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Composer Jan Van der Roost writes compulsory works

Every edition of the International Choir Contest Flanders a renown Flemish composer writes the compulsory pieces for the choirs. This year the honor was given to Jan Van der Roost.

Compulsory music has a debatable reputation. It is music that choirs do not perform because of preferences. That is why they tend to feel... compulsory! However, compulsory works enable jurors and audience to compare choirs based on their creativity with the same material. It is the challenge par excellence to show originality, creativity and excellence. Time and time again this prooves to be a fascinating and enjoyable event  for audience and jurors to be suprised by every new performance of the same music, interpreted in different ways by different choirs.

But above all, compulsory works offer a great opportunity to make composers write new work and guarantee multiple performances, that often lead to the international distribution of the music.

Jan Van der Roost wrote 3 compulsory works: for women's choir, for men's choir and for mixed choir. The piece for women's choir Erano i capei d’oro (Canzoniere XC) and the one for mixed choir Amor, io fallo (Canzoniere CCXXXVI) are set on texts by the poet Petrarca and will be performed by the participating choirs in the contests on October 5th. 

The piece for men's choir however, Pace non trovo (Canzoniere CXXXIV), also on a text from Petrarca, will be first performed by the famous ensemble The King's Singers during the opening concert of the INternational Choir Contest on Friday evening 4 October.

We are very excited to hear all this new music!


Jan Van der Roost

Jan Van der Roost studied trombone, history of music and musical education at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven (Louvain) and continued his studies at the Royal Conservatoires of Ghent and Antwerp, where he qualified as a conductor and a composer.  At present, he is guest professor at Luca - School of Artsin Leuven (Belgium) and at the Senzoku Gakuen in Kawasaki and at the Nagoya University of Arts(Japan). Besides being a prolific composer, he is very much in demand as an adjudicator, lecturer, clinician and a guest conductor: his musical activities brought him to more than 50 different countries in 4 continents, whereas his compositions are being performed and recorded in more than 50 nations worldwide. His list of works shows a wide variety of genres and styles and many of these compositions have been broadcast on radio and TV in various countries and almost all his works have been recorded on CDby renowned performers all over the world. 


The music 

Jan Van der Roost selected three sonnets from Petrarca for his music. He feels the form of the sonnet is very well suited to write short choral pieces. Also, his choice for Italian as the language was motivated by his conviction that this is one of the languages most widely known by international choirs performing in this competition. 

The composer wrote his music syllabic, following the word accents. The result is a complex rythmic image with many changes of metre, but for the audience it should feel natural. Melodically and harmonically the choirs will encounter singable lines with some complex harmonies. Let's see how they take this challenge!

Vlaams componist Jan Van der Roost schrijft dit jaar de plichtwerken voor de Internationale Koorwedstrijd Vlaanderen.
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