RicordiLab: Interviews RicordiLab: Interviews

Posted by Ricordi 05 October 2017

 A year ago we announced the winners of our composition competition RicordiLab. What did change in the lifes of Sarah Nemtsov, Shiori Usui and Steffen Wick and what are their plans for the future?


Sarah Nemtsov

Sarah Nemtsov's profile

What has changed for you since you joined the RicordiLab program?
First of all, it is a recognition of my work to date. And this kind of encouragement is a stimulus, which was especially important to me a year ago, in autum 2016, when I was writing my opera Sacrifice for the Halle Opera under great time pressure. Since then I have received various forms of support from Ricordi: artistic, organization, personal. These include performance opportunities and commissions, production and delivery of material, communication with organizers, marketing (for example, a redesigned website), questions regarding contracts and rights clearance. It is just this administrative side of a composer’s life that I often find challenging, and Ricordi’s help greatly alleviates the burden. It also means that I have more time to compose. By the way: it’s also really reassuring to know at a premiere that’s someone there from the publisher as a sort of moral support. 

What are your plans for the future?
On 22 September 2017, my new orchestral piece dropped.drowned (2017) was given its premiere by the Cottbus Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Evan Christ. It was commissioned by the Cottbus Staatstheater in cooperation with RicordiLab. In this piece I’ve discovered new possibilities for myself in the orchestra, and I hope to develop certain ideas in a longer work in the future. Next year, however, there’s a lot of chamber music on my docket first (just now I’m composing a work for the ensemble Adapter to be premiered at the Transit Festival in Leuven, Belgium in October). That’s especially rewarding since I’ve recently been writing so much on a large scale. I can imagine another opera at some point – the music-theatre genre (in the broadest sense) seems to me both paradoxical and inexhaustible. 

Who is your favorite Ricordi composer and why?
Varèse. When I was still studying the oboe in Hanover, I played in Intégrales. After that incredible experience I became more preoccupied with his work – its uncompromising nature! Nono. At the beginning of my compositional studies in Hanover (around 2001), my teacher Johannes Schöllhorn gave me the (impossible) assignment of analysing Nono’s Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima. The attempt (unsuccessful, of course) changed my compositional thinking decisively. But also living composers: I’m constantly impressed and inspired by Olga Neuwirth, Samir Odeh-Tamimi and Enno Poppe. And I’m honoured to be together with them at Ricordi Verlag!


Shiori Usui

Shiori Usui's profile

What has changed for you since you joined the RicordiLab program?
I am based in Scotland, UK, and since I joined the RicordiLab program, I find it wonderful that my works have been promoted much more towards performers and organizations in the continental Europe. When I went to meet with the team at Ricordi Berlin this summer, they were all very nice and welcoming and gave me some professional advice on promoting my own works.
What are your plans for the future?
“In Digestion”, my string orchestra composition published by Ricordi and based on my research into human digestive sounds, will be performed again on 7th December 2017 in Boston in the US by a group of fantastic musicians, A Far Cry. On 3rd March 2018 “Deep” for large ensemble, inspired by the soundscape of the ocean and also published by Ricordi, will be performed by Collegium Novum Zürich in Zurich, Switzerland. I am also looking forward to two world premieres. The first is a piece for orchestra and solo clarinet at Staatstheater Cottbus in Germany on 4th May 2018, and the second is a piano piece for Kettles Yard Art Gallery in Cambridge, UK on 28th June 2018.
Who is your favorite Ricordi composer and why?
I like many Ricordi composers a lot so it is very difficult to choose one, but I especially enjoy Sciarrino for his ear and for the mind-opening experiences of sound-worlds he creates. 



Steffen Wick

Steffen Wick's profile

What has changed for you since you joined the RicordiLab program?
For me this represents, above all, being well looked after in each of the different areas that are important to a composer – especially those that go beyond pure composing. By this I mean, for example, providing contacts and offering advice in the development of projects. These things act as a motivational boost, pushing me to deliver my very best – both in my music and in my communication with the outside world.

What are your plans for the future?
Currently I’m working on the orchestral piece Tectonic Plates, then I’ll be turning to a string quartet for the Henschel Quartet. I’m also planning a children’s concert about the life of French cinema pioneer Georges Méliès.

Who is your favorite Ricordi composer and why?
There are so many names that occur to me. From the historical perspective, Puccini is one I can’t fail to mention. Among our contemporary colleagues, I greatly admire Heiner Goebbels, as I wrote in my article for the series “Komponisten über Komponisten”.

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