Zosha Di Castri

Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist living in New York. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University, studying with Fred Lerdahl. After completing a B.Mus. in composition and piano performance at McGill University, Zosha moved to Paris to pursue further musical studies. Her composition teachers have included Brian Cherney, Philippe Hurel, Fabien Lévy, and Tristan Murail. She has also worked with Martin Matalon, John Rea, John Adams, Hanspeter Kyburz, and Beat Furrer at various summer festivals. Zosha’s compositions have been performed in Canada, the US, Germany and France by such ensembles as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, members of the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, l’Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and JACK Quartet. She has also participated in a short-term residency at the Banff Center, the New Music Session at Domaine Forget, and the National Arts Centre’s summer composition program. She was recently named a laureate of the 3rd International Composer’s Competition for the Hamburger Klangwerktage Festival, had a new piece performed at Acanthes in Metz by members of the Orchestre national de Lorraine, and was commissioned to write a new work for The Banff Centre. She is currently one of the composers in residence for the newly formed Ensemble Portmantô in Montreal. Zosha is interested in creating and performing interdisciplinary works, and composes both instrumental, mixed, and purely electronic music.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(2010) Cortège for 13 musicians, performed by the Orchestre national de Lorraine, directed by Jean Deroyer, Metz.

Cortège was inspired by the idea of a strange procession, a relentless succession of people and sounds. Composed in a block-like manner, contrasting textures are juxtaposed in a rich sonic patchwork. This idea stemmed from the following lines of Cavafy’s The God Abandons Antony (referencing Plutarch’s story of when Marcus Antonius was besieged in Alexandria by Octavian), and Leonard Cohen’s adaptation of this poem in the song Alexandra Leaving. The piece begins with a heavy chord which comes back repeatedly throughout the work as a pivot-point between other material. Like the perspective of someone observing a parade from a window above, there is a melancholy awareness of the fleeting nature of the passing revelry. It is the music of impending loss, the night before the city falls into enemy hands or the evening before a lover leaves for good.

“listen – your final delectation – to the voices, to the exquisite music of that strange procession, and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.”

- C.P. Cavafy’s The God Abandons Anthony

“It’s not a trick, your senses all deceiving, A fitful dream, the morning will exhaust - Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving. Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.”

- Leonard Cohen’s Alexandra Leaving

>> Personal Website:    zoshadicastri.com