|Date of birth||21 June 1974|
D.M.A., University of Maryland, College Park, 2008
M.M., Boston University, 2003
B.M., State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2001
Die Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Germany, July 2010
Fontainebleau's American Conservatory in France, 2005
Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia, 2003
Composition study with Lukas Foss, Theodore Antoniou, Lawrence Moss, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Allain Gaussin, Andre Bon, and Leontios Hadjileontiadis
Altin Volaj has been recognized as one of the most gifted and thought-provoking composers of his generation. He has won various prizes, fellowships, and scholarships, including Nadia Boulanger Prix in Composition, George Solti Foundation grant, Walsum Composition Competition Prize Winner (2005), Fontainebleau Fellowship, Robert Casadesus Fellowship, and ASCAP Awards, 2005-2010, to mention a few. Altin’s work as a composer has given him the international exposure. He has participated in workshops, music festivals, and seminars throughout Europe, and America. His music has been conducted and performed internationally by well-known conductors such as Theodore Antoniou, and performed by music ensembles such as the Greek Ensemble of New Music, the Alea III New Music Ensemble, the Left Bank Quartet, the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Maryland Opera Studio. Other performances include readings by the Kronos Quartet, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars Ensemble. Altin’s recent opera ION, was performed in February 2008 by the Maryland Opera Studio, in collaboration with librettist Nick Olcott, directed by Leon Major. Altin’s recent activities include an ongoing presentation of his opera ION at the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, DC, (March 2009). Commissions include Alea III, the Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf,Maryland, and clarinetist Yannis Samprovalakis. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda
National Music Honor Society, the Society of Composers, the American Composers Forum, and ASCAP.
Altin Volaj has previously held full-time position at Northern Conservatory of Greece (Thessaloniki, Greece), and teaching assistant positions at Boston University, University of Maryland, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is currently undertaking research with The Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre (University of Sussex, UK) into new methods for the notation of extended musico-dramatic forms in opera and music theatre.
Although, Altin works in an essentially Western Contemporary music language, the sensibility, the philosophy, and the language of his homeland are never far away.
His music is rooted in the sounds of Southeastern Europe: not just in the sound of traditional Balkan music, but the whole range of Eastern European sounds as well.
These are the sounds of ancient rituals; of traditional Balkan folk music; and lastly of a Nature which is peculiar to that region. The synthesis of these contrasts - East and West, traditional and experimental, simple and complex, local and global - gives him an enormous possibility to develop a complex palette of his own musical sounds.