CiR2021 #Special Edition: Farzia Fallah

Composer in Residence 2021: Farzia Fallah

The 2021 Composer in Residence (CiR) sponsorship went to the Cologne-based composer Farzia Fallah. The composer, who was born in Tehran (Iran), studied composition in Tehran, Bremen, Cologne, and Freiburg. She convinced the five-member expert jury of the CiR with her distinctive own style, her wealth of ideas, and her poetic compositions. Since 2018, Farzia Fallah has been a freelance composer and a member of Kollektiv3:6Koeln and the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA).

Farzia Fallah resided in Frankfurt from October to December 2021. During this time, she worked with the students of the University of Music and Performing Arts on a programme for her portrait concert on December 3rd 2021. The new composition disPositions II, a dance performance co-created by Farzia Fallah and the dancer Ariadni Agnanti, which were created in Frankfurt, was premiered at this concert.

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disPositions II, eine Tanzperformance als Ko-Kreation von Farzia Fallah und Ariadni Agnanti UA (2021), Die Tänzerin Ariadni Agnanti © Laura Brichta 2021
“disPositions II”, a dance performance as a co-creation of Farzia Fallah and Ariadni Agnanti, world’s first performance (2021). The dancer Ariadni Agnanti © Laura Brichta (2021)

“I really appreciated the way the musicians of the college had engaged with the pieces in such a short time; bravely and decisively. We discussed and tested many playing techniques together, and even on the last days before the concert we worked on creating a great arch for each piece. The collaboration with the dancer Ariadni Agnanti was very exciting for me. We started from nothing, and exchanged ideas so frequently, that slowly those ideas grew. It was a work in progress, where we always got a lot of inspiration from each other, and thought more profoundly through each other’s comments. The result was not only a piece of dance performance, but also a beautiful friendship between us.” – Farzia Fallah

As part of the Response education project associated with the scholarship, Farzia Fallah had an intensive exchange with a school class from Frankfurt’s Adorno-Gymnasium. In several workshops, pupils worked with her to create their own music theatre piece. The concert was presented to parents in December 2021: “It was great to feel the curiosity and joy of the pupils. Unforgettable for me was when a student told me after the performance that he might become a musician in the future.” – Farzia Fallah

In addition, the sponsorship holder took part in the meeting of female composers organised by the Archiv Frau und Musik in cooperation with the Nuremberg University of Music from 13 to 15 October 2021 in Nuremberg. During this weekend, eleven female composers of different generations networked (a review can be found here). In an interview created in Nuremberg, Farzia Fallah talks about the role of concerts and performances in her work.

Lalayi, a lullaby for Sohrab, for string trio (2017), with Zion Lee, violin | Nefeli Galani, viola | Clara Franz, cello © Laura Brichta 2021

“Every exchange and conversation with the staff of the archive was enriching for me; how together we can appreciate many works of music history, and bring them to light. And how together we manage to make the awareness grow that music knows no gender, and therefore the music of many female composers in music history should be illuminated. But also mainting a view to the future, for example by encouraging all children to compose early in schools and music schools.” – Farzia Fallah


The CiR project 2021 was supported by

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