Evis Sammoutis (Cyprus) is Assistant Professor of Music at European University Cyprus and Art Director of the Pharos Trust International Contemporary Music Festival. His works have been commissioned by festivals and organizations such as Venice Biennale, Klangspuren, Royaumont and ARD and performed in over 35 countries at venues such as the Purcell Room and Konzerthaus Berlin and festivals such as MusicNOW, Gaudeamus and ISCM. Performers include the Ensemble Modern, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Arditti Quartet and conductors Frank Ollu, Elgar Howarth, Kasper de Roo and Christoph Poppen. Sammoutis won first prize at the Irino, Dundeexi, and Andres Segovia competitions, second prize at Concours Dutilleux and Jurgenson in addition to the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Franz Liszt Scholarship and Fulbright Scholarship for Advanced Research. He is currently working on commissions for the Athens Symphony Orchestra and the New York Woodwind Quintet.
Ghost Shadows was composed as part of an anthology of new songs for voice and piano based on the poems of Ursula Vaughan Williams. The Vaughn Williams Charitable Trust and the University of Hull sponsored the project, and the pieces received their premieres in 2010 at venues in Hull and Beverly, UK. Ghost Shadows is a setting of two of Ursula Vaughan Williams’ poems, “Fearing Apparitions” from the Fall of Leaf collection (1943) and “This Girl is Dead” from the No Other Choice collection (1942). Within the context of the music, these two thematically similar poems create a unified narrative. Repetition of individual words and phrases is used extensively to expand the text in these settings, which are characterized by colorful extended techniques and theatrical gestures.