Alexandre Kordzaia


Stravinsky and Daft Punk, Prince and Ravel, the Swiss-Georgian composer and performer Alexandre Kordzaia (Tbilisi, 1994), a.k.a. Kordz, takes his inspiration from all different sorts and styles of music. These broad musical interests are also apparent from the path he took for his musical training. First, he studied at the Academy of Music in Basel, where he composed electro-acoustic music and trained to be an audio engineer.  After finishing his studies, he went to the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where he studied composition with Peter Adriaansz and Yannis Kyriakides. The focus of his studies was always on naturally combining electronic and acoustic instruments. In Georgia, Kordz has made quite a reputation for himself with his danceable live sets and extraordinary collaborations, for example with the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra, the violist Giorgi Zagareli and rapper DRO. He is in high demand as a composer in Europe as well and has worked with Asko|Schönberg, Kluster5, Nieuw Ensemble, Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonie, the Residentie Orchestra and Dortmunder Philharmoniker, among others. For a recent collaboration with Club Guy & Roni and Slagwerk Den Haag, he wrote an entirely new composition for Swan Lake. Last year, his piece Alex, how is it going with your Cello Concertino? premiered at the Cello Biennale, which was performed by cellist Lidy Blijdorp and Asko|Schönberg. Ryuichi Sakamoto (Tokyo, 1952) has lived many musical lives in his nearly 70 years. As a keyboardist and songwriter in Haruomi Hosono’s Yellow Magic Orchestra, he helped set the stage for technopop.  His solo experiments in fusing global genres and close studies of classical impressionism led to him scoring nearly 40 films in as many years, including Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983), Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987) and The Sheltering Sky (1990), and the Academy Award-winning film The Revenant (2015) by Alejandro González Iñárritu. In the past 20 years alone, he’s written a multimedia opera, turned a glass building into an instrument, and travelled to the Arctic to record the sound of melting snow. That exploratory spirit runs through Sakamoto’s 2017 album, async, which paints an audio portrait of the passing of time informed by his recovery from throat cancer. ‘Music, work, and life all have a beginning and an ending,’ said Sakamoto in early 2019. ‘What I want to make now is music freed from the constraints of time.’ Since the mid-nineties, Sakamoto has devoted much of his time to environmental and activist causes, also reflected in his work, as in the opera LIFE (1999). He has launched charitable organisations and beginning in 2012, organised the yearly ongoing music event NO NUKES, which many well-known artists, including Kraftwerk, took part in to protest nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster. His accolades include an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, a Grammy, the Order of the Cavaleiro Admissão from the Brazilian government and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. Asko|Schönberg is a trend-setting ensemble for new music in the Netherlands. Its principal cornerstones are experimentation and an innovative programming with concern for current affairs. With its broad network of musicians, conductors, composers, versatile young makers and partners from various art disciplines, Asko|Schönberg plays an important part in ‘today’s making’. The ensemble serves as a platform. Together with innovative and energetic partners, it furthers the development of contemporary composed music in all its different forms. The ensemble performs both major 20th century composers as well as the very latest 21st century work. Besides composers like Andriessen, Goebaidoelina, Boulez, Kurtág and Ligeti, work from Van der Aa, Ruo, Tsoupaki, Wilbert Buls and Stefan Prins is performed regularly. Asko|Schönberg can be seen in concert venues, festivals and inter-disciplinary pieces and in recent years worked with the Dutch National Opera, NTR ZaterdagMatinee and NITE, among others. The ensemble was also regularly featured at the Holland Festival: in 2019 in Triptychby composer Bryce Dessner and in 2016 in Theatre of the World by Louis Andriessen. Give multi-media artist Boris Acket (1988) a space, and he will turn it into an extra-terrestrial experience. Acket works with technology, space, film, light and sound. He makes installations, often larger than life, which are interactive, lively and breathtaking. He works with audio artists and composers like Colin Benders and Joep Beving. His work is often featured at music festivals, like Lowlands and Amsterdam Dance Event, but also during the Noorderkerk concerts. Other places his work was featured include: NXT Museum, De School, Down The Rabbit Hole, Wildeburg, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Van Gogh Museum, Frame Lab & DGTL Festival.