2012 in review
2012 has been one of my most productive years so far. Not everything worked out the way I wished, but all in all, I have many reasons to be thankful for. The last day of the year seems a good opportunity to review my musical year 2012.
- During the last week of 2011, I composed Ave Maria op. 95 (an arrangement of my first Night Prayer for four-part choir) for Tenebrae, one of my favorite choirs.
- I also wrote the music for my personal Consecration Prayer from 2005.
- The first piece I composed in 2012 was Winter, the final movement of my piano cycle Holy Lake op. 91, inspired by my friend Monika Schulz-Fieguth’s beautiful photography (I played the premiere in Potsdam one month later).
- Then came Lucis op. 96 for violin and piano (which I performed with the British violinist Damian Falkowski later in June at a private concert in Remich, Luxembourg). It was composed for the Hilary Hahn Competition.
- The next piece was Obsculta op. 97, which I wrote for my music clip project with the great film artist Vitùc (happy birthday, dear friend!).
- World premiere of Holy Lake in Potsdam, Germany.
- Recordings of Holy Lake and Obsculta at Rainer Oleak’s beautiful Tonscheune in Berlin.
- Composition of Agios o Theos op. 98 for three-part-choir and piano accompaniment (I was having a John-Tavener-phase in March).
- In April I rewrote several of my older choral works: Dorische Messe op. 45, Lydische Messe op. 53, In Nocturno op. 51 and Cantica op. 69.
- I also began to work on the four tracks for the new Chant album that I would record with the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz in August.
- In 2011 I had set to music John Henry Newman’s A Voice from Afar. Now I would compose a song for voice, string orchestra and piano based on his beautiful poem Lead, Kindly Light (op. 99).
- In May, I travelled to Heiligenkreuz with Vitùc to film the music clip for Obsculta. Here is a slideshow with some pictures of this exceptional week that I got to spend with Vito and the monks.
- I began to work on De Klenge Gnom (The Little Gnome), my children’s opera that I had already written in my teens. Having three wonderful little children, I decided that this “little” project is worth completing, and it will be premiered in January 2013 (note: at the time of this writing, I am still not finished, and work on the Gnome has been filling nearly every single day since November).
- Vitùc and I filmed the second part of Obsculta in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg (the bits where you see me at the piano).
- Obsculta went online:
- I composed a piano version of Thanking Blessed Mary, a beautiful pop song by Paddy Kelly, a musician whom I hold in high esteem.
- I seriously started to work on my commission for the Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz: a piano/chant version of Stabat Mater, Salve Mater, Salve Regina and Ave, maris stella.
- I prepared the recording of my new solo album Prayers of Silence (to be released sometime in 2013).
- A week before the recording I composed the perfect piece to close the album: Afterthought.
- I completed the 4 pieces for the new Chant album: Chant - Stabat Mater.
- In late August, I went to Heiligenkreuz in order to record Prayers of Silence and Chant - Stabat Mater. It was a laborious but rewarding week. I enjoyed working with the monks and with Georg Burdicek, a brilliant Tonmeister from Vienna.
- Completion of the vocal score of The Little Gnome.
- Completion of two Victor Hugo songs for soprano and piano, a private commission.
- Rework of my Consecration Prayer for Platinum Consort, a stellar young vocal ensemble conducted by Scott Inglis-Kidger.
- Concert with the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz in Austria to launch Chant - Stabat Mater.
- Rework of my Weihnachtslieder op. 43 from 2001/2001.
- Photo shooting at the Holy Lake in Potsdam.
- Interview for Fran Welsh’s Meet the Artist series.
- World premiere of my Consecration Prayer by Platinum Consort in London.
- Lots of piano practicing for Beethoven’s Chorfantasie op. 80 (concert in December).
- Continuous work (until this day) on the orchestration of The Little Gnome.
- Video of Holy Lake:
- World premiere of Weihnachtslieder op. 43 and Agios o Theos op. 98 in Düsseldorf by Justine Wanat and the Jugendchor der Clara-Schumann-Musikschule Düsseldorf.
- Interview for Pianists from the Inside.
- Currently finishing The Little Gnome (premiere on 19th January in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg).
I did not want to brag with this post. It is more about motivating myself to go on. There have been discouraging moments too, and sometimes I think that I don’t accomplish enough, or that there is too little progress in my life. But looking back on 2012 (especially through my Instagram timeline), I can say that a lot of good things have happened. I am grateful.
Thank you to:
- My family for your continuous support. I could not have done this without Martina’s and my children’s love.
- All the Facebook and Twitter and SoundCloud friends for your kind comments and thumbs up.
- My friends and colleagues involved in any of these projects.
- My colleagues and students at the Conservatoire du Nord.
- All of you who showed interest in my music.