European- Egyptian Contemporary Music Society Project in Co-operation with the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector- Egyptian Ministry of Culture and Institute Francais
Ends: Friday 25 May 2012
Dear Friends of the European-Egyptian Contemporary Music Society,
Almost a year has passed since the successful first edition of the Cairo Contemporary Music Days, and we are very pleased to announce that the second Cairo Days will take place from May 19 to 25! This year’s edition will be dedicated to FRANCE, our Mediterranean Guest Country 2012/13. Under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, we will again present concerts by musicians and ensembles that specialize on contemporary music, this time from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and of course France. Furthermore, we will for the very first time witness performances of the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble (ECME) at an Egyptian festival, including five new pieces by Egyptian composers conducted by Mohammad Saad Basha, John Baboukis, and Thierry Pécou.
As last year, the festival program includes seminars, workshops, and round table discussions with our guests from France and other European countries, free of charge and open to the public. The EECMS will continue and intensify its cooperation with national and international educational institutions. It is currently coordinating projects with the Cairo Conservatoire and the Department of Performing and Visual Arts of the American Universiy in Cairo as well as with acclaimed Egyptian composers, journalists and musicologists.
We are proud to say that our collaboration projects in the course of our Mediterranean Guest Country initiative do not end in Cairo. In 2012/13, the ECME will perform in France on several occasions, and we are very much looking forward to a huge Egyptian/Mediterranean composers presentation in collaboration with Radio France at Festival Présences 2013 in Provence, the European Capital of Culture 2013. Three brand new Egyptian pieces will be presented among other very exciting material in the course of this intercultural programme – the commission winners will be unveiled at the end of this newsletter.
More details about our projects in France will be announced very shortly!
Cairo Contemporary Music Days 2012
Our society is very happy to have won the Cairo Opera House for the Cairo Contemporary Music Days and a number of other projects. We will present three concerts in cooperation with the Cairo Opera House in 2012 alone, and would like to thank Dr. Ines Abdel Dayem, the newly-appointed Director of the Opera House, for showing such great appreciation of our efforts over the last years to shape a completely new branch of cultural activities in Egypt. We will keep you posted about our upcoming cooperation projects with this prestigious institution.
Beside the Opera House, we have been able to involve some other highly popular venues in Cairo for our festival: El Sawy Culturewheel, Prince Taz Palace, Cairo Creative Centr and Malak Gabr will also be hosting concerts in the course of the Cairo Days.
In addition to our national supporters, we are indebted to many international institutions such as the Institut Français, the City of Strasbourg, Music Center the Netherlands, Pro Helvetia, and Music:LX – Luxembourg Export Office for making this prestigious event possible.
Ensemble Linéa, France
Saturday, 19 May 2012, Cairo Opera House, 8pm
Sunday, 20 May 2012, Alexandria Opera House, 8pm
Ensemble Linea will present a French contemporary music portrait on May 19th at the Cairo Opera House. The same programme will also be presented at the Alexandria Opera House.
Beyond any schools and trends, the artistic project of Linea covers quite diverse aesthetic perspectives – from musical theatre to electronic music, from Western music to the rich Asian repertoires. Based in Alsace (eastern France, bordering on Germany and Switzerland), at the crossroads of several cultures, Linea naturally approaches the repertoires in their multicultural dimension. Linea advocates an engaged music which is anchored in modernity: it favours works which question the mutations and complexities of our era.
Pierre Boulez: Dérive (1984)
Gérard Pesson: Ne pas oublier coq rouge dans jour craquelé (2010)
Nahla Mattar: Three (2008)
Philippe Hurel: Step (2007)
Gérard Grisey: Talea (1986)
ON 25 concert and CD production
The EECMS is looking forward to create what is not only the first ECME recording, but very probably also the first contemporary music CD with an exclusively Egyptian content! This spring, we are going to produce a life concert recording of our ON 25 Egyptian composers concert in cooperation with the Institute for Music Technology at the American University in Cairo. Most of these pieces were created for the Cairo Contemporary Music Days and/or dedicated to the ECME. Beside Ahmed Madkour’s “White Shroud” (2011) that was premiered at last year’s Cairo Days by Ensemble BCN 216 from Barcelona and conductor José María Sánchez-Verdú and has already celebrated two performances in Europe (Barcelona, Spain, and Augsburg, Germany), and Amr Okba’s “Integration” (2010), the works that will be included have been completed only this year. It will be a very special honour to present the Egyptian premiere of Wael Sami El Kholy’s “Crescendo II” (2012), a piece for 2 violins, 2 cellos, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and horn, as a collaboration between members of the ECME and Ensemble Linea!
Ahmed Madkour: White Shroud (2011) – commissioned by BCN 216
Mohamed Saad Basha: Lament Song (2012)
Ramz Sabry Samy: Copticum (2012)
Amr Okba: Integration (2010)
Wael Sami El Kholy: Crescendo II (2012)
Radio France commission winners 2013
As many of you know, Radio France was so generous to offer three commissions to Egyptian composers. Their works will be presented in 2013 by the Orchestre philharmonique du Radio France and the ECME.
Radio France has by now announced that the following composers have been selected: Mohamed Saad Basha, Ramz Sabry Samy, and Ahmed Madkour.
Mohamed Saad Basha’s music has already been performed in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The work of the Egyptian composer and percussionist who was born in Cairo in 1972 mainly concentrates on chamber music and vocal works. Mohamed Saad Basha studied composition with Rageh Daoud and conducting with Ahmed El-Saedi at the Conservatory of Music in Cairo, where he earned his Bachelor degree in both subjects in 1997, higher diploma in composition in 2000, and his Master in composition in 2004. He also took private drumkit lessons with Ashraf Fouad, Labib Henin and Amr Khairy in Cairo from 1990–1993, earned two diplomas in studio operation at Helwan University in Cairo in 1995, and twice attended the International Workshop for Orchestral Conducting in Cairo in 2001–2002.
Ramz Sabry Samy is a Cairo-born Egyptian composer whose work focuses mainly on orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano music and has been performed in Europe and elsewhere. In his home town, Ramz Sabry Samy had private lessons in composition and harmony with Aziz El-Shawan (1991–1993) and in counterpoint and harmony with Kamel El-Remali (1994–1995). He also studied interior design at Helwan University in Cairo from 1992–1996 and earned his BFA in this subject. Thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, he was given the opportunity to study analysis with Riko Futin and Nils Vigeland as well as composition with David Noon at the Manhattan School of Music in 2000.
Ahmed Madkour joined the Cairo Conservatoire at the age of 15, where he studied oboe and composition with several Egyptian and Western professors. He graduated in 1990, earned his postgraduate studies’ diploma in 1992, and his M.A. in 1995. He has received many awards from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, including awards for his orchestral work The Valley of the Kings in 1994 and for his choir works based on folk-like tunes in 1997.