ORTUS International New Music Competition: The face behind the music
by Vanessa Hylande for Vocal Area Network
Posted February 14, 2014

KHORIKOS--ORTUSHow often do people get to know the face behind the composition? KHORIKOS is bringing some personality to its upcoming ORTUS International New Music Competition by revealing the faces behind the music and creating a direct connection between artist and audience. As we approach the March 8th performance showcasing the compositions of ten brilliant living composers from around the globe, KHORIKOS will be sharing behind-the-scenes footage and personal interviews of the composers and their works to be performed, along with some preview recordings of their music. “We would like to draw our audience closer to KHORIKOS and to the composers themselves, so that people will already be engaged when they arrive for the performance. We hope that it will create a whole new sense of community within the new music world,” says Vanessa Hylande, chief executive of Dorian Artists, KHORIKOS's parent organization.

ORTUS, Latin for “rising,” is the annual celebration of new music that is coming into being. One of the things that makes this competition special is that composers are not required to submit premieres. Foundation support is often contingent upon the presentation of brand new works, so that is often what new music presenters showcase. But KHORIKOS wanted composers to be able to submit their best work instead of their newest in order to ensure the highest quality programming for its audience. Evelyn Seppar, Estonian composer of Near, remarked that for her, this was one of the draws to this competition. “I am very happy with Near and am happy that it will now be performed as a part of this competition in New York City.”

Additionally, the international aspect of this competition gives the program a richness and wonderful diversity. From American Frank La Rocca’s neo-medieval Miserere to the jazz influence of Venezuelan Guillermo Martinez’s No llores, paloma mia and Norwegian Marianne R. Eriksen’s unique sound sculpture vision in Etter Regnfallet, the program will please the widest range of music lovers.

The ORTUS performance will also put composers in direct contact with their audience by giving viewers an opportunity to share their favorite videos with friends and family, vote for their favorite composition and make online comments on works in real time. We hope that this will open up a rich dialogue between artist and audience and we can’t wait to share it all with you. For more information, visit www.khorikos.com.

Vanessa Hylande is the CEO of Dorian Artists and a singer with Khorikos.