Sami Koivuneva (Finland)

Sami Koivuneva, born in Helsinki, Finland, on the 28th February 1976 .

I started playing the piano when I was 11 years old. I had a piano teacher for two years. Ever since I have practised by myself. I begun composing at the same time when I took the first steps playing the piano.

I wrote mainly piano music the first years of composing. I arrenged music for piano and cello and worked as a television pianist around the year 1999. I played and improvised music in a television show. Ever since I have composed music for theatrical dramas and comedies.

Orchestral music came along around year 2010 when I started rehearsing writing scores for symphony orchestras. My first piece of orchestral work was published in 2014 by the Finnish Wind Band Association. I orchestrated one of my early piano works for a wind band. It was a piece of music called “Daydream by the Sea”.

Now I am working with my 2nd Piano Concerto which is called “Momemtum”.

Piano Sonata

Sami Koivuneva’s Piano Sonata was written in 2020, the year of oddness.

It has three movements. The first movement has a tempo marking 138 and it is to be played fairly fast but not rushing it – molto allegro ma non troppo. The first movement has two themes. It opens up with a rapid descent and the first theme is played in the bass notes. The second theme is a scherzo, a playful moment which tries to detach it from the dark sounds of the first theme, before returning to the first descent and bass note theme.

The second movement has a tempo marking 68. It is to be played very calmly- molto andante. The sustain pedal to is used to make atmospheric sounds echoing in the space.

The third movement has a tempo marking 144. It is a bit faster than the first movement and it has a scherzo feeling throughout the piece. There are vigorous accents and fast rhythmic playing but gentle legato in the middle of the piece. It builds up to a fast but short ending.

Arash Aalaei (Iran/Australia)

I was born i 1977 in Shiraz , Iran. I learnt classical violin at the age of 11 and joined Shiraz chamber orchestra at age of 14 as we as the youth orchestra of Shiraz. I had a master class on violin with Anna Chmachenco in Switzerland in 2007. I moved to Malaysia in 2008 and then moved to Brisbane in 2018.

I wrote my the first composition when I was 15-16 and the piece was performed by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 1995.

Will Davenport (USA)

Will Davenport (b.2000) is a midwest-based composer studying at Ohio University under the direction of Dr. Robert Mcclure and Dr. Mark Phillips. Through his music, Davenport explores the young and complex emotions that he experiences in this fast-paced, overstimulated world. He finds inspiration through art, poetry, and nature as well as his own life experiences. Many works of his are based on specific moments in his life. Ask him about it. Recently he has written work to be performed and recorded by the Tower Duo.


This piece was composed for a project at Ohio University under the
direction of Dr. Robert McClure. The goal was to write five miniatures for piano using set theory, over the course of ten weeks, one miniature every two weeks. As each miniature was finished, it became apparent to me that each miniature reflected my experiences during the two-week period of its creation. In a way these miniatures transformed into a journal and became much more personal than what I originally intended. The term “autological” refers to a word that describes itself, like “unhyphenated”, and I thought it was a fitting term to give to these miniatures.

Yankının Tatları by Cem Güven (Turkey)

Cem Güven (b.22.11.1997) is a composer from Turkey/Istanbul, who graduated from The Juilliard School in New York (Bachelors Degree) and from The Royal Academy of Music (Masters Degree) and currently pursuing his doctoral degree (DMA) at Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with fellowship. Cem Güven recently became a composer of Universal Edition of Wien, where his scores are being published and distributed, in addition, he became an artist of Talent Unlimited in London. Güven is an award-winning composer in competitions for orchestral and chamber music worldwide such as Petrichor International Music Competition Grand Prize, Royal Academy of Music Composition Postgraduate Grand Prize, Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship, Alblaze Records Award, Academia Musica Vienna Composer Award in two different categories (chamber and string orchestra compositions 2nd prize) Franz Schubert Consevatorium Award in chamber music category (2nd prize), Musica Per Archi  (2nd prize), “Orient Occident” (3rd Prize) which are competitions organized by KLK New Music Society. Güven has worked with well-known ensembles such as Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Attacca Quartet, Riot Ensemble, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Trio Mazzolini, Opera Elect, Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, Tbilisi State Opera Chamber Orchestra and soon to work with Sydney Contemporary Orchestra. Güven also participated in music festivals such as Valencia International Performing Academy, Curtis Summerfest and Soundscape. 

Yankının Tatları

Program Notes:
“Yankının Tatları” (Aftertastes of Ringing) is texturally based on the ringing sonorities of the orchestral instruments. The piece is filled with vibrations and spectral sounds. In terms of its harmonic structure, it is based on the idea of the tension between twelwe tone and quarter tone pitch collections.The piece starts with a dynamic performance of the percussionist on the tubular bells, sustained by the tremolos of glockenspiel&crotales and strings on high registers, contrasting the next section, which is atmospheric rather than dynamic, as the winds and muted brass instruments perform sustained sonorities born out of the very beginning of the piece. This section of sustains is the first presentation of the tension between twelve tone and quarter tone.Later, the piece enters to a textural section, mostly performed by winds& strings and percussion. The tension suddenly decreases as the sustained sonority disappears. The harp acts in a percussive way throughout the whole piece as the harpist uses soft percussion mallets on both sides of the instrument, which is presented at this section for the first time. The clarinets perform spectral multiphonics, which is achieved by over blowing without losing the note that is written in their part. Towards the end of the section, twelve tone-microtonal tension gets presented in its purest way for the whole piece. Clarinets and oboes perform the motive repetitively, which is the one that the later sections of the piece are based on, including the climax (the quintuplet motive). The motive becomes highly repetitive, slowly spreads out to most of the members of the orchestra. Each motive entrance ends with long sustains, which makes the section atmospheric, however the tension still exists because various instruments come and go with different sound textures. The muted brass sonority comes back in a different form as the bass trombone uses the “wah-wah” technique, followed by the rest of the trombones and trumpets. Dynamism and tension increase by time, contrasting to the sectional approach of the piece so far, the piece slowly builds up to a very loud moment, which also slowly fades away. This atmospheric section leads to its contrast, which is a precise and dynamic passage. The members of the orchestra express themselves in a percussive way, performing repetitions of rhythmic progressions however pulse of the rhythm is always ambiguous. The percussive sonority is the driving force of the section, and the energy constantly increases. This dynamic section ends with a loud Tam-Tam hit, as the piece goes back to its beginning, featuring the tubular bells solo, however this time, it’s a soft entrance, coming out of the resonance of the Tam-Tam ringing. A massive crescendo happens as the section leads to the powerful climax of the piece. The climax section is based on the main motive of the piece. The motive evolves into a powerful melody performed by the trumpets in homophony, while the winds perform multiphonics and trills. The section is also based on the contrast of sustains by the strings and articulate performance of the winds and brass. The tension throughout the piece reaches to its peak. The homophonic structure of the trumpets break, brass and wind instruments imitate each other, performing motives derived from the melody line and the tension increases even more. The final chord of the climax reflects the most evolved presentation of the tension between twelve tone and quarter tone pitch collections and it’s the loudest moment of the piece.The piece moves to its last section. The aim of the section is to bring the tension of the climax to the high registers of the orchestra members. Strings perform “glissandi tremolo” to reach to their highest pitches while the high register wind instruments play ascending passages in an articulate way. The percussionists drive the last moments of the piece as the dynamism of the flexatone becomes dominant. The piece ends only with the highest notes of the crotales and glockenspiel, which rings to eternity. 

Richard Campanelli (USA)

Richard Campanelli received his M.M. degree from Hartt School of Music where he studied with Donald Harris. He was a Nikos Skalkottas fellow at Tanglewood during the summer after graduating from Hartt School where he studied with George Perle. Mr. Campanelli received his DMA from the University of MI where he studied with Leslie Bassett, George B. Wilson, William Bolcom and Eugene Kurz. Mr. Campanelli’s awards include yearly ASCAP grants, a Meet the Composer grant, a Charles Ives Fellowship and a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, The Holtkamp Award for new organ music, a Marimolin prize for new music for violin and marimba, and 2 Michigan Council for the Arts grants.

He has had two orchestral pieces premiered by the Detroit Symphony.
Mr. Campanelli has also received commissions from the Detroit Symphony, Oboist Harry Sargous, and the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, DC where he was on the production board.

His piano duo was premiered at the Busan Cultural Center by pianists Seung-Hwan Kim and Hyo-Jin Jang.

His compositions Toccata will be performed in Sydney International Composers Concerts 2022, on 17 December 22, 2022, and his composition Shifting States will be performed in Sydney International Composers Concerts 2023, on April 14, 2023.

Francesco Sgambati (Italy)

Francesco Sgambati

Francesco Sgambati is born in Neaples (Italy) on April 4, 1990. He starts playing classical guitar when he was 14. After the graduation at the high school he is admitted to the conservatory of Neaples “San Pietro a Majella” in the 2009. After finished the bachelor he menages to get into the master in didactics and pedagogy.
Between 2014-2015 he won more than 10 guitar competition Nationally and Internationally such as the XV National Guitar Competition – City of Taranto, VII International Music Competition – City of Airola, II International Guitar Festival – City of Eboli, X International Music Competition “ Luigi Densa”, XIV International Music Competition – City of Caserta, XIX International Music Competition “Napolinova”.
He attends different masterclasses with important musicians like: Leo Brouwer, Antigoni goni, Gohar Vardanyan, Rene Izquierdo, Lorenzo Micheli and Aniello Desiderio.
Due to an unfortunate incident he stops playing guitar for sevaral years and starts studing classical composition and film scoring composition at the “European Academy of Art and Music in Neaples” with M° Patrizio Marrone and the film composer Franco Campanino.
In 2019 he is one of the 5 finalists composers of the “XVIII International Lavagnino film festival”. In 2020 he is one of the three winners of “XV Veria International Composition Competition”. He also was awarded the First Price to the “Acerra Guitar Composition Competition” (John W. Duarte Centenary Celebration) by Chris Duarte.
In the same year he was admitted to the composition course held by Salvatore Sciarrino at the prestigious “Accademia Chigiana” in Siena.
From 2020 he is a Bergamann Edition artist composer.
On August 2020 he has published a work for guitar duo with the prestigious canadian publishing house “Les Productions d’Oz”.
From 2016 he is a teacher of guitar in the musical high schools in Italy.

A Night in the Woods
a miniature for piano solo

What it would be like to spend a night in the woods?
Can you hear the rustle of leaves?
Are you afraid of the dark?
While you’ re walking, something is moving behind you.
The moonlight dimly illuminates a path through the trees.
It is the magic of the woods
and only music can drive you in this fascinating walk.

Paul Dice (USA)

Paul Dice studied composition at the Boston Conservatory of Music with Joel Kabakov, privately in Boston with John Adams and with Lou Harrison at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and at Harrison’s home in California. His commissions include those from the American Composers Forum, Central Conservatory of Music Beijing), Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble, Gao Hong (pipa), the experimental vocal ensemble Listen, Chinese guzheng (zither) artist Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu, the Edina Concert Orchestra, the Chinese Heritage Foundation, and Fedogan and Bremer Publishing among others. Dice has received numerous grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and McKnight Established Artist Awards from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. Finding enjoyment in composing for instruments throughout the world, Dice has composed for Western symphonies, chamber ensembles and soloists; traditional Chinese instruments; Indonesian gamelan; Philippine kulintang; Japanese hichiriki (Japanese wind instrument); accordion; metal sculpture and harmonic singers. His music is primarily inspired by movement and sounds found in nature, and techniques and practices used in other art forms or cultural traditions that he adapts for use in his own special brand of music.

Dice’s music has been performed throughout China, Russia and the US at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Novosibirsk Philharmonic Society, Central Conservatory (Beijing), a guqin (ancient zither) conference at East China Jiaotong University in Nanchang, China; Brown University; UNLV; University of Pittsburgh; World Music Institute (NYC), Macalester College; Carleton College; Coe College; Cincinnati Art Museum; Walker Art Center; Denver Art Museum; Orchestra Hall; Ted Mann Hall; Landmark Center (St. Paul); and numerous other locations. Performers of his music include the Filarmonica Quartet of Novosibirsk (Russia), Kenwood Chamber Orchestra, Edina Concert Orchestra, Sybarite5, LEVEN String Quartet (China), Julius Quartet (Dallas), a string quartet comprised of Minnesota Orchestra members; Catherine French (violin), Rachel Harmatuk Pino (violin), Amadi Azikiwe (viola) and Jennifer Lucht (cello) at the Carolina Chamber Music Festival; cellist Craig Hultgren; pianist Shirley Weston; violinists Marion Kroska and Gary Schulte; Heartland Marimba; Thomas Piercy (Japanese hichiriki); Spirit of Nature (professional Chinese ensemble); Carleton College Chinese Music Ensemble; top Chinese musicians Cao Dewei (erhu), Chen Xiangyang (yangqin), Gao Hong (pipa), Chen Tao (dizi), and others. In 2021 he participated in the East Meets West program put on by the Confucius Center at Alfred University in New York, and at the Queens Library Mid Autumn Celebration in NYC where a virtual world premiere of a piece he composed for Chinese instruments was featured.

In 2009 Dice became the only foreigner to be commissioned by a new program at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing designed to encourage composers to combine Western and traditional Chinese instruments in their works. in 2016 he was awarded a Dunhuang Cup in China. Dice was Music Advisor for the six-part TPT-PBS series Made in China, English editor for the Hal Leonard Pipa Method Book written by Gao Hong, and producer of several world music albums published by ARC Music (UK); Indigenous Treasures (US), and IFTPA (US). Dice was also an Artist-in Residence at the Xian Conservatory, a member of the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program Music of the Minorities Delegation to China and Kazakhstan, and presented papers at Chinese and ethnomusicology conferences in Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois; Heidelberg, Germany; and Wuxi, China. His music is published by the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the UCLA Music Library.

Dice is the founder and president of International Friendship Through the Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization that promotes intercultural friendship, understanding and interaction through activities in the performing arts. Dice was a judge for the 2021 Dunhuang Cup Composition Competition and has been a panelist for the Minnesota State Arts Board.

His composition Three pieces for piano solo has been selected for the Sydney International Composers Concerts 2022 –  Contemporary Piano Music 2022 concert on December 22, 2022, at 7:00 PM at the TLC Theater Sydney Australia.

His composition Stying at Home for chamber orchestra has been selected for the Sydney International Composers Concerts 2023 – Contemporary Orchestral Music I on July 7, 2023, at 7:00 PM at the TLC Theater Sydney Australia.

Isabelle Ryder (UK)

Dulce et Decorum Est
by Isabelle Ryder (UK)

A former earthquake scientist, Isabelle Ryder is now a composer based in Merseyside, UK. Her wide-ranging and colourful music straddles classical, jazz, and folk, and often has a cinematic and/or improvisatory feel to it. Isabelle has released two piano EPs, a singer-songwriter EP and a soundtrack album.

As a music student, Isabelle specialised in piano with London pianist Simon Weale, and took orchestration classes with composer Jonathan Williams. While composing her first commissions, she transitioned into earthquake science, and then spent some adventuresome years (think “nine lives”!) doing fieldwork around the world.

But it wasn’t long before Isabelle felt the pull back to her first love of music. She has performed her own works at festivals and concerts, and has been commissioned to write works for bands, festivals and theatre productions. She has completed courses in Jazz Composition and Jazz Arranging with Berklee College of Music, and is currently mentored by LA-based orchestrator/bassist Norman Ludwin.

Dulce et Decorum Est
by Isabelle Ryder

Program Notes

Dulce et Decorum Est is a powerful poem written by British poet Wilfred Owen during the First World War, while he was in hospital recovering from shell-shock. The poem paints a vivid picture of the horror of life on the front line – specifically, a gas attack, in which one of the men did not fit his gas mask in time, and is lost. Owen proceeds to condemn the saying It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country as “the old Lie”.

In the orchestral setting, the old Lie is characterised in the opening section by 3 trumpets playing fanfare figures – but very sombre, ghost- like fanfares. Underneath this, the lower strings depict the men trudging and limping through sludge, “drunk with fatigue”. Chorale-like winds, harmonically at odds with the lower strings, convey innocence lost (at A).

From B: The chaos and drama of the middle section depicts the gas attack and the ensuing terror. The main motif from the fanfare spawns new themes and accompanimental figures, and is heard in chilling form at the climax of this section (H). At I, there is a poignant elegy for the man lost, played contrapuntally by solo oboe, solo horn and a solo cello.

The final section depicts a resumption of the nightmarish trudging …because what else can the men do? The fanfares make their final ghastly appearance, before the men stamp wearily off into the distance.

Stefano Paolo Penazzi (Italy)

Stefano Paolo Penazzi was born in Verona on the 26th of September of 1988.

He joined the conservatory of Verona in 2005 with M° Nicola Straffellini in the main composition class. After classical study in relation of engineering university, he moved in Padua since 2012 under the teachings of M° Giovanni Bonato. In this period, several pieces have been performed as Agnus Dei for chorus and organ and Morchia for ensemble. In 2013, after graduation, he moved in Verona Conservatory in which he won the first prize in the Banco Popolare composition competition with Parafrenie, for ensemble. In 2014 in Teatro Romano of Verona conducted by Andrea Battistoni a piece for string orchestra and solo flute has been performed: Nostos. In 2015 he attempted a masterclass with M° Alberto Colla and several lessons that had a great influence on his style and aesthetic.

In 2019 he graduated in composition with top ranking classification. In September 2019 the Quartetto Manfredi perform the litania for string quartet. In 2021 the piece skyrocket rondo’ for orchestra will take place in Juvenilia summer festival in Verona. In 2021 he has resulted finalist in the Eduardas Balsys contemporary composition music contest in Lithuania in the chamber music section.

 la nuit de la mer 

The peace suggests the overwhelming sensation occurring at the composer in observing the sea at night. In particular waves and the dark impenetrable colour of the water, full of dangers and unknow. But, in a zoom out perspective the moon would appears, reflecting with cold glimmering lights on the agitated horizon, to flat it in an aethereal mystery.

This piece will be performed during the Sydney International Composers Concerts 2023, Contemporary Chamber Music concert on April 14, 2023, in Sydney Australia.

Ugo Raimondi (Italy)

Ugo Raimondi

After he got high school diploma with full marks, he graduated in Piano to the Nicola Sala Conservatory and in Composition in the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory. During the latest years, he took part in several composition contests, both national and international, winning awards such as: 1st prize and honorable mention at “Città di Albenga” 1st composition contest; 1st prize at “Mandanici” 18th and 21th national contest; 1st prize at V “A. Falconio” composition competition, 1st prize at International composition competition “Franz Schubert Konservatorium” of Wien 2020 edition (category 4), 1st prize at 27th International Music Competition- Cortemilia (Cat. B); 1st Prize at “CMC International composition competition 2020” of Atlanta; semifinalist to XIV Open composers competition named after Andrey Petrov di San Pietroburgo (Russia); Honorabile mention at 44th “Guido D’Arezzo” international composition competition;. He performed the winner musical piece of the “Città di Albenga” 1st contest, at Leipzig Buchmesse 2016. Furthermore, he spectated the world premiere of “Contaminazione di pura follia”, during the International Meisterkurs fur Klavier, performed by German teacher and concert master Heidrun Holtmann, at Detmond ed Herdecke (Germany). His music is played in Italy, Germany, Iran, Norway, U.S.A.

Variazioni contaminate

The work is a group of variations, on a theme by Giovanni Canciani, contaminated by “foreign” elements. Each variation has its disturbing “element”, in contrast to the writing of the variation itself and each variation, in its final part, anticipates the writing of the next variation, creating a well-defined work in its development. The final variation is a politonal fugue that incorporates all the contaminations presented in the course of the work, as a summary of everything that has just been heard.