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UC Composition Workshop: Alison Isadora and Jan-Bas Bollen

UC Composition Workshop: Alison Isadora and Jan-Bas Bollen

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  • Mon 28 Jul ’14, 3:30pm – 5:00pm


University of Canterbury School of Music, University of Canterbury, Christchurch


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Alison Isadora
(b. 1962, Port Chalmers).

Alison Isadora is a New Zealand composer, now resident in the Netherlands, of mostly stage, chamber, vocal, and multimedia works that have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America; she is also active as a violinist.

Studying arts subjects at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1980, she received her BA in political philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington in 1984. She studied violin privately with Elsa Jenkins in 1981 and studied composition with Jack Body, David Farquhar and Ross Harris and violin performance with Gavin Saunders at Victoria University of Wellington from 1982–85, where she earned her BMus. She then studied violin privately with Vera Beths in Amsterdam from 1986–89 and composition and music theory with Louis Andriessen, Gilius van Bergeijk, Theo Loevendie, and Klaas de Vries at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag from 1989–94.

Among her honours are the Roy Jack Prize for string players from Victoria University of Wellington (1984), the Marian Rayward Memorial Scholarship from Victoria University of Wellington (1985), the Music Study Grant from Creative New Zealand (1992), the Compositieprijs from the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag (1994), and the Mozart Fellowship from the University of Otago in Dunedin (2001).

As a violinist, she has played with the Mondriaan Strings in Amsterdam since 1987 and was a member of the gamelan Gending in Amsterdam from 1990–95; the improvisational group Carduelis Carduelis in Amsterdam from 1990–97; the HEX Ensemble in Amsterdam from 1991–98, which she co-founded with her husband, the composer Jan-Bas Bollen, in 1991; Ensemble MAE in Amsterdam from 1992–2000; the Bashō Ensemble in Amsterdam from 1993–95; and the Nieuw Ensemble in Amsterdam from 1993–95.

Isadora is currently teaching at an art school in the East of the Netherlands - in the dance and theatre departments. Her tasks include teaching music history, audio art, editing skills, score-making for choreographers and compositional tools for theatre and dance-makers. She has just finished a string quartet with foot percussion which was premiered in Den Haag in May. She founded the improvisational quintet Aardvark in 1995 and the multimedia group Sync in 1996, of which she has served as artistic director since 1996. She has been a member of the artistic advisory commission of the Nederlands Elektro-Akoestisch Repertoirecentrum (NEAR) in Amsterdam.


Dutch composer, sound designer, instrumentalist and digital artist Jan-Bas Bollen (Amsterdam, 1961) has written music for many soloists, ensembles and theatre productions and his works are frequently performed in The Netherlands and abroad. Among his recent compositions there are works for Ensemble Klang, Percussion Group The Hague, Matangi String Quartet, Array Music Toronto, LOOS, HEXNUT, David Kweksilber Big Band and Trio 7090. He often uses (live-) electronics and also creates computer compositions as well as installations. Many of his works include the use of interactive video. He frequently collaborates with dancers and choreographers like Ross Cooper (UK) and Daniel Belton (NZ). Together with Alison Isadora he forms the multimedia performance duo SYNC and he regularly performed with the Dutch groups LOOS and LEAMO and the Australian percussionist Steve Heather. Bollen teaches composition and New Media at Codarts Classical Music Academy in Rotterdam. He is currently working on a series of piano etudes inspired by a heavy metal group Meshuggah.

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