The Game Changers: A new series, with in this first episode a portrait of Ana-Maria Avram, composer, pianist and conductor.
After graduating from the National Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, she obtained a degree from Paris Sorbonne in 1992. In 1994 she was awarded the Grand Prize in Composition from the Romanian Academy. Since 1988, Ana-Maria Avram has maintained a close collaboration with Iancu Dumitrescu, but she has also continued to forge her own direction in music. She is considered to be one of the most important Romanian composers of her generation. Together with Iancu Dumitrescu, she represents the Hyper-Spectral trend in contemporary avant-garde music. Conductor with Dumitrescu of the Hyperion International Ensemble. Her music is spectral, acousmatic and transformational. Avram composed around 160 works. Music for soloists, chamber music, orchestra, electronic and computer assisted music. Her works are published by Edition Modern, Electrecord, Artgallery, Radio France. She performed in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Standford, Vienna (at the Wien Modern Festival in 1992 and 1994) in Paris (several times at Radio France and Theatre de la Ville), Berlin (several times in Berghain), London (several times at Royal Festival Hall, LSO St Lukes), Nancy, Alicante, Lisbon, Baden-Baden, Darmstadt, Moscow, Belgrade, Istanbul, Reykjavik, Bodo, Glasgow, Tel-Aviv, etc. Her works have been commissioned by prestigious ensembles such as Kronos Quartet (San Francisco) XX Jahrhundert from Vienna, soloists from l’Orchestre National de France, orchestras such as Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Romanian National Orchestra, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Roumanie, etc. On the Abolition of the Soul – a Radio France commission was released on a double CD – Radio France, an anthology of Prix Italia since 1949. 1/ “Nouvel Archae” for computer assisted voices. Composed in 1998 and recorded in her home studio in Bucharest. Initially, Archae was a solo voice piece composed for the Russian-French singer Elena Vassilieva. It was recorded by the composer itself on Electrecord studios and was released on CD by Edition Modern ED MN 1004. The computer-assisted music uses the voice material in a series of spectacular transformations and multiplications. Novel Archae was also released on a Splited Dumitrescu/Avram CD on Edition Modern EDMN 1014 in 2001. 2/ “Endless Burning Fire” was a commission of IMEB studios (Institute International de Musique Electroacoustique) which was unfortunately closed a few years ago. The work was recorded at the Studio Charibde of the IMEB at Bourges and premiered in the same year, 2006, at the Synthèse Festival. The entire sonic material is inspired by or uses sounds of different pre-recorded burning matters. A second version of the work exists with ensemble sounds added to the computer layer. 3/ “Nocturnal” for two bass clarinets and computer sounds was composed for the two stunning bass clarinet players of the Hyperion international ensemble: Tim Hodgkinson (UK) and Yoni Silver (Israel). A duplicated monologue of the two soloists shared with the sonic layer of the electronics, – sometimes quasi-independent, other times an obviously heterophonic accompaniment . The work was composed in 2013, with the electronic part recorded in Avram’s home studio in Bucharest and performed live at the festival Spectrum XXI, in the same year in Berlin at NK Projekt, a venue dedicated to avant-garde/experimental music, performed by the dedicatees. 4/ “Metalstorm” is a project dedicated to the guitarist and composer Stephen O’Malley, a permanent collaborator of Hyperion International Ensemble. Initially, a work for solo prepared guitar and computer-assisted sounds, recorded at the GRM studios in Paris in January 2013. The work is presented here in an amplified version for electronic sounds, two guitars and ensemble. Performed live at NK Projekt, Berlin, during the same concert as the previous work. Performed by Stephen O’Malley, Guillaume Ollendorff at e-guitars and the Hyperion International Ensemble , conducted by the composer. Both works are released on the most recent CD production of the Edition Modern Label, ED MN 1034.