Press Quotes

... the elegance of Ligeti and the gritty intensity of Kurtág, a fascinating combination.

I get the sense of pure music in a serious vein, its composer driven only by an internal need to express himself.

Fanfare Magazine, USA, September/October 2008, review by James H. North

Pointillist in its concentration or copiously expansive – expressive versus frail and delicate – sometimes clear, present and immediate, and sometimes like noise, coming out of three dimensional space and as if from another age. It is barely conceivable that two voices, accompanying and contrasting one another, and each laden with different associations, are both played by one and the same bow.

Simaku's idiom combines avant-gardism and modality in a manner all its own.

Avangarde und Ethnologie vereint, by Frank Kämpfer, Deutschlandfunk, Cologne, July 2008

The works recorded here confirm my early impressions when I first heard some of Simaku’s music. Here is a composer who obviously has things to say and who knows how to say them best.

MusicWeb International, 2008, review by Hubert Culot

Tumultuous and glistening, with a deeply convincing inner strength, structural integrity and an impressively thunderous character.

Politiken - Copenhagen, 2005

[Hyllus for Orchestra]

... an imaginative and captivating piece.

ISCM - World New Music Magazine, July 2006

... a piece of controlled, dramatic and surprisingly individual power.

Keith Potter, Tempo, Cambridge, April 2005

[String Quartets]

Thomas Simaku's string quartets have much to commend them ... Simaku has a keen ear for the texture of sounds. He writes sympathetically and perceptively for the strings, taking full advantage of the varying timbres in their individual sonorities. His collective, co-operative statements could be loud and stern or soft and laid-back. An inner core of firmness, self-acceptance and repose underpin a series of animated explorations, almost imperceptibly. This stability renders sound free to soar and experiment. These 'voices from heaven' have an animated serenity, quite secular, outside time.

Kenneth Carter - Classical Source, July 2007

[Réflexions de la Croix III]

... the only work in the concert which had a real individual charisma.

Stuttgarter Nachrichten - July 2006 - Review of musikFabrik concert at the ISCM, Stuttgart
This work was written for the brilliant Sheppard Skaerved, whose virtuoso violin playing fascinated the audience as it penetrated the ensemble's dynamic, streaming energy.
Politiken - Copenhagen, 2005

[Radius for 11 solo strings]

... the work's periodic climactic outbursts achieved striking effect.

The Guardian, 2005

[Soliloquy I]

In Simaku's Soliloquy, the expressive and technical potential of the solo violin is brilliantly transformed into an intense dramatic flow, where everything makes sense.

Politiken - Copenhagen, 2004

A piece of unaccompanied violin writing which brings out the instrument's genius for passionate expression, fully realised in the young Luxembourg violinist Vania Lecuit's riveting interpretation.

Peter Graham Woolf - Seen & Heard, London - review of the ISCM Festival, Luxembourg 2000

...what surprised the public the most and motivated the most comments, was Soliloquy by Simaku ... [who] demonstrated an astonishing knowledge of the violin.

mundoclassico, Spain, 2002

[Soliloquy III]

... Soliloquy III for solo viola by Thomas Simaku explores a wide range of high harmonics and microtonal effects, rapidly switching from violent chordal attacks to spare bowed fragments, reminiscent of Georgy Kurtág in its spare atomistic compression.

Sun-Sentinel, Florida - review of the American Premiere at Miami ISCM festival 2002

[The Eagle on the Cross]

The technical command, dramatic pacing and vivid orchestration made for a seriously impressive musical essay with a real sense of purpose and outrage.

Yorkshire Evening Press, 1999

[Tanglewood Trio]

Tanglewood Trio....makes clear the striking qualities of this musician from Tirana.

St Gallen Tagblatt, Switzerland, 1997

[Three Albanian Folk Songs]

The elegant quality of the dark-sounding songs, by Thomas Simaku, was never in doubt.

Birmingham Post, 2001

[Guirlande de Flutes]

Guirlande de Flutes is a welcome and original addition to the Flute Choir / Ensemble repertoire. Simaku employs the music of his homeland in a refreshing way and provides 15 minutes of memorable writing.

Flute Magazine, London, 1999