Thomas Simaku has completed his residency at Ithaca College New York, as part of his award The 2022-23 Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition. As described by Ithaca College, the Karel Hysa Professorship is a position awarded annually to a major figure in music composition today. The Visiting Professors come to the Ithaca College campus during the course of the academic year to lecture on their music and issues relevant to contemporary composition. The award is given in honour of the American composer and conductor Karel Husa – winner of Grawemeyer Award and Pulitzer Prize for Music. Most recent recipients of this award include distinguished professors of composition from Harvard University, University of Chicago, and the Paris Conservatoire.
At Ithaca College, Thomas Simaku gave two lectures on his recent works, as well as master-classes to students majoring in composition. Ithaca professor Kyle Armburst, member of the International Contemporary Ensemble New York, performed Simaku’s Soliloquy III for Solo Viola on 12 April 2023. His Soliloquy VI for Soprano Saxophone received its American Premiere in the same concert, performed by Ithaca professor Eric Troiano, founding member of the Viridian Saxophone Quartet.
During his visit to the US, Professor Simaku gave lectures, master-classes and pre-concert talks at University of Miami Frost School of Music, Florida International University, Eastman School of Music University of Rochester, University of North Texas, and University of Illinois. In these lectures, Simaku focused on his Soliloquy Cycle, which he has been engaged with for some 20 years now, including his BASCA award-winning piece Soliloquy V- Flauto Acerbo, and his most recent work Soliloquy VII for Clarinet and resonant piano, which received its world premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2022, performed by the dedicatee Jérôme Comte – soloist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. An excerpt from this piece can be heard in the video below.