Emerging Composer Festival

August 2021

Theremin & Piano duo, Ensemble-in-Residence (World-renowned performers from the Netherlands)

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh, Mentor & Composer-in-Residence

Lectures on composition techniques, orchestration, idiomatic writing, notation standards and career guidance.

Guest lecturer: Ronald Royer, Composer & Music Director with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performed by over 70 orchestras.

With Career talk, working with an orchestra, studio recordings and copyright, communicating with an orchestra including commissions and the logistics on composer-in-residence positions


For Thorwald's YouTube channel CLICK HERE

Selected Composers for the August 2021 Festival

Kento Stratford,


Arturo Fernandez,


Ian Wiese,


Debra Dyko,


Isaac Silva,


Sergei Kofman,

Liam Kovich,

About the August 2021 Festival

Our festival is a week-long intensive mentorship and ensemble collaboration program. Eight emerging composers will be selected to produce new works for our ensemble-in-residence, this year being works for piano and theremin with an online video streaming premiere by world-renowned theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen and pianist Kamilla Bystrova.

During the week-long festival, masterclasses and mentorship is offered by both the Ensemble-in-Residence and the Composer-in-Residence, preparing each composer's work for the premiere. Prior to the week-long mentorship program, Dr. Mehdizadeh will be meeting with the composers in preparation of their drafts.

Accepted participants will be excpected to write a 3-4 minute piece for the ensemble. Tuition for the program is $495 CAD per composer and includes a limited promotional use* of the final recording of their music. This festival is intended to further the compositional and collaborative skills of emerging composers as well as to provide them with an opportunity to have their music reach audiences across the globe.

Workshop and world premieres are scheduled for August 2021.


Composers should send a google link to a shared folder containing 1 pdf resume, 2 pdf scores and 2 recordings (MIDI files are acceptable). Youtube and SoundCloud links are also acceptable.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND FILES DIRECTLY AS ATTACHMENTS - only links to pdfs and audios will be accepted.

Scores should showcase the ability to compose for solo or small chamber ensemble. Results will be announced by July 5, 2021. There is no application fee. Upon acceptance, composers should pay a non-refundable fee of $495 CAD to East Chamber Music Inc. Financial aid offered to composers: priority given to LGBTQ+ & BIPOC identified composers*

Submission deadline: June 30, 2021.

Application announcements: July 5, 2021.

Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com

Schedule for August 2021 (all meetings will be virtual using Zoom):

July 30: Final drafts due

August 1-8: Meeting and Consultation with the Composer-in-Residence - reviewing drafts of newly composed pieces

Monday August 9 at 11am EDT: Masterclass and Workshop: Meet the Ensemble-in-Residence

Tuesday August 10 at 11am EDT: Lecture by Composer-in-Residence (composition, orchestration, idiomatic writing)

Wednesday August 11 at 11am EDT: Masterclass and Workshop (compositional technique and writing - ensemble will be playing through various sections of musical drafts with feedback and lecture)

Thursday August 12 at 11am EDT: Lecture by Composer-in-residence (final meeting prior to premieres including Notation and Score & Part preparation, the compositional process, career talk, collaboration and working with an ensemble and more)

Sunday August 29: Virtual premiere of newly composed pieces at 12pm EDT (Toronto Time)

Accepting 2021 applications now. For more information on the ensemble and your mentor, see below or contact us through email.

*Use of recordings are limited to promotional use such as sending audio files for competitions and applications. Any public posting or broadcasting of the recordings must first be consulted with the Ensemble-in-Residence - permission may be granted on a case by case basis.

*limited funds available per festival

Thorwald Jørgensen


Thorwald Jørgensen is known as one of the leading classical theremin players in the world. After graduating from the conservatory he quickly established himself as one of the most prominent players of the instrument and made full time career of playing the instrument. Since the playing technique also resembles that of a string instrument, Thorwald was coached by Saskia Boon, former cellist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Having a busy concert schedule, Thorwald has played to great reviews as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral thereminist in Europe, both North and South America, Asia, Australia, Canada and Russia. A remarkable highlight was the Dutch premiere of the theremin concertino by Anis Fuleihan.

Besides these concerts Thorwald also performed for radio and television and played at festivals, like Ravinia Festival (USA) Festival Classique (NL), Bach Festival (NL), Without Touch (DE) Hands Off (UK), Klassifest (NL), Node (CH), Music and Beyond (CA), Festival Electromagnética Santiago (CL), Klarafestival (BE), Fête de la Musique (CH), MAGFestival (HRV), Lunigiana International Music Festival (IT) International Film Festival Rotterdam / IFFR (NL) Gaudeamus Music Week (NL), November Music (NL), Wonderfeel (NL), Ars Musica (BE), Albury Chamber Music Festival (AU) New Music Festival Montréal (CA) and the Thereminology Festival in Moscow and St Petersburg (RU). He was also invited as a guest teacher/lecturer/performer at renowned institutions like the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg (RU), Nizhny Novgorod (RU), Stanford University (USA) and Harvard University (USA) and the University of Havana (CU)

Thorwald played as a soloist with numerous orchestras around the world, like Philharmonie Zuid-Nederland, Brussels Philharmonic, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Opera2Day, kammerphilharmonie bremen, Eskişehir Symphony Orchestra, Dutch Theatre Orchestra, Antalya Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Chamber Players, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, Bursa State Symphony Orchestra, KODA Chamber Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bremer Philharmoniker and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey.

As a chamber musician Thorwald works together with both pianist Kamilla Bystrova and the Utrecht String Quartet. A highlight was the world premiere of Canadian composer Simon Bertrand "The Invisible Singer - an album for theremin and string quartet" , performed during the Gaudeamus Music Week in the Netherlands.

Thorwald is an advocate for new theremin repertoire and composers from all over the world have written pieces for him. Recently Thorwald also started composing himself, resulting in several solo pieces for theremin. His first composition Distant Shores for theremin, voice and loop-station was an instant success and was recorded for TV and radio in Canada, Croatia, Turkey, Australia, Russia, USA and the Netherlands.

Thorwald currently plays a MOOG Etherwave Pro theremin.

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Kamilla Bystrova


Kamilla Bystrova was born in Moscow and began studying piano with her mother, a music professor. She is a graduate of the famous piano school founded by Heinrich Neuhaus, who taught Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels and Radu Lupu. She earned a Master’s degree from the Conservatory of St. Petersburg and went on to perform with the Moscow Philharmonic Society across Europe. She attended master classes of Emanuel Ax, Mstislav Rostropovich and Ruth Nye.

After she received another Master’s degree from The Hague’s Royal Conservatory with Naum Grubert, Bystrova was invited to join the faculty, and performed as a soloist and with chamber ensembles. In 1992, she won The Link Prize for her performance of Pictures At An Exhibition.

She has transcribed songs by Schumann and Tchaikovsky, and has recently expanded the repertoire by adapting Schubert’s Winterreise for solo piano. Her performance of this new work will be released soon.

In addition to her busy teaching and performing schedule, Bystrova paints, draws and sculpts. Her work can be found in private collections. An avid outdoors enthusiast, she enjoys hiking and skiing.

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Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh

Composer and Mentor

There is something vividly distinct about Mehdizadeh's music. This Canadian composer is revered for his intricate, unpredictable and haunting works. The sound and gesture of his pieces bury themselves deep in complex imagination—participating you in an exploration of uncertain visceral implications. His unique musical language is perceived as complex yet engaging, bringing together a hybrid of musical expression including the Mehdizadeh Modes, namely the Double- and Multi-Tonic modes.

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (DMA, University of Toronto) is currently based in the Greater Toronto Area and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been involved in both national and international festival series. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and US including appearance as guest composer on CBC Radio.

Mehdizadeh has worked closely with conductors Ronald Royer, Simon Rivard, Jeffrey Reynolds and pianist and conductor Jean Desmarais. Mehdizadeh has also served as Composer-in-Residence for University of Toronto and University of Toronto Schools. He has given lectures and composition workshops at UTS as well as adjudication and mentorship for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their annual New Generation Composer Project.

Mehdizadeh has also partnered with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and together kickstarted a new podcast series, SPOGreatMusic, during the pandemic, helping develop new community partnerships including Scarborough Arts, FabCollab, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian Sinfonietta, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.

Mehdizadeh’s works receive funding through commissions and private patrons (long-time donor and supporter Nicole Senécal), as well as institutions including the latest Ontario Arts Council studio recording grant. He has collaborated with Orchestre de la Francophonie, Winds of SPO, the Princeton Singers and the Ewashko Singers amongst many others. Notable world-renowned performers include Belgian flautist Marc Grauwels and Dutch theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen with multiple commissions and performances in festivals around the world.

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