Johan de Meij wins the 6th International Composition Contest in Muro (Spain)
New York, December 5th, 2016
Johan de Meij’s latest work “Fifty Shades of E” has been awarded 1st Prize in the 6th International Composition Contest “City of Muro 2017”. The Jury, consisting of Carlo Pirola (Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi - Milan), Voro Garcia (Conservatory of Music - Valencia) and Francisco José Gallego Martinez (Conservatory Mestre Molins - Quart de Poblet) were unanimous in their decision.
It is the second time this year that De Meij has been awarded a prestigious prize: in May, his composition “Echoes of San Marco”was the winner of the 30th Edition of the International Composition Competition in Corciano – Italy.
Fifty Shades of E– Johan de Meij
(for wind orchestra)
Fifty Shades of E is a musical expedition to discover the many shades of the note E. Throughout the work, the note E occupies the centre stage; it runs through the various movements like a centrifugal axis. The E is observed from all sides, in all its tonal functions and guises.
After a short, mysterious introduction in the low brass and percussion, a straightforward unison chorale melody appears in the entire ensemble [measure 11], a thematic subject that will only emerge fully at the end of the work [measure 352]. The subsequent fugue on the chorale theme begins in the bass register [measure 25], and gradually climbs up in superimposed fifths within the whole orchestra, making the tonal idiom more and more unruly. The various groups reunite in a massive rhythmic unison [measure 107], concluding in E major. The melodic percussion and piano extends the E in minimalistic, repeating patterns with skittish, consonant additions [measure 117]. The chorale theme passes in four different rhythmic and melodic appearances – in, successively, the trombones, horns, saxophones and clarinets, whereupon the rhythmic pattern gradually comes to a halt. In a free cadenza, six solo instruments embellish the main theme, one after another, from high to low. Before measure 207, the baritone sax lingers on its own: its cadenza forms the bridge to the capricious Allegro agitato [measure 207], interspersed with staccato motions and hammering strikes. After a quasi-Beethovian sequence [measures 307-354] leading to the main theme in a minor [measure 355], a radiant conclusion follows – inevitably – into a sounding unison E over seven octaves.
Fifty Shades of E will be published by Amstel Music Amsterdam - Release date: April 2017
Awards and Prizes:
1989 1st Prize at The Sudler International Composition Competition Award for Symphony no.1 “The Lord of the Rings”
1995 Honorable Mention International Composition Competition of Corciano - Italy for Symphony No. 2 “The Big Apple”
1999 1st Prize at The International Composition Competition of Corciano - Italy for “Casanova”
2000 1st Prize at The Oman International Composition Prize for “The Red Tower”
2006 2nd Prize at The International Composition Competition of Corciano - Italy for Symphony No. 3 “Planet Earth”
2007 Dutch Wind Music Award/Prijs Nederlandse Blaasmuziek
2009 Friends of the WMC Award - Kerkrade, The Netherlands
2016 2nd Prize at The International Composition Competition of Corciano - Italy for “Echoes of San Marco”
2016 1st Prize at The 6th International Composition Contest City of Muro - Spain for "Fifty Shades of E"
Purdue University Wind Ensemble
Conductor: Johan de Meij
April 20, 2018
De Phoenix Wateringen & Excelsior Wassenaar
Conductor: Henk Oenema
April 21, 2018
Da Capo Leeuwarden
Conductor: Floris de Wever, Philip Curtis - narrator
April 21, 2018
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