Composition Master class - She Lives

She Lives
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SHE LIVES — the leading European musical association for promoting the dissemination of contemporary music— is honoured to announce the sixth edition of its Composition Master Class.

Since its establishment SHE LIVES has had the privilege of working with internationally acclaimed artists such as Peter Eötvös, Lasse Thoresen and Sidney Corbett, as well globally renowned institutions, including the Solisti della Scala di Milano, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Accademia Chigiana di Siena, the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, the Fondazione Scelsi, the Reale Ambasciata di Norvegia, the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, the UMZE (the historic ensemble founded by Bartók), the Budapest Music Center, the LAC – Lugano Arte e Cultura, the Festival oggimusica, the Yamaha Concert Hall Wien, the Pro Helvetia, the Contemporary Art Festival Budapest, Warner Classics, and Naxos.
Our students have achieved relevant musical careers, winning international competitions, and obtaining important positions in the most important musical institutions at the international level.


Professors: Sidney Corbett, Alessio Elia
Composition master class on writing for string instruments with a specific focus on writing for string quartet.
The course will take place online.
The lessons, individual and group, will be administered through the BigBlueButton platform, which has high system stability and high audio quality.
There is no need to download any programs or apps.
Participants will receive a link with which they can access all meetings.
A selection of the best pieces by the active students will be included in the concert season of the Roman quartet (string quartet).

Course period: 16-19 September: group and individual lessons. ONLINE COURSE.

Sidney Corbett / Alessio Elia
- Compositional strategies in writing for string instruments and string quartet.
With analytical examples taken from works by Ligeti, Lachenmann, Corbett, Romitelli, Scelsi, Elia, Haas and Stahnke.

Sidney Corbett
- Learning Composition: A composer’s guide to the practice of learning our craft
“I have for many years now been a professor of composition and thus have presumably “taught” composition and this is of course at least formally true. It is my belief however, that composition can’t really be taught but what I can do is share how I learned and am still learning composition. What I would like to speak about in this course is first what I believe to be the preliminary step of training the mind and secondly to briefly go over the various technical areas we need to explore and master in order to make progress as composers.”

Alessio Elia
- Hidden architectures in formal construction. An exploration of the concepts of implicit order / explicit order in the light of the holographic physics of the Universe.
A compositional approach to microtonality and the use of different tuning systems related to the physical dimension of sound and auditory perception (extension of the lectures held at the Cité de la Musique, the Hungarian Academy of Arts and the Liszt Academy in Budapest).

Active students have the right to attend the seminars, the group lessons and are invited to discuss their work with professors during individual meetings. They have the right to participate in the process of selection of the pieces which will be included in the concert season of the Roman Quartet (string quartet).

Passive participants have the right to attend classes (seminars and group lessons) and the discussions of active students about their work, but they will not have private sessions to discuss their own work with the professors.
Passive participants will not be able to enter their works for consideration to be included in the concert season of the Roman Quartet (string quartet).

The course will be held in English.
Individual lessons can be held in the following languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish, Hungarian (depending on professor).

A selection of the best pieces by the active students will be included in the concert season of the Roman quartet.
Composers wishing to apply as active participants are invited to write a piece for the ensemble in residence (string quartet).
The piece can be written for any combination of the instruments present in the ensemble, from the solo instrument up to the whole group and must not exceed 10 minutes in duration.
The scores and parts, preferably written with music notation software (Finale, Sibelius, etc.) – manuscripts will also be accepted as long as they are clearly legible – must be sent as a pdf file by 5 Semptember 2021, to the following e-mail address:

There are two types of participation:

- Active participants (classes, individual lessons, group lessons, participation in the selection of the pieces which will be performed by the Roman Quartet)

- Passive participants (classes, group lessons)

Active students: 360 €
Passive students (Auditors): 300 €

Deadline: 5 September 2021

To apply for registration, please send the following documents by e-mail (, header of the e-mail COMPOSITION MASTER CLASS:
    • curriculum vitae
    • receipt of payment of the pre-selection process 100 € (non-refundable)
    • scan of identity card or passport
    • piece written for the string quartet in residence (any combination of the      instruments present in the ensemble, from the solo instrument to the      entire quartet with a duration that does not exceed 10 minutes).

Within one week of the application, the applicant will be informed about the result of the pre-selection, and whether as an active or passive student. Subsequently it will be necessary to pay the remaining registration fee, in relation to the result of the selection process, no later than 12 Septemeber 2021

Active participant fee:
360 Euros (100 selection process + remaining 260).

Passive participant fee:
300 Euros (100 selection process + remaining 200). It is possible to pay the whole fee of 300 € if the applicant intends to be enrolled directly as     a passive participant, without going through the preselection process.

Deadline: 5 September 2021
Those who wish to participate directly as passive students must submit:
    • curriculum vitae
    • receipt of payment of the participation fee (300 Euro)
    • scan of identity card or passport
The fees must be addressed to the following Bank Account:
Associazione SHE LIVES
IBAN: IT70D0306909606100000131702
SHE LIVES ADDRESS: Via Vulcano 7, 00015 – Monterotondo (Roma) - Italy

Deadline for registration, active and passive students
5 September 2021


Sidney Corbett

© Philipp Hülsmann

„Music is for me a central source of spiritual nourishment", Sidney Corbett is quoted as saying in an interview with SWR (Southwest German Radio). Corbett is an artist who, outside the mainstream "new music" scene, maintains an independent and no less explicitly contemporary position.
His work draws on a wide range of musical and extra-musical sources, including literature and the visual arts, and also addresses philosophical and theological issues. Lyrical sensuality and complex rhythmic superimpositions of pulsations are characteristic of his music. He is a seeker, an explorer, for whom music is a form of expression and his way of deciphering the world. Corbett has ever remained open-minded, curious, an artist who always questions his aesthetics and their possible trajectories.
A substantial part of his musical output is devoted to music theater. He has to date written six operas. His chamber opera, "Keine Stille (außer der Windes)," ("No Silence (but that of the wind") based on texts by Fernando Pessoa, premiered in Bremen in 2006, and is scheduled for a new production at the Nationaltheater Mannheim in 2022. In 2018, Corbett's most recent opera, "San Paolo," based on an unrealized film script by Pier Paolo Pasolini, premiered in Osnabrück. "San Paolo" received the 2018 Palatinate Prize for Music.
His recent works include "aporia," inspired by texts by Jacques Derrida, for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and "Utopia and Intimacy," based on texts by Ernst Bloch, for violinist Nurit Stark and Schola Heidelberg .
Born in Chicago in 1960, Sidney Corbett studied music and philosophy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and at Yale University, where he received his doctorate in 1989. From 1985 to 1988 he studied in Hamburg with György Ligeti. In 2006 he received a professorship in composition at the Musikhochschule Mannheim. Releases of his works have appeared on Sony Classical, Cybele, Mode Records, CRI, Edition Zeitklang, Kreuzberg Records, Blue Griffen, Edition Kopernikus, and Ambitus Records. Corbett's music is published and distributed worldwide by Edition C.F. Peters, Leipzig, London and New York. Since 2014 he lives with his family in Schwetzingen.

Official website:


Alessio Elia
© Bálint Hrotkó

Described as an unicum in the compositional landscape of our times (Il Corriere Musicale) Alessio Elia is today considered among the most original composers of the new generation (la Repubblica, Universal Music Publishing, Muzsika, Radio Vaticana, Die Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung).
Elia received commissions most importantly from I Solisti del Teatro alla Scala di Milano (Octet), piece released in CD by Warner Classics in 2018, conducted by Andrea Vitello and published by Universal Music Publishing - EMB; Radio Bartók (orchestral piece Trasparenze) for the ArTRIUM series of the National Hungarian Radio Orchestra; Alter Ego ensemble (Altered memories) for a project including commissions to Peter Eötvös, Toshio Hosokawa, Peter Ablinger, Lukas Ligeti, László Sáry and Howard Skempton; Impronta ensemble (Traces from Nowhere) for the Oggimusica Festival in Lugano; UMZE - the historical ensemble founded by Bartók (Ekpyrotic Suicide); Wiener Collage, members of the Wiener Philharmoniker (Outskirts of matter); Antal Dorati Conducting Competition (Distimement for large orchestra) as a complusory piece for the final round of the conducting contest; Stuttgart Kammerchor conducted by Frieder Bernius (Incantesimi di Merseburg).

Guest composer and researcher at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the State University of Debrecen, the Zoltán Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, the Sacher Foundation in Basel, and the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, he was also lecturer in composition in
2010 at the latter.

His music has been performed in significant concert halls and festivals worldwide (Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome; Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest; Menuhin Festival in Oslo; Festival Erkel-Mahler in Budapest; Accademia Filarmonica Romana; BMC - Budapest Music Center; Bartók Hall of Palace of Arts – The National Auditorium in Budapest; Levinsalen and Lindemansalen in Oslo; Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna; Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg; Mannheimer Kunstverein; LAC - Lugano Arte e Cultura Auditorium; National Hungarian Radio Studios; Forum Neue Musik - Palais Prinz Carl in Heidelberg; Auditorium del Parco by Renzo Piano in L'Aquila; Oggimusica Festival in Lugano; Contemporary Arts Festival Budapest; Yamaha Concert Hall Wien, etc.).

Elia’s works were broadcast by state radios and TV channels, such as: Radio Bartók (Hungary); Saarländischer Rundfunk (Germany); RAI Radio 3 (Italy); Hungarian Catholic Radio; Magyar Televízió and Duna TV (Hungarian State TV); Radio Vaticana.

He has released interviews about his music for: Cité de la musique in Paris, Magyar Televízió and Duna TV, Bartók Radio, Radio Vaticana, Dal+Szerző - Magazine of the Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors’ Rights, Muzsika - the most important Hungarian journal for classical music, Musica +, Budapest Music Centre, and the Peter Eötvös Foundation.

His activity as a composer and researcher has taken him on a tour of conferences around Europe (Norway, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy etc.), among them the most important were at: Cité de la musique in Paris; Internationales Musikinstitute Darmstadt; Accademia Filarmonica Romana; Chigiana Academy in Siena; Canal C2 - Université de Strasbourg; The Hungarian Academy of Arts;  Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Mannheim; Eötvös József University, Baja (Hungary); Norwegian Academy of Music; Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik in Hamburg during the Symposium "Ligeti und die Mikrotonalität", presented by Louise Duchesneau, secretary of Ligeti, with the extraordinary contribution of Paul Griffiths, first biographer of Ligeti.

Ten portrait concerts of his music have been organized in Budapest, Oslo and Rome since 2006 (most significant venues: two times at Sala Verdi of the Italian Institute of Culture in Budapest, the first time within the Festival "Contemporanea", dedicated to Alessio Elia, Ivan Fedele and Luciano Berio, organized by the Italian Embassy in Budapest, the second concert for celebrating his ten years of musical activity in Hungary; Lindemansalen, Levinsalen in Oslo; Accademia Filarmonica Romana, for the Festival "She Lives" dedicated to Alessio Elia, Péter Eötvös and Zoltán Jeney).
Articles and essays on Polysystemism, his method of combining different tuning systems, have been published by the German publisher von Bockel Verlag, l'Université de Strasbourg and the Hungarian Academy of Arts, as well as the subject of a master thesis degree at the Academy of Music of the Italian Switzerland in Lugano.

Elia is the recipient of several prizes, among them the Chigiana Merit Award 2005 for the piece Luminescences and the 1st prize for the piece Rejtett dimenziók (Hidden Dimensions) in the orchestral category of UMZF 2013 (Hungarian Forum for New Music) Competition, in the year dedicated to Ligeti, with Péter Eötvös presiding over the jury.  
In 2016 his orchestral piece Labirynthum continui was awarded a "Leibniz's Harmonies Prize" in Hannover.

Supported by NKA (Hungarian National Cultural Fund) he wrote the Clarinet Concerto Implicate Inklings for Csaba Klenyán as solo clarinet and Concerto Budapest Orchestra conducted by Zoltán Rácz, performed on 4 May 2019 at the Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

Born in Rome in 1979, Elia has lived in different cities in Europe (Rome, Budapest, Odense, Oslo, Debrecen and Berlin).
Right now he is based in Budapest and Rome.

Official website:

She Lives
Via Vulcano, 7
Monterotondo (Roma)
C.F. 97800510584
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She Lives
Piazzale della Libertà, 20
C.F. 97800510584
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