At the final 2019 ISCM General Assembly held in the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, Estonia, elections for the ISCM Executive Committee (ExCom) were held resulting in a new president, a new vice president, and a newly-elected ordinary member to the ISCM Presidential Council. New Zealand-based composer, music analyst, lecturer, and festival organiser Glenda Keam, who also serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, NZ, was elected president. Professor Keam is the first woman and first New Zealander ever elected ISCM President. She previously served as ISCM’s vice president and succeeds Belgium-based composer Peter Swinnen who served as ISCM’s president from 2013 to 2019. New York City-based composer and music journalist Frank J. Oteri, who has served as an ordinary member of the ISCM ExCom since 2016, was elected vice president succeeding Keam in that role. As a result of Oteri’s succession, there was an additional vacancy on the ExCom and Romanian-based composer and musicologist Irina Hasnaş was newly elected to that position. The additional members of the Presidentail Council are Japanese composer Tomoko Fukui and Swedish violinist George Kentros who were elected in 2018.
Glenda Keam’s compositions have been performed in New Zealand and abroad, and she is also an enthusiastic songwriter. She was awarded a PhD in Music by the University of Auckland in 2006 for her analytical thesis “Exploring Notions of National Style: New Zealand Orchestral Music in the Late Twentieth Century”. More recently, she co-edited and contributed a chapter to the 2011 Pearson publication “Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand.” She has a strong history of choral singing with the National Youth Choir of NZ, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Britten Singers (formerly BBC Northern Singers), and enjoys performing as a piano improviser. She has lived much of her life in her home town, Auckland, however she spent the period 1986-94 living in the United Kingdom, where she studied composition with Anthony Gilbert in Manchester, attended various summer workshops and worked as a music educator. Earlier achievements include an MMus (Hons) in Composition from the University Of Auckland (1986), where she studied composition with John Rimmer and John Elmsly and analysis with Fiona McAlpine. Glenda lectured in Music at the University of Auckland from 1995-2006, and was Senior Lecturer and inaugural Programme Director for Music at Unitec, Auckland from 2006-2013. She served ten years as President of the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) (2007 – 2017), and in 2016 was appointed Vice-President of the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM). In 2013 she was appointed Associate Professor and Head of Music at the University of Canterbury. Here, she lectures in analysis, composition and music education among other areas. Glenda devised, curated, and organized the (09)03 Contemporary Music Festival held in Auckland in 2003, she co-curated the “New Zealand in LA” Festival in 2012, and is currently developing plans for New Zealand to host the ISCM World New Music Days in Auckland and Christchurch, in April 2020.
Frank J. Oteri’s voracious musical appetite finds many avenues of expression, but ultimately all lead back to his musical compositions which range from full-evening stage works to chamber and solo compositions. In all of these works, some of which employ alternative tuning systems, Oteri combines emotional directness with an obsession for formal processes. His syncretic compositional style has been described as “distinctive” in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Oteri’s music has been performed on five continents in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Knitting Factory in New York City, Conservatory Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and Seattle’s PONCHO Concert Hall, where John Cage first prepared a piano. MACHUNAS, Oteri’s performance oratorio created in collaboration with Verona-based Italian visual artist Lucio Pozzi and inspired by the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas, premiered during the Christopher Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2005. In addition to his compositional activities, Oteri is the Composer Advocate at New Music USA and the Co-Editor of NewMusicBox, a web magazine he founded which has been online since May 1999. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the ISCM’s World New Music Magazine. Oteri was given the Composers Now Visionary Award in January 2018 and in 2007 was the recipient of ASCAP’s Victor Herbert Award for his “distinguished service to American music as composer, journalist, editor, broadcaster, impresario, and advocate.”
Dr. Irina Hasnaş studied at the Ciprian Porumbescu Academy of Music with Ştefan Niculescu, Aurel Stroe, Alexandru Paşcanu, and Nicolae Beloiu, all composers belonging to the generation who founded the idea of a Romanian national musical school as well as international cultural space. She continued her studies with composer Theodor Grigoriu under the auspices of the Romanian Union of Composers (1978–1980). In 2000, she received a doctorate in music from the Cluj-Napoca Academy of Music. In her earliest musical compositions, which include the ballet Methamorphose (1977) and the Concerto for Orchestra (1978), she attempted to define the concept of infinite melody. Later, she focused her attention on the Romanian melodic Ethos and the concept of musical text, wishing to incorporate Romanian spirituality into it. Her main area of activity since that time has been chamber music because it is what is most closely alligned to her artistic sensibility. Recordings of her string quartet Evolutio II and her solo piano composition Melisme were released on the Electrecord label and many of her works have been performed internationally. In addition to her compositional activities, Hasnaş has served as the Editor for Romanian National Radio since 1987.
The ExCom consists of a five-member Presidential Council (President, Vice-President, and three ordinary members), which are elected by the ISCM General Assembly, plus an appointed Secretary General, Treasurer, and Legal Counsel. The appointed members of the ExCom are: Secretary General Ol’ga Smetanová who is based in Slovakia; Treasurer Walter De Schepper, based in Belgium; and Legal Counsel Wolfgang Renz, based in Austria. Renz, whose appointment was approved during an earlier 2019 General Assembly session in Tallinn, Estonia, has been working as a freelance lawyer in Vienna since 2006 and has been a partner at pfletschinger.renzl since 2012. His practice focuses on issues of media, copyright, privacy and company law and his other clients include the Music Information Center Austria (mica). He is also a lecturer for copyright and media law at the University of Music in Graz and the University of Vienna.
As per the Statutes of the ISCM, the President and the Vice-President are elected by the General Assembly on separate ballots for a term of three years and other three members of the Presidential Council are elected for a term of two years. After the expiration of their terms of office, the members of the Presidential Council may be re-elected in the same mandate (member, Vice-President or President) only once for the immediately following term. The ExCom runs the Society on a daily basis throughout the year.