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1st Contemporary Music Festival Kuala Lumpur

27. - 29. November 2009

From 27th to 29th November 2009, the first contemporary music festival in Kuala Lumpur took place, which had been organized by the "Malaysian Composers Organization" and the Goethe Institute. Parallel to this, a composition competition had been announced. As ensemble in residence, seven musicians from the Berlin-based "Ensemble Mosaik" had been present and also involved in the competition.

Although the focus of all compositions was on the basis of a certain international contemporary musical language, in most pieces of the established composers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and ther Philippines a locally influenced way could be recognized. For further events in the coming years, a stronger focus on new tendencies based on the respective local music cultures is intended.

The compositions of the younger students showed all good signs. However, in a lot of pieces the negative influence of a notation software was quite obvious. On the other side, the lack of professional players who want (and are able) to play cointemporary music is a real problem for practical experiences. In the workshops of the "Ensemble Mosaik" and the nine finalists, these problems had been discussed extensively.

On two afternoons, a seminar took place with exciting lectures and lively discussions. From Germany also Moritz Eggert presented an passionate lecture, beside his spectacular contribution as a pianist and as a composer.

Similarily the evening concerts had been exciting, and sleeping before late after midnight was impossible.

The winner of the competition was the Philippine composer Juro K. Feliz a student of Jonas Baes. The clear musical language and the equally clear concept convinced the jury,which in a first selection had determined the nine finalists.

Here I would like to say thank you to Kee Yong Chong, Yi Kah Hoe and CH Loh who did a great job as the main organisers. But also Ching and David must be mentioned as well as Volker Wolf and his great stuff form the local Goethe Institute.

Nonetheless the musicians from Ensemble Mosaik" have to be mentioned with highest regards. With an unbelievable concentration and energy, they performed about 30 pieces and had always been open to questions for everyone. No doubt that their performances had been on highest level.

For the future, the including of locally developed contemporary music forms is planned. But there should also be a focus on better instruments. This was a slight weak point, but not the fault ofg the organizers. One should more blame organisations like the Malaysian Phil. Orchestra for their uncooperative attitude.

Lots of emails after the festival proved that this event was something special for everyone.

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