Thomas Simaku

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Thomas Simaku (born 18 April 1958, Kavajë) is an Albanian-British composer.



Simaku studied composition between the years 1978-1982 at the Academy of Music and Arts of Albania under Tonin Harapi. After graduation he was nominated as Director of Music at the Palace of Culture of Permet, in southern Albania. [1]

In 1991 Simaku moved to England to study for a PhD in composition with David Blake at the University of York, which he was awarded in 1996. [2]

Prizes and awards

Notable prizes and awards that Simaku has won include:


Simaku's music has been performed throughout the UK and Europe, as well as in North America, Australia and the Far East. In 1995 his work Epitaph for String Orchestra was selected by the International Jury for the ISCM World Music Days in Germany - the first ever Albanian music to be included in this prestigious festival. Subsequently, Simaku's works have been selected by the International Jury at the World Music Days of 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2012.

Other international festivals where his music has been performed include Music Biennale Zagreb, Tanglewood, Avignon, Miami, Cagliari, KlangSpectrum (Austria), Viitasaari (Finland), Innsbruck (Austria), Odense (Denmark), Manchester, York, Birmingham, Automne de Tirana amongst others. In October 2013, Simaku was invited to give a lecture at the 5th Pharos International Contemporary Music Festival in Nicosia, Cyprus, on the genesis and processes involved in his Soliloquy Cycle. [6]

Broadcasts of his music include those by Radio-France, BBC-Radio 3, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Austrian, Polish, Croatian, Danish, Portuguese, Hellenic, Swedish, Romanian, Swiss and Icelandic radio stations. Performances of his works include, among others, those given by the Arditti Quartet, Kreutzer Quartet, Quatuor Diotima, English Northern Philharmonia, MusikFabrik, Slovenian Radio-Television Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam New Music Ensemble, the New London Orchestra, Goldberg Ensemble, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Phonosphere Musicale, London's Kreutzer Quartet, Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Rubinstein Quartet, Copenhagen Sinfonietta, Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, Capricorn Ensemble, Norwegian Medieval Trio, Tyrolean Ensemble of New Music (TICOM), The Duke String Quartet, and Tirana Asmus Ensemble.[ citation needed ]


Simaku's music is published in England by University of York Music Press and Emerson Edition. In 2008, the Kreutzer Quartet recorded a CD of string quartets and solo works by Simaku for Naxos Records. [7]

Selected works

Orchestra and large ensembles

Chamber and solo works


In 2000, Simaku was granted British citizenship. He lives in York with his wife and two daughters. Simaku is a Reader in Composition at the University of York.[ citation needed ]

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  1. Simaku, Thoma; Bobaton. "Thoma Simaku biography". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  2. "Thomas Simaku". University of York Music Press. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  3. "British Composer Award Winners". British Composer Awards. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  4. "Composition Competition Winners Announced!". The Witold Lutoslawski Society. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  5. "Thomas Simaku wins Lutoslawski Competition". Polskie Radio. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  6. "Soliloquy Cycle – Sweet and/or Sour?". 5th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  7. "Simaku: String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3/Soliloquy I-III". Naxos. Retrieved 27 February 2012.