“I have always loved the piano and just recently wrote a new cycle for solo piano which will be premiered by the pianist Konstantin Lifschitz in London in March 2014. The three pieces, ‘Lucilla’s Beehive’ , ‘Uchti-Tuchti’ and ‘The Melancholic Mobile’ are part of a cycle called ‘Reminiscences of Childhood’ opus 54. These pieces are a look at childhood from an adult perspective. I was first commissioned to write ‘Lucilla’s Beehive’ as a single piece and only later decided that It would be interesting to add a couple of pieces to make a cycle. ‘Reminiscences of Childhood’ being in three “movements” is both like other short pieces cycles ( for example Schumann’s Kinderszenen) and a sonata.
I started composing when I was six years old. One of my first compositions, a piece for solo flute and orchestra, written when I was eight was inspired by a twelve year old girl who played the flute and with whom I was in love! The piece was a success but my love was not reciprocated!
I was born in Israel, raised in France and then moved to London when I was 18 to complete postgraduate courses first at the Royal College of Music and then at the Royal Academy of Music.
Composing for the piano is a real challenge that I enjoy revisiting often. I have written solo pieces, pieces for 2 pianos four hands, 2 pianos eight hands as well as a myriad of chamber music compositions including a piano trio, pieces for piano & violin, piano & cello, piano & flute. Many cellists, violinists and flautists perform theses works worldwide.
It is very difficult to describe a compositional style. I agree with Mendelssohn who when asked to describe his music said that if he could describe it by words he would not write music! Performers of my music and audience have said that it was “full of passion and tragedy” , “absolutely beautiful and touched the heart”. I would say that my music is complex and multi-layered but speaks directly as it has beautiful melodies that can be grasped immediately when you hear it.
When I am composing, what I go through changes – it depends on the day. I am looking for an absolute and if the music is not coming it can be depressing. However even if I always enjoy the absolute concentration and sense of purity of the work but for me what is essential is the result and not the process.
One of my latest pieces, ‘If you will it, it is no dream’ opus 58, was written for Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Maestro Ashkenazy has been a strong supporter of my music for some time and I was extremely excited to write for him and such an amazing orchestra which would be able to perform my music with passion. I wanted to compose something very intense and diverse, all in ten minutes, like an odyssey. A piece that makes you feel like it was thirty minute long, that in ten minutes gives you the illusion of having listened to an entire symphony.
My music can be found with several publishers, including Boosey & Hawkes, as well as some pieces being self-published.” (Nimrod Borenstein)
Next UK performance:
‘If you will it, it is no dream’ opus 58 for Orchestra (World premiere)
The Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Conductor
Venue: Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
Date: 13th of June 2013
Tickets and details can be found on the Southbank Centre website