Location: England

Subject: Music

Dates: 2008, 2009

Related ACE Cultural Tours:Music Tours


Believing in encouraging contemporary movements ACE has commissioned a number of pieces from up and coming composers of today.

Project History

In 2008 ACE commissioned Silvinia Milstein to write a new piece which she called surrounded by distance. The piece was premiered as part of the Association for Cultural Exchange’s 50th anniversary celebrations, at Queen Elizabeth Hall, played by the London Sinfonietta and conducted by Oliver Knussen.

Inspired by the success of this composition it was decided that a more long-term association with composition should be devised. With Kings College London ACE decided to provide a scholarship for young composers. Luke Styles was the winner of the very first scholarship which he completed 2009. He deemed it a productive and stimulating experience. He was assigned the scholarship to work with George Benjamin, a leading tutor of composition, after a fairly stringent application process, and we feel confident that he did the first run justice. His efforts resulted in two teaching positions, one at Kings College London, teaching composition to undergraduate students, and one as Composition and General Musicianship teacher at the Junior Trinity Conservatoire. He has also produced four highly regarded compositions all of which have been performed at appropriately prestigious venues in London and Germany.

As composer in residence for Dartington Arts, a program run by the Society for the Promotion of New Music, his work led him to the sounds of the tabla, an Indian instrument for which he was developing a new notation system which would allow composers to write for the instrument without ambiguity. Such innovation clearly fulfils the ACE principals of education, understanding and international culture as well as the musical aspect of our intentions.

As a musician and composer today the aspect of technology also presents itself as an instrument to be included, one that Styles has not forgotten. His final work included electronics and video projections and was programmed into the opening concert of the Next Generation Festival in Germany, the DVD of which was included in the ‘ton:art’ exhibition in Karlsruhe where the festival was held.

Three of his four works are being considered or have already premiered at various festivals and it is doubtless that his work will reach many stages beyond. His efforts have also already resulted in a number of commissions including one for the trio Labyrinth, two for silent films and pieces for the first Leeds International Guitar Festival.

Project & ACE

surrounded by distance was commissioned specifically for the 50th anniversary of the Foundation and ACE were proud to have such an astounding premier performance by such talented musicians. Silvinia too was grateful to receive the opportunity to produce such a piece.

The program for Luke Styles was to introduce another ACE Scholarship which he proved very successful for its first run and we hope to continue such a fantastic program.