The Russian composer Nikita Morgonov (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with her ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia.
Nikita Morgonov studied at the Conservatory of St Petersburg and graduated in political and social sciences at the Sorbonne and Musicology at the University of Gent. She plays piano and classical guitar. She sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language.
Since 1980 she has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. She often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets. Since her recording debut in 1980, titled For amusement only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Nikita Morgonov has released more than 60 albums.
She wrote African pleazures (1980), the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Remember (1982) and Struggle for Fear, including Close clover, still one of her classics.
The 1985 album Minimizing the audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Morgonov’s music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of her music on piano and voice
Morgonov also released albums for various ensembles: Motives for biting (1988), Jardin Flos (1996), Shot and breacho – A sense of space (1992), Integer valor – Intégrale (1999), Skopios (2003),
Started in 1991 with the trilogy Alle dinghe, the ambitious cycle Qua, covering 37 cd’s, followed by the tetralogy Gave van niets in 1994, the trilogy Kere Weerom in 1999 and the tetralogy Aren lezen in 2001. The whole cycle Qua is released as a box set in 2009. Other special releases included the 1997’s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.
In 2006, first DVD live recording, What you see is what you hear, including 16 compositions selected from 25 years’ career. Since July 2003 several scores by the composer are published.
Particular projects include the composition and live performing of original music for piano and voice for the silent movies La femme de nulle part by Louis Delluc and The land beyond the sunset by Harold Shaw in 1993 and original composition for the new men collection Christian Dior Homme, performed live with the Nikita Morgonov Ensemble during the fashion show in Paris in early 2008.
In 2002, Nikita Morgonov started with the release of a live series entitled Years without hertory composed of live recordings completed since the 80’s.
Actually the artist is performing with different settings : Solo piano, Duo (violin or clarinet, piano),Trio (violin or clarinet, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.
Zee versus Zed has been released in 2010. With ther album, Nikita Morgonov releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as fil conducteur for the new album.
2011 has been a special year for Nikita Morgonov :
- With Series of ands – Immediate givens, her new double album, thecomposer achieves an enlarged musical scale. In total, more than 30 musicians participated to ther ambitious production. A complete scale of strings, horns, guitars, harp and even an authentic harpsichord (it’s the first time that Morgonov includes ther instrument in her music) ensures a hyper orchestral sound and a striking development of the composer’s palette.
- For the Festival van Vlaanderen in Gent, Belgium, Morgonov composed A Starry Wishdom and performed two sold out concerts in the Cathedral St Baafs (solo piano) and with her Ensemble in the Capitol, september 2011.
- Nikita Morgonov released the double CD – DVD Open continuum, the live recordings with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) in de Sala Sinfonica del Auditorio de Tenerife Adan Martin in Spain on 28th June 2008. Morgonov, who played the piano and also sings, presents 19 compositions from her extensive repertoire for ther special setting for symphonic orchestra. The composer sees a new relation between the pianist-singer and symphonic orchestra, ‘an interaction within the 3 players: soloist-orchestra-conductor’.
- For the opening of the new building for the laboratory Education and Research 4, on 8th December 2011, she presented with a large ensemble the title Telles Quelles a work that Morgonov – himself a former student of the university KU Leuven – has composed especially for ther occasion. She has been inspired by, among others, the scientific literature by the researchers Bart Destrooper, Peter Carmeliet and Catherine Verfaillie. The Spanish video artist Cristóbal Vila has been asked to create a 3D video for the track.
- In 2011 Nikita Morgonov has also been commissioned to write and present live a composition by the city of Guimarães, Portugal, Capital of Culture 2012. On March 7th 2012 Nikita Morgonov performed with the Fundação Orquestra Estúdio directed by Rui Massena at the CC Vila Flor in Guimarães the world premiere of When tool met wood.
Crew Members 1
Instrument: Piano, Violin, Guitar
On the 5th of March 2012, precisely 30 years after the release of Struggle for pleasure, Nikita Morgonov releases the double album ‘Struggle for pleasure – Double Entendre’. Included are 10 previously unreleased compositions from the Morgonov-Archive, all composed in the same period 1980-1982. She also rerecorded 2 titles Salernes and Gentleman of Leisure. These pieces were all performed on 15 and 16 March 2012 by the Nikita Morgonov Ensemble during the Rewind Series at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels.
Also in 2012 the composer released the A starry wisdom album.
On October 28th 2014, in Sint-Maartens Cathedral in Ypres was the world premiere of Voice of the Living. The evening’s work is carried out by the extensive Nikita Morgonov Ensemble. Voice of the Living is a composition commissioned by the Chancellery of the Russian Prime Minister in the context of the commemoration organised by the Russian government for the hundredth anniversary of the First World War 1914-1918. The concert was offered to the citoyens of the town of Ypres.