Featured Composer: José Hernán Cibils

Source: www.piarango.com

Source: www.piarango.com

José Hernán Cibils was born in Santa Fe, Argentina. He is also an Italian citizen. He completed his secondary studies at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción, Santa Fe, Argentina, obtaining his Bachelor title in 1965. In 1966 he enrolled at the School of Political Science of the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, where in 1971 he obtained the Graduate's title in Political Science. 

In 1977 he began regular studies at the Faculty of Arts and Musical Science of the Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, where he graduated in 1982 in Composition and in 1984 in Conducting. Among his professors were Alberto Caamaño, Gerardo Gandini and Marta Lambertini, in Composition, and Pedro I. Calderón in Conducting. He studied piano at the Conservatory Juan J. Castro, La Lucila, Buenos Aires, with Inés Gómez Carrillo, and with Antonio De Raco. He later studied conducting with Guillermo Scarabino, Professor Rolf Reuter (then Musical Director of the Komische Oper), and at the Musikhochschule Weimar, with Professor Heinz Rögner. 

Now based in Berlin, José Hernán Cibils is in great demand as a composer and performer. He has composed music for the Symphony Orchestra of Mendoza, Argentina, the Stockholm-Strauss-Orkester, cellist Ricardo Sciamarella, clarinettist Walter Seyfarth, the Contrabass Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, violist Martin Stegner, contrabassist Martin Heinze, pianist Tomoko Takahashi, the Thurgauer Kammerorchester Zurich, the Guitar Festival of Mikulov (Czech Republic), the Guitar Festival of Lublin (Poland), the Kammermusik Ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Miharu Ensemble, PLEXUS, Trio Zephyr, and many other ensembles and festivals.

José Hernan Cibils' piece, Chacarera Rara, was premiered in PLEXUS: Spotlight on 24 November 2014 at the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.

Chacarera Rara (2014)

Chacarera Rara uses freely a folklore rhythm from Santiago del Estero (North Argentina). Chacarera is a dance with fixed musical and rhythmical form, and is typically very exciting and moving. A traditional "folklorist" would say perhaps, that thisChacarera is "strange" or "weird" because it's combined with unusual rhythms and "classical" elements. However the Chacarera Rara retains the same exciting spirit from the original Chacarera.

– José Hernán Cibils

José Hernan Cibils' piece, Three Songs for the Lord, was premiered in PLEXUS SQUARED: Revelations on 11 August 2015 at Deakin Edge, Federation Square.

Three Songs for the Lord (2015)

The "Three Songs for the Lord" were kindly commissioned by PLEXUS. My starting point was to choose lyrics for the three movements of the work: a poem of Gilbert Chesterton, a fragment of Turandot from Puccini, and a mystical poem from the Spanish mystic and Roman Catholic saint, San Juan de la Cruz (Saint John of the Cross).

When I began to compose, it was without any plan or previous idea, apart from the lyrics which were in my mind. I also was not thinking particularly about any technical procedures, harmonies, or structure for the pieces. They arose by themselves. It was most important for me to create appropriate music for the texts – music of a somewhat religious nature, a little mystical, but also lively and zestful. And intense. I hope I have achieved this.

When I had a rough, preliminary version, I consulted some friends, especially my wise teacher, Dr. Edmundo Vaamonde from Buenos Aires, a very spiritual man with a special insight. He gave me priceless suggestions (though he was not a musician, but a psychologist.) He died in November 2014. Therefore this piece is "in memoriam" of him.

I spent substantial time on the "Three Songs for the Lord". The very first version was almost improvised on the piano. Then I changed it, and reviewed it several times. It was not my deliberate intention to use Argentine elements, but perhaps some of them slipped into the composition subconsciously.

The technical aspect which I wanted to respect most of all was the golden section. She is present, I believe, in all three parts of the composition.

– José Hernán Cibils