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Student’s piece to be performed at Carnegie Hall

Anna Pidgorna-headshot.jpg

By Caitlyn Spencer

Anna Pidgorna, a composer in the MMus program, has won a place in an exclusive workshop in New York, and on the Canadian submission to the International Society for Contemporary Music World Music Days 2012.

Pidgorna’s piece for solo free-bass accordion, Light-play through curtain holes, will be included on the Canadian demo CD for World Music Days, and may be selected for inclusion in the festival itself.

“I’ve never really won anything like this before, so I had to read the emails a few times to make sure I understood them correctly,” Pidgorna says. “Then I proceeded to jump around my apartment squealing for about ten minutes and call all my relatives.”

The workshop will be led by Kaija Saariaho, a Grammy Award-winning Finnish composer, and will feature close collaboration between the six chosen composers and seven string players. Saariaho’s frequent collaborator, cellist Anssi Karttunen, will mentor the string players.

Running from March 6-12 2012, the workshop will culminate in a performance in Carnegie Hall of the pieces composed.

“I haven’t had much opportunity in the past to write for string instruments, so I am very excited to have this intense week to learn as much as I can about them and to really connect with the sound,” Pidgorna says. “And, it is naturally very exciting to have a premiere at Carnegie Hall.”

The premiere will be Pidgorna’s second international performance.

Pidgorna’s piece for the workshop is entitled The child, bringer of light, and is inspired by Carl Jung’s archetype of the child. Pidgorna has already begun to work with her performer, sending him drafts of the piece for discussion. “It’s very helpful to have this kind of back-and-forth with the performer,” she says. “It gives you a chance to iron out major problem areas before the work is completed, and lets the performer be more involved in the composition process.”

The benefits of Pidgorna’s recent wins are manifold. “Both of these opportunities are great exposure,” she says. She looks forward in particular to networking with the other composers and string players present. “It might lead to future collaborations, which is great for my growth professionally and artistically.”

To hear Pidgorna’s music, visit her SoundCloud. Learn more about the workshop and World Music Days 2012.