In Kosovo's musical world, Rafet Rudi represents the most prominent and active personality in the last 2-3 decades. His activity as a composer, conductor, and intellectual work in journalism and philosophy of music and continuous membership in the European Academy of Sciences and Art constitute such a statement.

Compositional formation

Rafet Rudi, Albanian / Kosovar composer, was born in 1949 in Mitrovica (Kosovo). He studied at the Academy of Music in Belgrade. He graduated in Composition (1974) and Conducting (1973), in the class of composer Predrag Milosevic. During his studies and his intellectual formation as a composer, he frequented renowned orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, etc.), world-renowned artists (H.von Karajan, J.Krips, G Rozhdestvensky, D. Schostakovich, J. Cage, etc.) in Belgrade and all Yugoslav centers. Musical life was also made dynamic by the Avant-Garde Music Festival in Opatija (Yugoslav Music Creativity Tribune) and the "Zagreb Biennale". During his five years in Belgrade he composed pieces of various genres: solo, chamber and symphonic. The works of this period were under the influence of neoclassical composers (Schostakovich, Prokofiev, Bartok, etc.) At this time he was awarded the prize of the prestigious festival BEMUS, for the piece Symphonic Block (Symphony.).

After completing his bachelor studies in Belgrade, he returned to Pristina (1974). He worked briefly as a teacher at the School of Music and as a producer at the Radio Prishtina Symphony Orchestra. From 1976 until retirement (2014), he worked as Professor of Analysis of Music and Composition Forms at the Academy of Music in Prishtina.

Influences from the European avant-garde (1975-1980)

In the mid-’70s, Rudi left the neoclassical phase behind, and through the work“Concert time for piano and orchestra” (work inspired by dodecaphonic music), he tried to define the creative space more clearly, becoming familiar with the avant-garde currents. Familiarity with the works of composers of the new Polish school (Lutoslavski, Penderecki, Serock, etc.) and the Avant-garde music festivalutumn in Warsawhe adapted to new trends in atonal musicMetamorphosis for three soloists and string orchestra, "Rrojtja" guitar and strings etc). These works, and other solo works, composed at this time, were performed by Yugoslav orchestras at the Modern Music Festival in Opatija. The works of R.Rudi, in this period and further on, relied on the expression of national music but during this time he started to explore the deeper layers of this type of music. In addition, Rudi maintained the stylistic context corresponding to the newest and most avant-garde currents of the time. “In R. Rudi I see a real musician. He is a very talented composer who possesses special invention and sensitivity.”Claude BallifProf. at the Paris Conservatory) “R. Rudi is an extremely inventive composer, who has something to say, a creator who has a special sensitivity.” A few years ago, he was a discovery for Belgrade ( Ana Kotevska, musicologist, after the performance of“Concert time” for piano and orchestra)"

Parisian influences (1980-2000)

An important period in R. Rudi’s compositional career was his stay in Paris, as a scholarship holder of the French Government (1979-1980). There he lectured on CNSM (Composition and Music Analysis) in the class of composer Claude Ballif. A reflection of his studies in Paris, are the works such as Small Guitar Suite (1981) CantataFlijimi” (1983), “Fantasia in Si” (1985) for violin and piano, “Concerto” Guitar Concerto and String Orchestra (1986). Gradually, with these works, Rudi began a new creative phase, where the idiom of postmodern music was discreetly integrated, in which case we see in Rudi’s works the rediscovery of tonality,which serves as the source of a new creative impulse (Prof. Ajgyl Temirzhanova-Basha). This appears especially with Rudi’s works of the ’90s, such asIcare ubi esfor soloist, Choir, two pianos and percussions, and especially in the cycle of Afresk Arbëresh:, "Arbëresh bells" for solo piano, “Arbëresh Afresk III” for 2 pianos, Choir, percussion, narrator and Tape etc.

Style Development - Archaism and Modernity (2000 -)

In the early 2000s, Rudi returned to the Afresk Arbëresh cycle and explored further with commitment and dedication, the most archaic forms of Albanian music. The whole cycle (of 5 works) was based on the traditional liturgical chants of the Italian Arberesh (Albanians who moved to Italy in the 15th century). From this cycle the piece "Laudatio funebris", for soprano and string orchestra stands out the mostThe piece relies on the melodic structures of Arbëresh liturgical chants and has a minimalist compositional elaboration.

In the last two decades, Rudi composed various works as commissioned from around the world or in collaboration with international ensembles of internationally renowned artists: Aki Takahashi, Rafael Andia, Marcel Worms, Ehat Musa, Sheppard Skaerved, Petrit Çeku, Sihana Badivuku, Peter Arnaud Dumond, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble-Wien, Amici della Musica-Cagliari to name but a few.

Completely free from the rigid constraints of the stylistic platforms that the twentieth century determines, Rudi, at this time, begins to clarify his expressive language freely between the archaism of indigenous (Albanian) music and modernity.The works that characterize this tendency of Rudi are:"Concert fantasy"for violin and choirLe tombeau Oubliéfor solo piano ,“In A ”for 2 sopranos, choir and percussion and "Lament of the Sea"for Choir acapella.

Rudi is the winner of many competitions, awards and recognitions. R.Rudi’s works are performed in many countries globally: France, Switzerland, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Albania, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Japan, etc. He is the author of numerous publications in the country and abroad (France, Germany, Monaco and the Netherlands), by some prestigious houses (Editions musicales Transantlantiques of Paris, Peermusic of Hamburg, etc.)

Founder of the Festival ReMusica” (2002 -2015)(2002 -2015)

Rudi is the founder of the Kosovar Center for New Music (1999) and the Prishtina International Festival “ReMusica”. He was a director of the festival from 2002 through 2015.

Center for New Music was established at the end of the 1999 year, with the help of Vanessa Redgrave and the support of composer Philip Glass (as a continuation of the Festival “The Return”, held in September 1999 that was for the purpose of seeking help for Kosovo after the war).

Within the activity of this Center, since 2002, the ReMusica Festival was established, with which Rudi developed a great music activity in Kosovo, specifically in the popularization of contemporary music, as well as the promotion of Albanian contemporary music.

Rudi as Conductor

Another important activity of Rudi’s is conducting. In the period 1980-1987, he acted as the Conductor of the Professional Choir of Radio-Television of Prishtina. With this ensemble, he performed in all the former Yugoslavia countries and was present at important Festivals of the time: ‘Dubrovnik Summer Games’, ‘Ohrid Summer’, the Festival of Modern Music, in Opati-Croatia, at the Belgrade Festival- Serbia, etc. After a long hiatus, Rudi returned to work as a conductor in 2006 and now works as the lead conductor of the Kosov Philharmonic Choir. He has made hundreds of public appearances with acapella programs. He has performed in many countries such as Macedonia, Croatia, Albania, Italy, England. Under his direction, the Choir and the Philharmonic Orchestra performed a number of important vocal-instrumental works such as: ‘Missa D-dur' of Mozart, ‘Vespro della Beata Virgine 1610’ of Monteverd, Cantata Nr. 28 of Bahut, ‘Gloria’ of Vivaldi, ‘C-dur Mass' of Beethoven, ‘Requiem of Mozart’, etc. In recent years, Rudi has been dedicated to the discovery, restoration and adaptation of the choral literature of old Albanian authors For the first time, the pieces of great historical importance such as those of Gjergj Danush Llapacaj (XVI century), Jan Kukuzeli (XIII century) and Niketa Dardani (Niketa of Remisiana, from IV century) are showed in front of the Albanian public . These works are becoming part of our standard choral repertoire.

Rudi as a publicist

Rudi is actively involved in journalism. He has over 300 different articles from the field of journalism as well as various articles from the field of aesthetics and musical philosophy. He is the author of many textbooks and theoretical book  (Publisher "Dukagjini"), which completes his creative profile.

"In R. Rudi I see a real musician-composer who possesses special invention and sensitivity"(Claude Ballif, Prof. at the Paris Conservatorium). He represents"one of the most emblematic figures of Albanian / Kosovar culture"(N.Kraja),and undoubtedlyRudi has extraordinary value… and a weight, I would say, key in the pan-Albanian musical art(” (E. Krantja)""Rudi aims to research the deep layers of Albanian music, explores the spirit of this music ... while maintaining the stylistic context corresponding to the newest and most avant-garde currents of today" (A. Temrzhanova-Basha)

Rafet RUDI, anëtar i rregullt i European Academy of Sciences and Arts and a member of Albanian Academy of Arts and Sciences.




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