other piece(s) of the participant’s choice for the 20th/21st Century Music Festival on Sunday, February 9, 2020.
Memorization is not required.
Students can be any age (18 and under) as long as they can perform the piece at the tempo indicated with good preparation.
Everyone will receive a certificate of recognition for performing the commissioned work.
Deserving students will be invited to audition for the Honors Program free of charge (March 7-8).
One student will be chosen to perform in the Winners’ Recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall (all rules and regulations apply).