York Composer Wins Coveted American Fellowship

Professor of Composition, Thomas Simaku was awarded a coveted fellowship from The Brown Foundation in Houston, USA, for a residency at the Dora Maar House in France.

The Brown Foundation Fellows Programme, based at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France provides residencies for mid-career professionals in the arts and humanities to concentrate on their fields of expertise.

During this residency Thomas Simaku completed a piece for solo clarinet, Soliloquy VII, written for and dedicated to the Ensemble Intercontemporain clarinettist Jerome Comte Highly virtuosic, this work is part of Simaku’s cycle for solo instruments, and it will soon be published by the University of York Music Press.

‘It was a great honour and privilege to be able to compose in the house where Dora Maar, the renowned French artist and Picasso’s companion, lived from 1944 till the end of her life in 1997. Working full time on a new composition in such a stimulating and inspiring environment, where natural beauty and human spirit seem to ‘converse’ in silence, was indeed an amazing opportunity’, said Professor Simaku.

As part of this residency programme, on 26 September Thomas Simaku gave a presentation on his music, including his latest composition La Leggiadra Luna, which was recently performed at the World Music Days Festival.


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