Thomas Simaku

Thomas Simaku

Prof, Professor

Former affiliations

Personal profile

Research interests

 Thomas Simaku’s music has been reaching audiences across Europe, the USA and further afield for more than two decades, and it has been awarded a host of accolades for its expressive qualities and its unique blend of intensity and modernism.

His compositions range from solo pieces to works for symphony orchestra, and he has described his idiom as ‘an imaginary journey where ancient and modern aspects of utterance, musical or otherwise, interconnect and complement each other’.

In recent years Simaku has focused on his Soliloquy Cycle – a series of highly virtuosic solo pieces for various instruments, with the aim of creating different characters within the same ‘protagonist who narrates in different languages’. One of these works, Soliloquy V – Flauto Acerbo was awarded the 2009 British Composer Award in the solo/duo category; the judging panel ‘unanimously agreed that the winning work redefines the instrument in a visionary and entirely original way’.

Other areas of research interests include the string quartet and the orchestra. His 2nd & 3rd quartets, together with first three soliloquies, were released on Naxos 21st Century Classics series in 2008. The CD received critical acclaim and reached the 'best of year' list in the USA. Simaku's 4th & 5th string quartets were written especially for Quatuor Diotima, and were given their world premieres at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

Simaku has written a number of orchestral works, including the Concerto for Orchestra which won the first prize of the International Competition for Lutosławski’s 100th Birthday in 2013. An international jury, which included Stephen Stucky (USA), Magnus Lindberg (Finland) and Luca Francesconi (Italy), selected Simaku's work from 160 compositions submitted anonymously from 37 different countries. Thomas Simaku’s music is published by UYMP - he is currently working on a major work based on the iconic painting by Edvard Munch 'The Scream'.