• UBC Contemporary Players

    Directed by Paolo Bortolussi, the UBC Contemporary Players ensemble includes graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Music focusing on music and performance of our time. Programs blend masterworks by internationally acclaimed composers with world premieres of works written expressly for the ensemble by UBC composition majors.

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  • Paolo Bortolussi

    Flutist Paolo Bortolussi is a soloist, chamber artist and new music pioneer. Raised in Halifax, NS, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada, the US and abroad. A specialist in contemporary music, Bortolussi is the flutist and co-director of the Nu:BC Collective, a new music and multimedia arts ensemble in residence at UBC. To date he has premiered over one hundred and fifty solo and chamber works. In 2016, Bortolussi released his first solo album, Israfel – music for flute and electronics, on the Redshift label, which includes works by Keith Hamel, Larry Lake, John Oliver and Kaija Saariaho. Currently principal flutist with the Vancouver Island Symphony, Bortolussi has appeared as soloist with the VIS as well as the Albany (NY) Symphony and the Turning Point Ensemble, and has performed with the Aventa Ensemble, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, as well as the Vancouver and Victoria Symphony Orchestras. Bortolussi is on the music faculty of the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Trinity Western University. He holds a BMus in performance from the University of Ottawa as well as Masters and Doctoral degrees from Indiana University. He is currently director of the UBC Contemporary Players

     

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  • Rajat Chowdhury

    Rajat Chowdhury is a composer and pianist studying at the UBC school of music under Dr. Dorothy Chang and Dr. David Fung. His compositions and piano performances have earned prizes at both local and international competitions in Bahrain, India, Vienna, and Canada. He has performed at various esteemed venues including the Ehrbar hall in Vienna and the NCPA in India. He specializes in the lost art of classical improvisation and hopes to bring the spirit of improvisation to a wider audience.

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  • Ramsey Sadaka

    Sadaka is a Vancouver-based composer, cellist and conductor. His compositional practice deals with the interplay of finely sculpted textures and a harmonic palette that blends diatonic and chromatic elements. Sadaka’s music has been performed internationally at numerous new music festivals, including New Music on The Point, the Sonic Boom Festival, the highSCORE New Music Festival, the University of British Columbia’s Bang! Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, the University of Oregon’s Music Today Festival, and The Ohio State University’s New Music Festival. Sadaka is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition under the auspices of a Four-Year Fellowship at the University of British Columbia, where he has studied with Keith Hamel and Dorothy Chang, and serves as a teaching assistant for the university’s Contemporary Players ensemble. Sadaka received a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Oregon, where he studied with Robert Kyr and David Crumb, and served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in composition and a co-director of the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Sadaka also received a Bachelor’s degree in composition and cello performance from The Ohio State University, where he studied composition with Donald Harris, Jan Radzynski, Thomas Wells, and Marc Ainger; cello performance with Mark Rudoff; and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant and president of the university’s New Music Collective.

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  • Darren Xu

    Darren is a Chinese Canadian composer who is currently based in Vancouver. He enjoys writing music for concerts, films, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. He has had the opportunity to work with various ensembles, including Standing Wave, Piano-Erhu Project (PEP), Trio Immersio, and Rose Geller String Quartet. Darren’s first orchestral composition, To Liberate, will be premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Winnipeg New Music Festival in January 2023. With the help of Soundstreams’ RBC Bridges Program, his most recent piece Into the Wilderness – an Open Conversation was performed by TorQ Percussion Quartet in Toronto in October 2022.

    Darren’s collaborations with the Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow culminated in performances of his music as parts of installations and showcases of Debra’s Salish weavings, which took place at venues across Vancouver, such as the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Vancouver international Airport. His film score, Stargazer, was awarded Best Score by New York Film
    Awards in November 2018.

    Darren began studying piano at age 5 and began composing at the age of 19. Having spent his childhood in Guangzhou China, Darren is inspired by the melodious language of Cantonese, and he is conducting research on the language and its relationship with music with the help of the Collaborative Student Grant from the ACTOR Project. He received a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Music from UBC, where he is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Composition.

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