Georges Aperghis

Tazul Tajuddin

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Tazul Izan Tajuddin is a Malaysian and British resident, was born in Malaysia. He grew up in Kuala Lumpur, later spent 3 years in USA and 12 years in London. He studied music in Malaysia and received special music scholarship award initiated by Malaysian Prime Minister to further study in composition. He went and studied composition in USA at Carnegie Mellon University and later University of Sussex in the UK (Doctor of Philosophy in Composition 2002) and also did composition courses in Spain and France. His music such as the Arabesque¸ Tenunan, Mediasi Ukiran and Gamelbati cycles has been inspired by Asian cultures, geometrical patterns and designs, and Western European art combined with multi-cultural contemporary ideals. Distinguished French composer, Henri Dutilleux described him as ‘a very finely gifted composer and an original temperament, which encompasses both rigour and new ways of thinking’. He has studied with renowned composers such as Leonardo Balada, Michael Finnissy, Martin Butler and Jonathan Harvey. He also has studied with Franco Donatoni (Manuel de Falla Festival, Spain), and consulted with Brian Ferneyhough (at IRCAM, Paris) and meeting Xenakis in Pittsburgh and New York in 1996 and Pierre Boulez at Fontainbleau, France.
He has been the first Malaysian composer to win 1st prize in the prestigious Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2002, 1st prize in the 8th Tokyo International Competition for Chamber Music Composition 2003, 1st prize in the 2nd Molinari Quartet Composition Competition 2004 (Canada), 1st prize in the 21st Japan Society of Contemporary Music Award for Composers 2004, 1st prize in the Lutoslawski Composition Award 2005 (Poland) and won the New Millennium Composition Commission Award (UK) 2005. He has been the first Malaysian composer to be shorlisted composer with the Society for Promotion of New Music three times in 2001, 2004 and 2007. His work Tenunan was selected by the Asian Composer’s League-Asian Music Festival, Tokyo in 2003. In 2006, International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) Britain selected his work Tenunan II for the ISCM World Music Days 2007 Hong Kong, representing both UK and Malaysia. In 2010, Sebuah Pantun III has received repertoire honorary mentioned in the Carl von Ossietzky International Composition Competition (Germany).
Performances include Self-Portrait (1996, Carnegie Philharmonic Orchestra, Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh), Ritual (1997, National Choir of Malaysia (NCM), Experimental Theatre, Kuala Lumpur), Tenunan II (2002, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Opera City Centre, NHK Radio Japan, 2003, Carnegie Philhamonic Orchestra, Carnegie Music Hall, USA, 2007, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, HK City Hall) Pulsating Colours (2003, first Malay composer commissioned and performed by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Petronas Twin Towers, KL), Meditasi Ritualistik…(2003, NCM, National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia (NSO), National Arts Theatre, Kuala Lumpur) Kehalusan Ukiran (2004, London Sinfonietta, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, BBC Radio 3), Mediasi Ukiran II (2004, BBCSO, Maida Vale Studio), Mediasi Ukiran (2005, Molinari Quartet, Salle Redpath, Montreal, 2006, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ Amsterdam), Gamelbati (2006, Sir Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire), Gamelbati VI (2007, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Seoul, South Korea), In Liquid Praise of Sound Refraining (2007, BBC Singers, Spitalfields Festival, London), Warna Yang Bernada for piano and ensemble was commissioned to celebrate the 50th Malaysian Anniversary Concert (2007, London Sinfonietta, Pierre Andre Valade, Cadogan Hall) and Gamelbati III for string quartet (2009, XIII Lutoslawski Forum, Warsaw, Poland), Mimpi Dalam Lagu (2010, Kuala Lumpur, NCM), Sebuah Pantun IV (2011, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, 3rd Pharos International Music Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus), Sebuah Pantun V (2012, University of Melbourne, Australia).
He has received support from SPNM, RVW Trust, Performing Rights Society UK, OMEC, UK and the Society of Lutoslawski. In 2010 as artistic director, he initiated, conducted and curated the 1st Malaysian Composers Concert Series, to promote students and young composers and performers to perform new works collaboration between UiTM and KL Performing Arts Centre (klpac). He is nominated for MERDEKA Award 2012, one of the most prestigious awards in Malaysia.
His works have been performed and broadcasted in Asia, Europe, Australasia and North America. He started conducting in 1991 as assistant conductor of the National Choir, Malaysia and later in 1997 and 2003 he was invited as composer/conductor. He has conducted his own works with Carnegie Contemporary Ensemble (USA), National Choir of Malaysia, National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia and since 2001 with the Sculpted Sound Ensemble with artistic director Derek Shiel in London, UK. He also has conducted new works by Malaysian composers and other composers from England, Italy and Germany.
As a researcher, he has received FRGS and EGRS research grants from Malaysian Higher Education on Malaysian traditional music such as Keroncong and Mak Yung. He is currently a Chair of Composition Program and Associate Professor in Composition at Faculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). He is also President for the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC) and Artistic Director of Malaysian Composers Concert Series. (Edited July 2012)