Posted on 8 May 2019
Thomas Simaku’s work La Leggiadra Luna was performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) – World Music Days in Tallinn on 4 May 2019. Composed for mixed choir a cappella, this work is a setting of Sappho’s poem translated from ancient Greek into modern Italian by the Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian poet Salvatore Quasimodo.
Simaku’s works have been selected by international juries in ten editions of this festival, which has been described as the ‘Music Olympics’. Founded in 1922, the ISCM Festival is the oldest forum of new music in the world, which takes place every year in a different country. Simaku’s piece in the 2019 edition of ISCM was performed by the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putniņš . The concert was broadcast live on national radio, and transferred across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union. Thomas Simaku was one of three British composers representing the UK at this prestigious festival this year.
In his review of the concert Timmy Fisher wrote: ‘The most memorable moment of the evening, however, came at the climax of Thomas Simaku’s La Leggiadra Luna (The Beautiful Moon), in which a thundering eight-note chord reverberated around the St Nicholas’ rafters for what felt like an eternity.’