Edition II

Artistic Theme

Liszt and Landscapes


Proposed by Granada Festival

Granada, Spain

Compositions for piano.


Among the most outstanding contributions of the Romantic movement (and more specifically of composers and musicians in this case), is a completely new vision of landscape, of natural and urban environments. As is the case with Ferenc/Franz Liszt, many of them adopted the very inquisitive, cultural attitude of the great travellers. In Liszt’s work this vision and this attitude coalesced in a highly significant musical expression which was symphonic and mainly piano. It is therefore this relationship with our surroundings, with Nature, with landscape, with what today we know as “environment” that concerns us for the project. So it is a case of carrying out a cross-curricular reading relationship with a subject which, in our days, has acquired great significance for different reasons from those which made Liszt and many other artists of his time turn their attention towards the landscape. The idea would be to provide examples of a view of Nature, of landscape (including architecture for this purpose) side-by-side with a new current, contemporary vision: a vision of 19th century landscape beside a 20th century version of landscape.

The project would focus, on one hand, on piano music with a broad selection of piano pieces by Liszt relevant to this subject and, on the other, a series of commissions for young contemporary composers from Festivals involved in the project. This is not a case of revising real or metaphoric visions of the same landscapes chosen by Liszt (which in any case would be a creative choice of the composer), but of a contrast of contemporary outlooks dealing with the environment, the elements in its makeup, the influence of human beings upon it. The structure would include the selection of a set number of pianists, some contemporary composers and the Liszt repertoire in performances which would circulate around the Festivals as a cycle. This cycle could either be incorporated into the Festival’s programme or it could be presented over a period of several months (before the Festival, at the same time as the Festival or even after the Festival is over). However, this cycle would not simply be limited to a series of concerts, but would be part of a much wider project which would include lectures and round-table events. These round-tables could cover many subjects but they would be particularly centred on the influence of the human being on the environment, on the culture which is either closest to us or of a global nature, and the role of creativity and innovation when bringing together apparently disparate aspects but which lead to the emergence of much broader questions of interest:  culture and the environment.


The Musicians

During the Atelier, pianists coming from all over Europe focussed on the new pieces of present-day composers. As always within MusMA, the composers had the unique opportunity to meet the performers in order fine-tune the approach that they propose.

We had the pleasure to welcome following renown pianists during the MusMA Atelier in Granada: Joana Gama (PT), Lidija Bizjak (RS), Khatia Buniatshivilli (ES), Alba Ventura (ES), José Enrique Bagaria (ES), Salih Can Gevrek (TR), Janos Palojtay (HU), Nina Prešiček (SI), Daan Vandewalle (BE), Małorzata Walentynowicz (PL), Andrea Padova (IT).

During the MusMA performances all over Europe, more performers took part to the project within the various festivals. Renowned pianists such as Ratimir Martinovic (ME), Alessandro Marangoni (IT), Zoltán Féjervári (HU), Jan Michiels (BE) and Markus Groh (DE) joined the list of musicians who brought this wonderful new music to life.


Granada, 27 – 30 June 2011

Hosted by Festival Internacional de Musica y Danza de Granada

This year’s MusMA Atelier was set in the magnificent and inspiring surroundings of the Alhambra in Granada where workshops and discussions were held in the auditorium Manuel da Falla and compositions performed in the concert halls.

SPECIAL MusMA DAY on the 30th of June
Press conference, showcase, forum and round table

MusMA acts as the key to be used to open contemporary music to the new public.

The EXCHANGE between composers and performers function as a starting point; MusMA pieces are considered in the framework of the master classes and arise subsequent fascinating observations and thought-provoking discussions for the programmers. The Atelier is intended like a summit with participants from all four corners of the contemporary classical music world in attendance. Composers have the opportunity to meet the pianists, performers learn more about the history of the composition they will be playing and radio representatives and festival directors design new formats to open the ears and minds of the audience.

The cultural, academic and media (broadcasters) sectors will attend the MusMA Atelier, that is attended by representatives coming from Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Portugal, Serbia, Belgium, Turkey, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as well as from the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.

During the Master Classes, pianists coming from all over Europe focus on new pieces of present-day composers. These composers are itching to meet the performers in order fine-tune the approach that they propose. They are all concerned with the same: the new music series to be performed in the separate festivals.

We had the pleasure to welcome following renown pianists during the MusMA Atelier in Granada: Joana Gama (PT), Lidija Bizjak (RS), Khatia Buniatshivilli (ES), Alba Ventura (ES), José Enrique Bagaria (ES), Salih Can Gevrek (TR), Janos Palojtay (HU), Nina Prešiček (SI), Daan Vandewalle (BE), Małorzata Walentynowicz (PL), Andrea Padova (IT).

The ten compositions commissioned by MusMA varied greatly in vocabulary but shared a common topic that was centred around Liszt & Landscape. While the composers were all commissioned to create a work based on the same topic, each was inspired in his or her own way – thereby providing us with a broad spectrum of works. Liszt himself is an inspirational figure; He travelled far and wide, crossing Europe as a virtuoso pianist and as a composer he is remembered for initiating important modern musical developments. Through their own music, the selected composers presented their impressions of the relationship with their surroundings, nature and the landscape, with what they today understand as being their ‘environment’. It is difficult to categorize contemporary art music, but the form covers a variety ranging from minimal to experimental music, including some neo-styles and reaching an eclectic musical vocabulary. It has to be said that the MusMA selection offers some musical gems worthy of discovery.


Master classes were held daily during the Atelier. These daily encounters gave the composers an opportunity to present their works individually and the pianists an opportunity to offer their input through their reactions and through interacting with each other. The exchanges resulted in a much deeper understanding of the compositions and the context in which they were composed. This in turn led the performers to feel a stronger sense of involvement and of responsibility. In addition, it provided the radio programmers with a greater understanding of the music and allowed them to create a story around the new compositions that they could present to the radio listeners. They were also able to get to know the composers and their views better and to see the reactions of the pianists, all of which will add value to the broadcasts. Finally, for all the festival organisers, the encounter ensured the quality of the performances planned for the festivals scheduled to take place in their own countries.

There was a vibrant and congenial atmosphere among the participants in the MusMA Atelier. Along with the musical gems, the network of festivals and radio stations was strengthened, giving all great hope for the future of the MusMA programme.


The national radio members of the EBU met in Granada in June 2011 to set up a plan to elaborate their contribution to the MusMA project. They’ll dedicate simultaneously one week to MusMA in their existing programmes on the radio. Formats of the MusMA-minute, MusMA-tune and MusMA-flash will be designed and broadcast all over Europe.