Thursday, March 1, 2018

EarShot Charlotte Symphony Readings: Composer Spotlight - Niloufar Iravani

Composer Niloufar Iravani studied piano and composition at the University of Tehran, Iran – receiving several national honors including the second rank in the field of Musical Arts at the National Master Degree Examination – before starting the PhD in Music Composition at Louisiana State University, under the supervision of Prof. Dinos Contantinides. She is now the graduate teaching assistant and the coordinator of the Composers Forum at LSU. Her music has been performed in Iran, Greece, and the USA by great ensembles and soloists including Athanasios Zervas, Maria Asteriadou, Kostas Tiliakos, Angela Draghicescu, and Amalia Sagona. The Summer 2017 concert series at Baton Rouge libraries, conducted by Prof. Constantinides, featured her work, Shadows in Chase, for string quartet. Recent highlights include the performance of DIR for solo violin at LMTA 65th Annual Convention at the University of New Orleans and the performance of Seven for fixed media for seven channels at the University of Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival.

Niloufar was selected for the EarShot Charlotte Symphony Readings for her piece Fantasy, which will be workshopped and conducted by Assistant Conductor Christopher James Lees in a final read-through on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10am. Details here.

Niloufar spoke with us about the piece and what she looks forward to at the readings.

Composer Niloufar Iravani. Photo by Afarinesh Studio

American Composers Orchestra: What was your reaction to finding out that Fantasy had been selected for the EarShot Charlotte Symphony Readings? What are you looking forward to about the program?

Niloufar Iravani: I felt very surprised when I found out that my work has been selected for EarShot Charlotte Symphony Readings. It is my first orchestral piece that I composed in 2013 as part of my Master’s thesis. The piece has never read or performed, so this is going to be a great opportunity for me to listen to it, feel it, and learn from it! I am very looking forward to the program to experience the reading of my piece by a professional orchestra, work with the mentor composers and the conductor, and learn from the community.

ACO: Your program note for Fantasy says that the piece aims to demonstrate your "innovative and personal approach to the concept of fantasy as a musical genre." Can you elaborate on this? What is your definition of fantasy as a musical genre? What is your approach to composing music in this genre?

NI: From the imaginative and improvisational works of Italian lute performers in the sixteenth century to freely composed pieces of the twentieth century, fantasy has had a long interesting story in the history of Western music. Some believe that the ideal fantasy should be very free; any obligation leads to shutting down the innovation! In my piece, I tried to be very free in presenting the thematic materials through meaningful patterns, repetitions, and formal structures as well as the dynamic use of rhythm, register, and texture.

ACO: What aspects of Fantasy do you hope to improve or fine tune during the readings?

NI: I would like to find out how my thoughts and ideas sound by a real orchestra. I hope to see the performers and the conductor happy, excited, and interested in the piece. I’ll surely find and learn the ways to improve it and make it as comfortable and realistic as possible for everyone. This would undoubtedly include specific attention to articulation, techniques, and dynamics.

The EarShot Charlotte Symphony Readings culminate in a final read-through which is free and open to the public -- Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10am. Details here.

Learn more about Niloufar at
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