Archive for July 17th, 2017

Composers Festival spotlight: Selim Göncü

Born in Turkey and educated in Hungary and Austria, Selim Göncü is one of four resident composers at the 2017 Mizzou International Composers Festival who originally comes from outside the USA.

He currently is pursuing a PhD in composition at University of California, Berkeley, studying with Franck Bedrossian and Ken Ueno, and the Bay Area is just the latest stop in an itinerary that already has included some prestigious destinations.

Göncü (pictured) started taking piano lessons at the age of eleven, and began his higher education with a year of study at the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary.

He moved to University Mozarteum of Salzburg in Austria, studying with Reinhard Febel and focusing on electronic music. Göncü also served as an assistant in Mozarteum’s composition department for two years before graduating in 2012.

From Salzburg, it was on to Graz, as Göncü then attended the famous Kunstuniversität Graz, studying with Clemens Gadenstätter and graduating with the highest distinction.

As part of his musical education, he also has taken part in workshops and seminars with other notable composers including Francesco Filidei, Franck Bedrossian, Beat Furrer, Philippe Leroux, Klaus Huber, Aaron Cassidy, Isabel Mundry, and Dieter Ammann.

Göncü’s works have been performed and recorded in festivals and concerts in Austria, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Turkey and the USA. In 2016, he participated in IRCAM’s ManiFeste Festival, where his work “dimINNUENDO” was premiered by Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Other honors include being selected for the 2013 Firenze Suona Contemporanea festival; a special mention in Risuonanze 2013; and a Kunstuniversität Graz Jahresstipendium fellowship.

For the 2017 MICF, Göncü has written a new work called “post-pandemonium” that will be performed by Alarm Will Sound as part of the festival’s grand finale on Saturday, July 29.

Other recent projects include a small ensemble work for L’Instant Donné, a duo for electric guitar and accordion for Ensemble Cairn soloists, a new work for Ensemble Proton Bern, and a concerto for keyboard and ensemble for Berkeley’s ECO Ensemble.

You can hear Selim Göncü talk about his music in the interview he did earlier this summer with KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” Program, and you can listen to samples of his work on his SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“damplification” (2014-15), US premiere recording performed by Kate Campbell and Anne Rainwater.

Works for Ensemble playlist

“SISYPHEAN S(T)EIN” (2015), recorded at the world premiere at the 2015 Etchings Festival, performed by by Ecce Ensemble, with Vasko Dukovski (clarinet) Diamanda La Berge Dramm (violin), László Hudacsek (percussion), and Nicholas Isherwood (bass baritone), conducted by Jean-Philippe Wurtz.