Ivan Boumans: « I like to share my passion for music with others »

Interviews

Ivan Boumans: « I like to share my passion for music with others »

  • 02/06/2020
Ivan Boumans: « I like to share my passion for music with others »

Ivan Boumans
(c) Lupo Ludovicy

Ivan Boumans, winner of this year’s ICMA Composer Award is a very versatile musician. Besides composing, he is also a passionate teacher and conductor. His newest orchestral work, Organic Beat, was to be premiered at the ICMA Gala in Seville. After the cancellation of this event, the ICMA Board decided to cancel the 2021 Award and to postpone the one from 2020, so that Ivan Boumans’ work can be premiered at the next Gala with the Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra in 2021. Jury member Guy Engels (Radio 100,7, Luxembourg) made the following interview with the awardee.

When did you start to be seriously interested in music?
I grew up in a small Spanish village where there wasn’t much going on until one day the idea of starting a wind orchestra came up. My parents thought it would be a good opportunity for their son to do something meaningful in his spare time.
I didn’t enjoy it at first, but I had a certain ease and quick musical perception. The real interest, the passion, only came in 1998 when I moved to Luxembourg and enrolled at the local conservatory.

Was the urge to compose already there at that time?
Even as a child, together with friends from our wind orchestra, I wrote small pieces. However, I only began to develop my creative potential during my studies at the conservatory where I had the chance to perform my works at student concerts.

Ivan Boumans
(c) Lupo Ludovicy

Having a look at your catalogue of works, we can see that you have no fear of contact,  that you are at home in all genres.
I am an open, curious person. Moreover, in our society today, one must not limit oneself, one must not close oneself off to things. The music market itself also demands this. Only with purely classical compositions you can hardly survive as a composer today. Anyway, I write mainly on commission, and then you can’t withdraw into a niche.But it’s not difficult for me to commute between the genres.

You studied with Claude Lenners, among others, a representative of contemporary electro-acoustic music. But your own music is tonal.
During my studies with Claude Lenners I fortunately had a controlled freedom, i.e. I had to submit to the rules of composition, but I was totally free in expression.
For me, music is not a mathematical exercise. I want to be understood by my audience, therefore melody is an essential element in my work. It is something that goes without saying anyway. People do not sing rhythms, no complex chords, they sing melodies. I would therefore describe my style as neo-tonalism.
Over the years my music has naturally developed and changed. I have gained experience, know more about music and have different reflexes when writing.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is a very difficult, almost incomprehensible term and also difficult to explain. For me, a lot depends on moods, also on my physical condition. I listen to a lot of music, following what is happening in the music world in all areas. Above all, I always have my notebook with me, in which I note down spontaneous ideas, some of which may have the potential for a composition.
When I listen to classical music myself, it is preferably aAmerican composers like John Adams and other representatives of minimal music that has a special energy for me.

You are a very versatile musician. Besides composing, you also conduct a wind orchestra and teach at the conservatory in Luxembourg.
I am a person who likes to share his passion for music with others. Conducting has also always interested me, and since I am a perfectionist, I wanted to learn this subject thoroughly.
Also in teaching, I can pass on my joy for music to younger people. Moreover, the exchange with my students is also an enrichment for myself.

Cellist Philipp Schupelius: « I like to be challenged by my instrument »

  • 03/03/2020

Sixteen-year-old German cellist Philipp Schupelius is the winner of the Discovery Award of the International Classical Music Awards 2020. The musician, who grew up in Berlin, is currently studying with Wolfgang-Emmanuel Schmidt at the Julius Stern Institute of the Berlin University of the Arts, one of the largest and most renowned institutions for the promotion of young musicians in Germany. At the occasion of concerts at the VP Bank Classic Festival in Bad Ragaz (Switzerland), Isabel Roth, Martin Hoffmeister and Remy Franck made the following interview with Philipp Schupelius.

Philipp, what does it mean for you as a young musician to have won the Discovery Award of the ICMA?
It is a very great honour! I am happy because the award is so important and helpful for young musicians and because I know about the career of previous award winners. And I am especially looking forward to the gala in Seville, where I will play two movements from one of my favourite concertos, the Elgar Concerto, with the Seville Orchestra under John Axelrod. Read More →

Stéphane Denève: « Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc is a very inspired work »

  • 01/03/2020
Stéphane Denève: « Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc is a very inspired work »

Stéphane Denève

French conductor Stéphane Denève is the recipient of an International Classical Music Award for his recording of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, an oratorio for actors, singers, choir and orchestra. For this recording, he is at the helm of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam for the orchestra’s label, RCO Live. Jean-Pierre Tribot from the ICMA Jury member magazine Crescendo made the following interview with the conductor. Read More →

Pascal Dusapin: « Opera allows us to worry about the world »

  • 24/02/2020
Pascal Dusapin: « Opera allows us to worry about the world »

Pascal Dusapin

The recording of French composer Pascal Dusapin’s opera Penthesilea won an ICMA award in the category Contemporary Music. Olivier Vrins, contributor of the ICMA Jury member Crescendo made the following interview with the composer.

Your opera Penthesilea has been unanimously acclaimed, notably at the last ICMA and the Belgian Caecilia Awards. It is considered by some to be the most accomplished and powerful opera you have composed so far. The music is so strong that it can perfectly do without the image. To what do you attribute the success of this work?
I’m obviously very happy with the success of this opera. By a happy combination of circumstances, the Penthesilea disc was released just as I was rehearsing my latest opera, Macbeth Underworld, which was staged here at La Monnaie a few months ago. I was immersed in Macbeth every day, and one evening I listened to Penthesilea in the apartment where I lived, in the centre of Brussels. I realised how different the two scores were! Read More →

Thomas Dunford: « You can fill Vivaldi with colour, just like a painter sitting in front of a blank canvas »

  • 19/02/2020
Thomas Dunford: « You can fill Vivaldi with colour, just like a painter sitting in front of a blank canvas »

Thomas Dunford

For the first recording made with his ensemble Jupiter (created in 2018), Thomas Dunford has not stopped collecting praise and awards, among them the ICMA of 2020 in the Assorted Programs section. Eduardo Torrico from the Spanish magazine Scherzo made an interview with the musician, one of the most sought-after lutenists. The recording released by Alpha includes arias from operas and oratorios as well as concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Dunford is surrounded by two of his best friends and collaborators: mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre and the harpsichordist Jean Rondeau. Read More →

Erica Piccotti: « The satisfaction I feel now repays me for everything »

  • 05/02/2020
Erica Piccotti: « The satisfaction I feel now repays me for everything »

Erica Piccotti
© Laure Jacquemin

The young cellist Erica Piccotti, born in Rome in 1999, is a talent with an already well-established career. Nicola Cattò, ICMA Jury member for the Italian magazine Musica and Secretary General met the Young Artist who won this year’s ICMA Young Artist of the Year Award.

How did you come to study the cello? Which are the main steps of your training?
It was a natural path, because at home I have ‘breathed’ music since I was little, my mother plays the piano, my brother the violin. After having ‘played’ with these two instruments, one day a cello came home. I was four and a half years old, and here I am! My first teacher was Francesco Storino, cellist of the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, whom I was lucky enough to meet when I was part of the JuniOrchestra of the same Academy. Read More →

Cédric Tiberghien about his collaboration with Alina Ibragimova: « It’s a mysterious alchemy »

  • 02/02/2020
Cédric Tiberghien about his collaboration with Alina Ibragimova: « It’s a mysterious alchemy »

Cédric Tiberghien
(c) Jean-Baptiste Millot

At the International Classical Music Awards 2020, Pianist Cédric Tiberghien has won an award in the chamber music category for an album with violinist Alina Ibragimova, his long-time musical partner. It is an amazing French album, focussing on the sonatas by César Franck and Louis Vierne. Jury member Pierre-Jean Tribot from the Belgian magazine Crescendo has made an interviews with this major pianist of our time. Read More →

Elisabeth Leonskaja: It’s an endless road

  • 28/01/2020
Elisabeth Leonskaja: It’s an endless road

Elisabeth Leonskaja
© Julia Wesely

Elisabeth Leonskaja has been awarded the ICMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Jury member Radio Romania Muzical has published an interview with the pianist, in which she is talking about her career. Read More →

ICMA Awards to be announced next Tuesday

  • 14/01/2020

The Jury of the International Classical Music Awards, ICMA, will announce the winners of the awards for 2020 next Tuesday, January 21. In addition to the nine Special Awards, 18 productions are awarded a prize in the Audio and Video categories. Stay tuned.

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