Composition Commission issued to James Saunders

MATRIX [Centrum voor Nieuwe Muziek (New Music Centre)], Leuven, Belgium


MATRIX [New Music Centre] develops several activities in the field of contemporary music, ranging from a specialized academic library to educational projects for children, young people, and adults. Two of the major education projects include the Nadar Summer Academy and an annual production with non-professional musicians for the Transit New Music Festival. The Nadar Summer Academy is a five-day summer school for young musicians aged 14 to 20, dedicated to contemporary music. The program is tailor-made and contains individual lessons, chamber music, ensemble pieces, and creative workshops. For the past 14 years, MATRIX has collaborated closely with Leuven-based Transit New Music Festival. Each year, MATRIX presents a concert with non-professional musicians, including a newly written composition.

From August until October 2018 MATRIX plans to bring these two projects together in a larger whole with an international dimension. With the support of the EvS Music Foundation it has commissioned James Saunders to write a piece for the participants of the Nadar Summer Academy. He is invited to conduct three workshops and rehearsals on the piece during the Academy in August, and to attend the dress rehearsal and concert in October. The choice of James Saunders was based on his previous work for amateur musicians and his ability to combine a strong artistic concept with a non-specific instrumentation and a moderate level of technical difficulty. Also, Saunders’s music often leaves a considerable part of the artistic decisions to the performers, which opens up the possibility of generating a co-creative process. Finally, Saunders is an established and experienced composer, whose works are performed by renowned ensembles at concert halls and festivals all over the world. With this project, MATRIX aims to contribute to the repertoire of high-quality contemporary compositions that can be performed by young and non-professional musicians.


August 31, 2018
Music School Sint-Niklaas, Leuven, Belgium

October 13, 2018
Transit Festival, Leuven, Belgium


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