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Hawar Tawfiq composes Bosch Requiem 2021 - To be heard exclusively during November Music 2021 and in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ


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Not a standard death mass, but an ode to life. Iraqi-Dutch composer Hawar Tawfiq has been commissioned by festival November Music and Ammodo Fonds to compose a brand new Bosch Requiem in which he opts for a very personal musical approach. With his Requiem des fleurs et des nuages Tawfiq joins the ranks of previous Bosch Requiem composers such as Kate Moore, Calliope Tsoupaki and Seung-Won Oh. His grand new work will be performed by orchestra phiharmonie zuidnederland and baritone Thomas Oliemans on Thursday 4 November in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam and on Friday 5 November as the opening concert of November Music 2021 in 's-Hertogenbosch.

'Most requiems are melancholy and dramatic because death is presented as something heavy. But who says it should be that way?" the composer justifies his idiosyncratic approach in Requiem des fleurs et des nuages, or the 'requiem of flowers and clouds'. In Kurdish and Dutch poetry, Tawfiq found plenty of comforting words for his new work in which universal words about life and death are strung together. This spiritual depth is therefore strongly present in Tawfiq's mystical music.

His requiem is dark, intense and mysterious in atmosphere on the one hand, but at the same time a lyrical and light-hearted ode to existence.

With orchestra philharmonie zuidnederland, baritone Thomas Oliemans and conductor Ed Spanjaard, the composer has the ideal performers for his requiem. Tawfiq has already worked several times with the philharmonie zuidnederland orchestra, which also previously performed his Unificazione premiere. Thomas Oliemans has performed all over the world as a soloist and, with his timbre, is able to play the vocal parts in Requiem des fleurs et des nuages endowed with a mystical and spiritual connotation.

About Hawar Tawfiq

Works by Hawar Tawfiq have been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Het Gelders Orkest and philharnonie zuidnederland. In 1998, he fled northern Iraq on his own. He was barely 16 when he was received in the Netherlands. Tawfiq graduated as a violinist, but in recent years has mainly been making a furore as a composer. In many of his works, he uses the language of Western modern music, occasionally supplemented by subtle elements from the Kurdish tradition.

About Bosch Requiem

Every year since 2017, November Music has opened the festival with a brand new death mass under the title Bosch Requiem, written by today's most interesting composers. Previous composers who have written a Bosch Requiem include Anthony Fiumara, Kate Moore, Calliope Tsoupaki and Seung-Won Oh.

About November Music

November Music is the ten-day festival in 's-Hertogenbosch for all adventurous music lovers. Every year, it brings together the most idiosyncratic and progressive creators and musicians from all over the world. Not with the flow or against it, but with new, own currents. Influences from contemporary composed music, jazz, world music, pop, music theatre and electronic music form a basis from which the latest creations emerge.


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