Ørjan Matre represents a new and vital voice in Norway’s rich flora of composers. No sooner has the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra announced Matre as their profile composer for the 2013-2014 season, comes his first album, ‘Inside Out’ (Aurora) while September sees the composer in the spotlight at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Festival.
Matre is one of two Music Information Centre Norway-supported INTRO-composers. The three-year INTRO launch programme aims at boosting the careers of young and talented Norwegian composers. Come September, Matre will be joined by the INTRO-programme’s second participant, Therese Birkelund Ulvo finding themselves in the spotlight of Oslo’s Ultima Festival. Both composers are set to have two of their works premiered by the Ensemble Ernst at the official opening ceremony for the new Arne Nordheim Centre at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Matre’s sinfonietta ‘Atem’ also sees a performance during the Klangforum Wien festival’s opening weekend.
Matre gained recognition at an early stage, perhaps most notably when the Norwegian Society of Composers presented a new generation of composers through the 2006 outing ‘Lights Out’, featuring the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. The (at the time) 27-year old composer showcased skilful orchestration and strong compositional skills through the work Four Miniatures for Orchestra, earning Matre well deserved attention. His compositional skillset is strong and varied, but what shines through in his output is his sonorous approach.
To date, Matre has penned ten works for orchestras and sinfoniettas as well as five for wind- and brass ensembles, leaving the composer with a considerable output that makes him both a productive as well as artistically stimulating choice for the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Says Matre when asked to comment on his 2013-2014 OPO profile composer assignment: -I’m immensely proud of being bestowed with this task, even more so when one takes a look at the list of past and present profile composers; Rolf Wallin in the 2006-2007 season and Jon Øivind Ness in the upcoming season. I’ve worked quite a lot with larger ensembles, and this orchestra represents a prime medium for realizing my musical visions. OPO is set to perform several of my older works and have also commissioned a new grand orchestral work to be premiered in spring 2014.
One of the key Matre works featured on the programme is the title work of his new album ‘Inside Out – Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra’. The album is presented as a double portrait of composer and clarinettist Rolf Borch, featured on all four works included in the recording: Prologue for clarinet solo, Chant for bass clarinet and trombone, A Leaf Falls in Loneliness for clarinet, cello voice and electronics and the concerto.
-What both of us have shared through this project has been the key principle of close cooperation between a composer and a performer that both have helped to shape the final result. There are many composer-portrait albums or performer-devoted CDs out there, but a double-portrait such as this is not that common. The album documents the long-standing artistic partnership I’ve had with Rolf, who is, I must say, a truly fantastic performer. The album stands as a testament to the influence a skilled performer can have on a composer’s output – composing these pieces would have been impossible without Borch’s input.
In the album’s liner notes, musicologist Hild Borchgrenvick presents the artistic partnership: - Unlike a visual artist or a writer, a composer writing for acoustic instruments must filter his entire work intellectually and physically through another medium – a performer – long before the music reaches the audience. This is why it is interesting to hear a composer working with the same instrument and performer in a variety of different musical contexts…”
Rolf Borch has garnered accolades for his performances of classical and contemporary works in later years in both recorded formats and live settings. To date, he has performed more than 90 works and has collaborated with Helmuth Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough, Kaija Saariaho, Jon Øivind Ness, Mark Adderley and Eivind Buene. Borch is an in-demand freelance musician and a vital member of two of Norway’s foremost contemporary music ensenbles; Cikada and asamisimasa. Currently, Borch holds a position as an Artistic Research Fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
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