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Evgeni Kostitsyn

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Evgeni Kostitsyn (b. July 29, 1963) is a Ukrainian born Russian composer, conductor, and pianist.



[edit] Biography

Evgeni Kostitsyn was born into the family of a general surgeon and a social worker in Eastern Ukraine, during the time of the former Soviet Union. He began studying music at the age of seven. At fourteen, he left home and family for Kharkiv, where he studied for five years at the Special Music School for Musically Gifted Children.

In 1988, as his master’s thesis at the Kharkiv Institute of Arts, he composed and premiered his first symphony. Reception of the work was mixed, as some criticized the piece for notoriously requiring two conductors (considered at the time unprofessional). Ironically, Kostitsyn's poly-conductor music (including his third symphony, which requires nine conductors) was later canonized and is in use today as standard material for study at major Eastern European conservatories. The poly-conductor technique is now considered by some musicologists to be a logical extension of poly-tempo music.

From 1988-1991, Kostitsyn studied privately with composer Edison Denisov (of Soviet "non-conformist" fame) at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. The "Polystylism" of German/Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, who Kostitsyn studied with briefly in 1989, also had an impact on Kostitsyn’s style.

In 1993, Kostitsyn translated from German into Russian the first textbook on Dodecaphony for use in conservatories of Eastern Europe.

In 1998, his multimedia composition How I Made This, based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, won first place at The First Ukrainian International Competition for Composers, which was later renamed The Evgeni Kostitsyn International Competition for Composers.

The United States government invited Kostitsyn to live and work in America as part of the "Persons with Extraordinary Achievements and Abilities" initiative in 1999.

In 2000, he founded CDK Music record label in Boca Raton, Florida, which produces and licenses audio and video materials for worldwide distribution, specializing in Russian performers. Today, CDK Music controls rights for the largest outside of Russia catalogue of Russian produced recordings of classical music.

Booklet notes authored by Evgeni Kostitsyn demonstrate a fresh, controversial look at music history.

[edit] Musicology

The focus of Kostitsyn's composition is his emergent technique "synchronous music]," the simultaneous unfolding of multiple pieces of music. The technique leads to new artistic results, establishing a new tradition for the composition, performance and perception of music.

The interrelationship of different pieces is the basis for the organization of a synchronous work's overall form. Aspects of a work's form (such as introduction, exposition, development, climax, conclusion, and coda) are defined by the quantity and complexity of individual compositions being used. For example, in a piece of synchronous music, a work might open with one piece sounding (introduction), then begin a second piece (exposition), and quickly bring back the first in simultaneity with the second (development). A third (or more) piece(s) might begin and perform in simultaneity with the first two to form the climax of the composition, and one or more of the most recent pieces might conclude alone as a coda.

Each of the individual works that make up a piece of synchronous music possess their own forms, styles, tempi, timbres, and principles of development and are often performed by different ensembles or groups inside of an orchestra or choir.

A significant development resulting from Kostitsyn's synchronous technique is "musical cubism." Aspects of some of his music are direct assimilations of the painting technique of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. In Kostitsyn's cubist music, shapes are drawn by broken lines on a score and used to fill space as time unfolds. The shapes are identified by the presence or absence of sounds. The instruments performing a shape are organized from high to low ranges vertically, so the duration of notes from each range delineates the shape (such as a circle - where middle-ranged pitches might be held for the longest time, while increasingly higher and lower pitches might sound for shorter periods relative to their places near the top and bottom of the circle).

Three basic shapes (rectangles, triangles, and circles) or their "elements" are represented by different musical material, tempos, dynamics and groups of instruments. Their symbolic meaning refers to the classical interpretation of the "three basic figures". Musical shapes interact and develop during the course of a composition according to the same principles of Kostitsyn's synchronisity.

As a pianist, Kostitsyn has performed at major venues, including the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Several of his compositions include piano - most notably, his piano sonatas and his 23 Preludes and Fugues for Piano, in which one musician performs several pieces of music simultaneously on one instrument. About this work, the composer said, "When Bach and Shostakovich wrote their cycles, the tradition was to write 24 sets (one for each key in the western tradition); I wrote 23 sets, because my music is polystylistic, so some parts are tonal while others are atonal or even pitchless. I did not write 25 sets, because I wanted to respect the other composers - not show them up."

Many of Kostitsyn's works are politically and socially charged. Members of the British Royal family, American presidents and international terrorists are among the characters of his compositions. Kostitsyn's Ring of Three American Requiems is a collection of "Masses for Democracy," in which American poets and speeches by American politicians past and present, including George W. Bush, are set to music in simultaneity with traditional Latin Requiem texts. The First Requiem is in direct response to the world trade center attacks of September 11, 2001. In one movement, the character Osama bin Laden sings from the Koran, "We fight for His cause and slay and are slain..." Kostitsyn created a minor controversy when he decided to donate profits from sales of the Requiem to "aid Iraqi children."

[edit] Audio Samples

[edit] Selected Works

  • 23 Preludes and Fugues for Piano, inspired by the cycles of 24 Preludes and Fugues by Bach and Shostakovich.
  • 3 Vectors for any wind instrument and piano
  • American Requiem I for vocal soloists, two mixed choirs, and symphony orchestra
  • American Requiem II for violin, vocal sextet, symphony orchestra, and actor
  • American Requiem III for vocal soloists, mixed choir, large symphony orchestra and tape-recorder
  • Children's Album
  • Concert for Piano and Orchestra
  • "Dodi and Diana", opera about the love and assassination of Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed
  • "First Chapter, First Verse" for piano quintet and trumpet
  • Flute Quartet
  • "From Ukraine with Love" for whip, [soprano], baritone, clarinet, violin and cello
  • "George's Big Bike Ride" for adult male voice and piano
  • "Golden Calf", opera after the novel of Ilf and Petrov
  • "How I Made This" based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for cl (Bb), bsn, tbn, tba, tam-tam, accordion, cello, listener, radio and painting
  • "I Prevailed Over the World" for vocal quartet and 3 trumpets, texts of 4 Gospels in 4 languages
  • "In Light Breathing" for saxophone quartet
  • "In Memory of Alfred Hitchcock" inspired by the aesthetics of film maker Alfred Hitchcock for mixed choir and large symphony orchestra
  • "Knock!" for quintet of percussion instruments, accordion, and tape recorder
  • "Manna" for 5 tenors, 4 baritones, 3 basses, shawm and cow bells
  • Military and Funeral Marches for symphony orchestra
  • "Na Pali Coast" ("Sea", "Clouds" and "Rocks") for organ
  • "Numbers: Chapter 6" for mixed choir and chamber orchestra, in English
  • Offertorium for Piano, dedicated to Wolfgang Mozart
  • Oktet for 2 wind quartets
  • Piano Sonata #1
  • Piano Sonata #2
  • "Quaestia Temporis" for big band, drums, guitar, piano, bass guitar, violin and synthesizer
  • "Seventy Virgins" for symphony orchestra
  • Sonata for Cello and Piano
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano
  • Sonata for Bassoon, Viola, Tape, Bells and Cinema
  • "Pushkin's Romance" (String Quartet #1) based on 8 love poems by Alexander Pushkin
  • String Quartet #2 for string quartet, 2 flutes, clarinet, and bassoon
  • String Quartet #3 for string quartet, vibraphone, timpani, piano, conga, jazz-batteria
  • "Summer Night in Baghdad" for symphony orchestra
  • Symphony #1 for two conductors and symphony orchestra
  • Symphony #2, polytempo music for quintet (piano, flute, oboe, horn, bassoon) and orchestra
  • Symphony #3 for chorus, orchestra and 9 conductors
  • Symphony #4 for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba, 2 percussionists, accordion, harp, piano, bass guitar, vocal sextet, and strings 44444
  • Symphony #5 for symphony orchestra, actors and audience
  • "Thank You" for oboe, soprano, guitar and compere
  • Variations for Violin and Bells
  • "Vodka Erofeich" for baritone, 5 actors, author, brass-quintet and double bass
  • Water Formula for tenor saxophone and double bass

Download file: Libretto of Golden Calf

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