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ISCM Luxembourg Section - Annual Report 2009


The Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music (LGNM), founded in 1983, is an independent organization. Since its inception the LGNM is member of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). The society is also member of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) and member of the European Conference of Promoters of New Music (ECPNM). The LGNM is today not only an important platform for its composer members but also for the many instrumentalists forming part of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta. This association endeavours to deepen knowledge about Luxembourg composers world-wide and also perform new works beyond the frontiers.


The Luxembourg Sinfonietta, the leading ensemble for contemporary music in Luxembourg, wasfounded in 1999 by its conductor Marcel Wengler. Ever since that The time, it has endeavoured to make contemporary music accessible to a wider public and to present Luxembourg composers, particularly abroad. Its first opportunity to pursue this goal was the international festival “World Music Days 2000” held in Luxembourg and the World Exhibition in Hanover in 2000. Apart from a number of first performances, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta also plays the classics of the past century, as well as its own arrangements and orchestrations of existing works which thus attain a new dimension and importance.

Numerous invitations to international festivals underscore the significance of this ensemble, which has all the celebrated contemporary composers in its repertoire. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta has played in Germany, France, Switzerland, Romania and as part of the prestigious International Festival «World Music Days 2007» in Hong Kong as well as in Beijing and Chengdu on its successful China tour in the year 2008.



International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2009

Luxembourg Sinfonietta celebrated its 10th Anniversary


In order to further establish Luxembourg as a European centre for musical innovation, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta has organized its own annual International Composition Prize since 2001. For this event, composers from all over the world are invited to compose new works for the Luxembourg Sinfonietta and every year, 150 composers from more than 40 countries take part. The number of works which have been specially composed for the Luxembourg Sinfonietta is in excess of 950.

The Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music held the closing concert of the 8th International Competition Prize on Saturday the 18th October 2009. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta, under its conductor Marcel Wengler, gave the first performances of four works which the international jury had nominated for this final round. The compositions were by Pui-shan Cheung (Hong Kong), Miguel Farias (Chile), Takahiro Sakuma (Japan) and Zhenzhen Zhang (China).

For its 10th birthday the Luxembourg Sinfonietta presented the “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin with Kae Shiraki as soloist.

The young Chinese composer Zhenzhen Zhang won the first prize in the International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2009. With her work “Xiang”Zhenzhen Zhang won over the international jury in the face of competition from four candidates. Zhenzhen Zhang was born in 1987 in HengYang, China. She began playing the piano at the age of six years. In 2003, she entered the Xinghai Conservatory of Music to begin her composition studies. Recommended by Professor Dong Yang, she enrolled at the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2005 to continue her studies in composition with Professor Huang Lv. Some of her outstanding pieces received positive comments from Professor Tan Dun and Professor Xiaoyong Chen, two Chinese world-class composers, now living in the U.S.A. and in Germany.


The second prize was awarded to the Japanese composer Takahiro Sakuma, who had written a work entitled “Against the current” for the Luxembourg Sinfonietta. Takahiro Sakuma was born in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan; later he moved to Sendai. He studied with the professors Reiko Arima, Akira Ifukube and Sei Ikeno at the Tokyo College of Music. He received his Master of Arts in 1998. Then he worked as an assistant in the Department of Composition at the Tokyo College of Music. Takahiro Sakumastudied composition with Professor Fernando Maglia at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior de Música, Buenos Aires.


The third prize was for the work “Chi’en III”by the Chinese composer Pui-shan Cheung. Born in Hong Kong in 1976, Pui-shan Cheung received her degrees from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She has served as Assistant Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and presently resides in San Diego. Pui-shan Cheung’s music has been described as beautiful sounds with abrupt intrusions of jagged explosive ideas (Peninsula Review). Pui-shan Cheung has received a number of awards and prizes and she has held residency at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts and currently composer-in-residence in Wuji Chinese-plucked Music Ensemble.


The fourth prize was for the work “Acier”by the Chilean composer Miguel Farias, born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in 1983. From 2001 to 2008 he studied at the Universidad de Chile with Aliocha Solovera and Jorge Pepi-Alos, and from 2009 in the Haute Ecole de Musique de Geneve, with Michael Jarrell. His works have been played in Chile, Spain, France, Austria, Belgium and Korea. Miguel Farias Vásquez is the laureate of many prizes. During 2008 he was composer in residence in the 5th forum for young composers of the Ensemble Aleph, in France.


A Special Prize was awarded by the audience to the Japanese composer Takahiro Sakuma for his work “Against the current”. The International Jury consisting of André Laporte (Belgium), Gerhard Müller-Hornbach (Germany), Roger Tessier (France), Richard Tsang (Hong Kong) and Marcel Wengler (Luxembourg) had selected the works for the final round. Composers from the following 47 countries participated in the International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2009: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kyrgysztan, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.

The International Composition Competition of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta will take place in future each year.

Further information are published under:



International Composers’ Workshop Luxembourg 2009

The Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music has organized an International Composers’ Workshop as part of its successful project “Europe meets China”. This workshop, taking place from 23 to 30 July 2009, was devoted to working together with composers, guest musicians and the Luxembourg Sinfonietta. Fourteen participants from China, Germany, Greece, France, Russia, Turkey, Luxembourg and Hong Kong resided for one week at the “Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster” in Luxembourg. During the workshop the participants had the opportunity to write new pieces for Erhu (Chinese violin), Guzheng (Chinese zither)

and the Luxembourg Sinfonietta. These new works were then first-performed at the Final Concert on July, 30 by the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Ling Peng (Erhu), Xiao Ying (Guzheng), Marcel Wengler conducting: Benoit Stasiaczyk “Limian”, Esra Kinkli “Ham”, Spyros Makarounas “Silk Dreams”, Ayse Önder “Emine’m”, Guo Long “Image of Sichuan Opera”, Xiao Hu “Fragment of Memory”, Jacques Neuen “Dare my dear”, Arne Gieshoff “Exposition”, Oleg Paiberdin “Guó Huà” and Stefan Beyer “Oktett”.



Luxembourg Sinfonietta

In January 2009 the LGNM has invited the Chinese Erhu-soloist Ling Peng to perform with the Luxembourg Sinfonietta a concert titled “Europe Meets China”. The programme included works by the Chinese composers Xia Hu and Richard Tsang, a number of key European works as well as traditional Chinese works orchestrated for Erhu and the ensemble by Marcel Wengler.

On 17 February 2009 the Luxembourg Sinfonietta casted a glance at three generations of composers from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as part of the cycle “Musique d’aujourd’hui” at the Philharmonie Luxembourg The Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Marcel Wengler conducting, has performed the pieces “Trio No 2and “Lacité éblouissante” by René Mertzig, the compositions “Panta rhei”, “Zur Stille gewandt” and “Ruth” by Camille Kerger as well as the works “Interludio”, “3 Bagatellen”, “Trio III”, “At the faint sound so brief” and the world-première of “She dwelt so close” written by the composer Marcel Reuter and sung by soprano Mariette Lentz.



LGNM Concert Series

In 2009 the Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music has organized in cooperation with “MusicEnterprise” and “Club de Musique des Institutions européennes” the project “Martinu Revisited”. Works by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu were presented in ten different concerts given by musicians from the Czech Republic and Luxembourg.

As part of this project the Kapralova String Quartet has performed on 19 September 2009 at the “Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster” / Luxembourg the “String Quartet No 5” by Bohuslav Martinu, “Spleen” by Luxembourg composer Jules Krüger and the world-première of “String Quartet”, written by the Luxembourg composer Johny Fritz.

In October the Luxembourg operetta “De Scholdschäin” by Edmond de la Fontaine was given in Grevenmacher / Luxembourg arranged by Marcel Wengler.

On 25 October 2009 the “Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale”, André Reichling conducting has given a concert featuring works by the Luxembourg composers Laurent Menager, Marco Pütz, Norbert Hoffmann, Jules Krüger and Marcel Wengler.

As part of the Festival “Rainy Days” the new works by the Luxembourg composers Jean-Paul Frisch, Luc Grethen, Maurizio Spiridigliozzi and Luc Rollinger were first performed on various places in the city of Luxembourg.



New Releases by Editions-LGNM

The Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music has published a series of CDs with symphonic music written by Luxembourg composers. The CDs produced with the “Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé- Luxembourg”, later to become the “Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg”have long become part of Luxembourg's cultural heritage. Amongst the CDs published to date, the Anthology of Luxembourgish Music, comprising some 22 symphonic works by 16 Luxembourgish composers, makes up the most important part; in addition, there are CDs of chamber music and CDs devoted entirely to a single Luxembourgish composer. Moreover the Editions-LGNM has published 8 CDs with its ensemble Luxembourg Sinfonietta.


In 2009 the Luxembourg Sinfonietta has released three new CDs presenting 15 first-performances. The CD No 406 of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta contains the works for solo-piano and orchestra by all five finalists of the International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2006. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta presents with this live recorded disc the works by Alice Ho, Barnaby Hollington, Alexander Shchetynsky, Maki Nakajima and Iain Matheson.

Soloists: Zénon Bialas, Annie Kraus, Pascal Meyer, Xenia Pestova, (piano)

Conductor: Marcel Wengler

Total playing time: 64’03’’ – Editions LGNM No 406


The CD No 407 of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta contains the works by all four finalists of the International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2007. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta presents with this live recorded disc the works by Nicholas Casswell, Robert Lemay, Akahiro Kano and Gordon Hamilton.

Total playing time: 41’10’’ – Editions LGNM No 407


The CD No 408 of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta contains new works for solo-sheng and orchestra by all six finalists of the International Composition Prize Luxembourg 2008. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta presents with this live recorded disc the works by Huang Ruo, Lan-chee Lam, Kee Yong Chong, Xiaozhong Yang, Lok-yin Tang and Stephen Yip.

Soloist: Wu Wei (sheng), Conductor: Marcel Wengler

Total playing time: 71’28’’ – Editions LGNM No 408


In 2009 the Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music has published two DVDs. The Luxembourg Sinfonietta presents on DVD 102 works (extracts) by Chinese and European composers which were performed on its China Concert Tour in 2008: Claude Debussy, Richard Tsang, Guo Long, Arne Gieshoff, Xiaozhong Yang, Jos Kinzé, Xiao Hu, Marcel Wengler and Maurice Ravel.

Total playing time: 30 minutes – Editions LGNM No 102


The DVD No 103 “Europe meets China” contains the following works created for the Luxembourg Sinfonietta: “Wen” (Benoit Stasiaczyk), “Immensity” (Guo Long), “Horsetail Whisk II” (Xiaozhong Yang), “Mix II” (Ao Changqun), “Ancient Voice” (Xiao Hu), “Nachtreise” (Arne Gieshoff), ”Horse race” (arranged by Marcel Wengler)

Luxembourg Sinfonietta

Soloists: Hong Li (soprano), Xiaoli Yang (guzheng), Maurizio Spiridigliozzi (accordion), Sébastien Duguet (clarinet), Sarah Briganti (piano)

Conductor: Marcel Wengler

Total playing time: 60 minutes – Editions LGNM No 103


As part of the Editions LGNM two works by Luxembourg composer René Mertzig were published in 2009: “Trois Esquisses pour orchestre à cordes” and “Trio à clavier No 2”. Scores and parts as well as the CDs and the DVDs are available for sale from Editions LGNM -



Music from Luxembourg abroad

In January 2009 the Quattro Orchestra Prague has released a CD “Carmina lucemburgiana” containing works by the Luxembourg composer René Mertzig (Trois Esquisses, for orchestra) and by Marcel Wengler (Novelette, for saxophone and strings), realized in cooperation with ArcoDiva Prague and with the support of the Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Prague.

Soloist: Irvin Venys (saxophone), Conductor: Marek Stilec


In order to promote contemporary music of Luxembourg and to develop exchanges and cooperation with international groups or organisations the Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music was represented at the “ISCM World New Music Days 2009” in Sweden and attended the General Assembly of the ISCM as well as the General Assembly of the “European Conference of Promoters of New Music – ECPNM”, which took place in Göteborg on 4 October 2009.


Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music

Marcel Wengler, Artistic Director

B.P. 828, L-2018 Luxembourg

Tel. +352 22 58 21              Fax +352 22 58 23

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