Kevin Volans to write a new work Lenguas de Fuego for string quartet, flute and percussion funded through an @artcouncil Arts Council Ireland Music Commissions Award. Very exciting as Kevin Volans is one of the most exciting living composers. Thanks to Kevin Volans and the Arts Council.
Kevin Volans Biography
Principal performances of Volans’ work in the last years include the Berliner Musikfest, Vienna State Opera, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Lincoln Center NY,Dokumenta Kassel, the Pompidou Centre Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam,Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts, the Edinburgh Festival, theCaixa Forum Madrid, the Barbican, South Bank, Wigmore Hall, London and several times in the BBC Proms.
In the last 35 years Kevin Volans has worked with quartets: Kronos, Smith Quartet,Duke Quartet, Arditti Quartet, pianists: Barry Douglas, Marc-André Hamelin, Peter Donohoe, Melvyn Tan, conductors: Michael Tilson Thomas, Marek Janowski, Alan Buribayev, Yan Pascal Tortelier, orchestras: the San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, Royal Flemish Philharmonic,BBC Singers, percussionists: Robyn Schulkowsky, Jonny Axelsson, SISU and many others, as well as dance companies like Siobhan Davies, Shobana Jeyasingh, White Oak, Jonathan Burrows and artists: William Kentridge, Juergen Partenheimer, Jose-Manuel Ballester.
He was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and studied at the University of the Witwatersrand with later with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. He moved to Ireland in 1986 and has been an Irish citizen since 1994. He lives in Co. Cork.
After a productive collaboration with the Kronos quartet in the 1980s his work, principally in the field of chamber and orchestral music, has been regularly performed worldwide. The Kronos discs, White Man Sleeps and Pieces of Africa broke all records for string quartet disc sales.In 1997 the BBC Music Magazine listed him as one of the 50 most important living composers and he was described by the Village Voice (New York) as “one of the most original and unpredictable voices on the planet”.
In 1999 the South Bank in London hosted a 50th birthday celebration of his work and for his 60th the Wigmore Hall in London organised a “Kevin Volans Day” of concerts.
He has been the featured composer in several European festivals of contemporary music and he was the featured composer in Prague last November 2017.In 2019 the Wigmore Hall sponsored his 70th birthday concert with 3 world premieres, the South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM) invited him to give a series of 8 three-hour lectures at the Goethe Institute Johannesburg, along with a birthday concert with one world premiere, and the Auditorium Parco della Musicain Rome sponsored a ‘Ritratto di Kevin Volans’ with a further 3 world premieres for wind ensemble.There are some 48 CDs and videos featuring his music currently available. His work is performed regularly worldwide