Cairo Contemporary Music Days

The Cairo Contemporary Music Days first edition was held in 2011 Three Months after the Egyptian Revolution and after the shut down its doors  of many governmental venues at that time and canceled all event was planned. Looking back and the great start in 2009 with the first Alexandrina Biennale where few months after Sherif el razzaz head of the EECMS decided that it’s important to have an institutional entity and capacity to deal with the many challenges, risks and possibilities faced the first biennale at that time. The Biennale was great success and such as Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, Tokyo Sinfonietta, TIMF ensemble were among guests artists.

Through realization  of such a large scale project and the immediate establishment of the European Egyptian Contemporary Music Society as a non profit organisation, the 2011 Biennale was handled between Two Organizations the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the EECMS where the EECMS insisted that Cairo should have its own event parallel to the Biennale in Alexandrina and benefit of the world class artists performing in the Biennale and invest in Academic activities, Establishing the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble as to present as many concerts in the Cairo Opera House.

February 2011 the EECMS and the Cairo contemporary music days must re plan all work was done since 2009 and to save what can be saved in less than Two months. Thank to the Depart for the Art at the American university in Cairo who showed interest to act a a home of the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble but the EECMS could convince the department to host the First edition of the Cairo Contemporary Music Days 2011 and could also successfully won the Foreign cultural relation sector of the Ministry of Culture to support some logistic Items. The EECMS managed to keep this relation with the Two major institutions until now a day.

From 2012 until 2015 the festival reduced the number of performances of every edition because of the very difficult political situation in Egypt and the EECMS invested more in the infrastructure and academic activities this beside the Portrait series of the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Since 2016 and after noticeable political stability the Festival hosted a large scale activities Forum. Heritage and Modernity Forum where more than 40 international renown composers and musicologists were invited to interact with Arab music tradition and discussing the relation between music tradition and the global contemporary music production. At the same year the EECMS could present Negmeyat project with 6 new Compositions inspired by Ahmed Fouad Negm. Also the Dutch contemporary Music portrait.2017 was dedicated to Lithuanian Egyptian co production in the course of a Goethe Institut project Carte Blanche as Women composers of our time as a series of performances presenting only Women composers of our time from world wide. 2018 was a highlight of the EECMS work in general and a great festival edition. The Festival kept a very high artistic level over the past seven years but Audience development in the midst of the permanently changeable social atmosphere made it not easy to reach a large number of interested Audiences. Mean while the festival among the most important regular events on the Cairo culture calendar and a platform for international collaboration and exchange. The EECMS is active as well in curating and performing in Festivals mainly in Europe and collaborate with Major Broadcasters as ORF, Radio France and BR. the festival could manage to collaborate with Government, independent and Academic institutions over the last Seven years and offers all its activities free of any charge.

Some of the composers, conductors and ensembles were in the Cairo Contemporary music days: Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, Ensemble Mosaik, Neuevokalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble Linea, LET Lithuanian ensemble Network, Tokyo Sinfonietta, BCN Barcelona and TIMF Ensemble South Korea,  Composers and conductors as Jose Maria Sanchez Verdu, Oscar Bianchi, Vykintas Baltakas, Oliver Schneller, Hanna Hartman, Benet Casablancas, Mateo Malondra, Ralph van Raat, Miriam Overlach, Baß Wiegers, Peter Tilling and Edd Spanjaard.

The Festival could win the support of a large number of Music and Cultural funding Bodies as:  Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, Pro Helvetia, Ramon LIULL Institute, TIMF Music Foundation, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Allianz Culture Foundation the Japan Foundation, Strecker Foundation, the Kingdom of the Netherlands ministry for Foreign Affairs and many others.,the EECMS maintained strong relation and regular collaboration with the British Council and a strong partnership with the  Goethe Institut,