Video // Interview of Ramón Lazkano
After attending piano classes with Juan Padrosa and composition classes with Francisco Escudero at the San Sebastian Conservatory of Music, where he obtained a Higher Degree in Composition, Ramon Lazkano (San Sebastián, 1968) studied composition and orchestration with Alain Bancquart and Gérard Grisey at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris and was awarded a First Prize of Composition in 1990. He pursued his studies of composition and analysis in Montreal with Gilles Tremblay. Once back in Paris, he studied orchestra conducting with Jean-Sébastien Béreau and Arturo Tamayo, and received a DEA degree (PhD Evaluation Degree) in 20th Century Music and Musicology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales with his dissertation about polyrythmics.
His piano concerto Hitzaurre Bi earned him, at the age of 26, the Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation Prize and shortly afterwards, in 1997, a jury chaired by Luciano Berio gave him the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem Composition Prize for his Auhen Kantuak. In 2007 Ramon Lazkano was awarded the Georges Bizet Prize by the French Academy of Fine Arts; he was also a prizewinner of the Institute of Music and Drama Arts, the Colegio de España, and the Gaudeamus Foundation. While resident with the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, he had the opportunity of composing several pieces which were performed, among others, at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and Berlin Konzerthaus. In 1999 he was resident composer at the Musica Festival and the Strasburg Conservatoire at the same time as Luis de Pablo. His residence in Rome (first at the Royal Academy of Spain, then at the Academy of France Villa Medici) allowed him to carry out a reflection on composition and its meaning, focusing mainly on intertextuality, silence and the experience of sound, all of which giving birth to pieces as emblematic as Ilunkor (2001, commissioned by the Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa), Lur-Itzalak (2003, a a commission of the Printemps des Arts of Monte Carlo) and Ortzi Isilak (2006, commissioned by the Orquesta Nacional de España). Among the festivals and musicians programming and playing his music, we may mention Présences at Radio-France, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Ultraschall in Berlin, International Society of Contemporary Music at Copenhagen, Ars Musica in Brussels, Philharmonic Green Umbrella New Music Series in Los Angeles, and the ensembles Ictus, Recherche, 2e2m, Plural, Wiener Collage...
Since 2001, Ramon Lazkano has worked on Igeltsoen Laborategia (The Laboratory of Chalks), an ample collection of chamber music pieces divided into various cycles, which echoes sculptor Jorge Oteiza's "experimental laboratory" and more particularly the concept of chalk as a matter of inscription, erosion and memory linked to childhood. A documentary funded by the public television network EITB was produced on this project in 2008. His work Mugarri, commissioned by the Fundación Autor, was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra conducted by Ernest Martínez Izquierdo in 2010. At present, he prepares a new work, Lurralde (Territory), for the Diotima Quartet, to be premiered en March 2012 at Ars Musica in Brussels.
Ramon Lazkano gave orchestration lessons at the Strasburg Conservatoire and taught composition at the Higher Academy of Music of Catalonia in Barcelona. He is currently teaching as professor of orchestration at the Higher Academy of Music of the Basque Country "Musikene". Since 2003, he is the advisor for the contemporary music series of the Quincena Musical festival in San Sebastián.