ALEKSANDAR KOSTIĆ – COMPOSER | BIOGRAPHY
Born 1973 in Belgrade (Serbia), based in Berlin (Germany) composer Aleksandar
Kostić has been involved in music from an early age. His engagement with both
classical and contemporary works carries forward influences from European,
traditional and spiritual music. Mr. Kostić was developing his compositional skills
under guidance and supervision of his mentor and one of the first academic
Serbian female composers D.M.A. Mirjana Šistek Djordjević (1935-2017). First
public performance of Kostić’s work was in 1999 when his symphonic suite ‚Deus
Absconditus‘ was premiered in Belgrade. Later, this composition was recorded
with the Serbian Symphonic Radio Orchestra to be published by Serbian
National Record company PGP-RTS, in 2004.
His vocal – instrumental, piece ‚Song of Songs‘, composed on the lyrics of the old testament poem by the King Solomon that goes by the same name, had its world premiere in the Actor’s Church (Covent Garden) London in March 2010. In a domain of applied music, composers body of work includes music for numerous theater plays in prestigious theaters all over ex-YU region (Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia), documentary and feature films as well as many television and radio productions in the last twenty years.
His recent work “Hymns to the Night“ written for soprano, percussions, mixed choir and string ensemble is based upon a poem by one of the first German romantics, Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg). This composition was premiered in RBB Große SendeSaal in Berlin (May 2019) and later that year the same composition had it’s London premiere in St.Pancras Church (June 2019). After this performance composer Aleksandar Kostić was awarded in the UK as the Best Music Creator by the Making Music (The National Federation of Music Societies of England, Scotland and Wales) in 2020.
Hymns to the Night is the recent piece by Aleksandar Kostić written for soprano, percussions, mixed
choir and string ensemble and is based upon a poem by one of the first German
romantics, Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg).
Partly written in prose and partly as a poem, this philosophical-lyrical work is constantly asking profound questions about the human existence and the world that surrounds us since the beginning of time, between visible and invisible, between day and night.
Driven by the love for his late fiancée, Friedrich von Hardenberg embarks on a mystical voyage through night and its scenery. The destination of his nocturnal journey is to be reunited with his love. The diary, he left behind, about this voyage became “Hymns to the Night”. Today this text by Novalis is considered to be the climax of his lyrical work and the most important poetry of Germany’s early romantic period.
This composition was premiered in RBB Große SendeSaal in Berlin (May 2019) by two London ensembles (Eclectic Voices and Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra) together with Berlin based soprano Yuka Yanagihara. Later that year the same composition had it’s London premiere in St.Pancras Church (June 2019). After this performance composer Aleksandar Kostić was awarded in the UK as the Best Music Creator by the Making Music (The National Federation of Music Societies of England, Scotland and Wales). Award was presented to him by a British composer Debbie Wiseman OBE at the online Making Music Awards ceremony in September 2020.
"Duality in form, between prose and poetry, as well as the duality of the world depicted in work by Novalis is something that is at same time very challenging and inspirational for me while being in the process of finding it’s musical correspondent. It was obvious from the beginning that every uniformity is to be avoided and that some barriers of musical form and genre will have to be broken.”
"… there must be many words that I do not know, if I only knew more, I would be
able to comprehend still more easily, once I loved dancing, now I would rather
think of the music“
Song of Songs
is a vocal/instrumental piece composed for two vocal soloists, percussions,
mixed choir and string ensemble during the period between 2009-2010 by
Aleksandar Kostić (with the exception of the two of it’s movements, Longing and
Jerusalem, that composer did in 2006). This composition had a world premiere in
Actor’s Church (Covent Garden, London) in March 2010. Inspired by and
composed on the text of the old testament poem by the same title written by King
Solomon more than two thousand years ago, the composer conceived this work
to be performed in five old languages, which are: Hebrew, Old Greek, Latin, Old
Slavic and Old English.
With this multi-lingual performance the composer wants to express his desire for not only making a musical, but an overall cultural statement as well. The idea was to overcome any musical restrictions that may occur while only using one translation, for maintaining a certain unrestricted flow of melody as well. And, on the other hand, to have the opportunity to use the quality and richness of these specific languages by transporting them into a certain musical context. By ‚cultural statement‘ it is meant to bring these old languages, that are not spoken today, back into the minds of the listener, and reflect upon the common heritages of different world cultures and traditions, and how they influenced and enriched each other.
"In the first-century Palestine Song of Songs was sung in taverns, up to the Middle Ages, when it also became a subject of liturgy in monasteries and convents. The poem had this quality to transcend from sensual to spiritual and back again, without losing it’s essential purity and beauty, which is still mindblowing.
We feel that, while telling this ancient story about love, the goal of this composition is to celebrate cosmopolitanism by using the universal languages of music and poetry.“
"A voyage through language, life and love, King Solomon’s masterpiece has
journeyed from its Hebrew origins, across ancient languages no longer spoken,
to the languages of our present. Music is timeless and receptive to every
emotion, feeling and thought. With music I try to communicate my thought on the
great Song of Songs.“
Conductor SCOTT STROMAN
Mezzo Soprano HEATHER CAIRINCROSS
Soprano YUKA YANAGIHARA
Percussions DANIEL HARDING ISRAELSEN
Choir ECLECTIC VOICES
String Orchestra COVENT GARDEN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA