SEPF Guest Artist Leo Svirsky

Leo Svirsky

Leo Svirsky

Leo Svirsky (b. 1988, USA) is a composer, improviser, pianist and accordionist living in the Hague.

While his background is in classical piano, playing Rachmoninoff 3rd with the South Carolina Symphony in 2006, he was drawn to contemporary music, improvisation and later composition. He performed works such as Stockhausen’s Kontakte and Ligeti’s Piano Etudes. He has worked with composers such as Christian Wolff, Unsuk Chin, and Peter Ablinger, and premiered works by Michael Pisaro, and Peter Adriaansz (among others). As an improviser he takes part in many long-term and ad hoc collaborations with players such as Jasper Stadhouders, Raoul van der Weide, Katt Hernandez, John Dikeman and others. Some notable performances include Chiaroscuro, with Ab Baars and the dancers Ana Ladas and Giacomo Calabrese, and a week-long resicency at the Incubate Festival with the Jasper Stadhouders International Improvers’ Ensemble including (among others) Metter Rasmussen and Johannes Bauer.

As a composer, his work explores how the instability of listening itself transforms the perception of musical semantics and affect. Disorientations of memory and spatial awareness are nevertheless bounded by a rootedness in song and story.

His music has been performed by Antoine Beuger (flute), Sergei Tchirkov (accordion), Reinier van Houdt, John McAlpine, Theodora Stepancic (piano), Germaine Sijstermans, Jurg Frey (clarinet).

He has released works on Emanem (Different Tesselations with Veryan Weston), Slow Fidelity (duo with Katt Hernandez), and Ehse records (Songs in the Key of Survival).

He has performed his own work at venues such as REWIRE (the Hague), National Sawdust (Brooklyn), Kunstcentrum Vooruit (Ghent), and Klangraum (Dusseldorf). He shared billings with artists such as James Blackshaw and Laaraji.

He holds a masters in Composition from the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague studying under Cornelis de Bondt and Martijn Padding, as well as private study with Antoine Beuger. In addition, he holds a masters in piano performance from the same institution under Ellen Corver, and a bachelors under Ellen Corver and Rian de Waal. Previous teachers include Santiago Rodriguez, Irena Orlov (piano), Lawrence Moss, and Frances Mckay (composition).

To learn more, please visit: