Young Artist Interview: Adam Kornas

At the time of writing this, I have just arrived home from a wonderful concert at the Austrian Cultural Forum. The concert was in a lovely, ornate, medium sized room, which was the perfect setting for an evening of intimate chamber music. And it was another opportunity, generously provided by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, to hear one of my compositions being performed.

It was in October 2012 that I first became involved with the Worshipful Company of Musicians, by winning the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Composition Prize. This competition was established and supported by the Worshipful Company as an opportunity for young composers to demonstrate their skill and creativity. For this competition, I wrote a String Quintet named ‘Paradise Regained,’ inspired by the epic poem of the same name by John Milton. The music starts very dark and lost, moves through passion and despair, but then ends in peace. This journey from darkness to light loosely reflects the journey between Milton’s, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

Shortly after winning the Lord Mayor’s Composition Prize, I was invited to become a Yeoman of the company. It has been a privilege over the last year and a half to see at close hand the work that the company does for the young musicians it supports, as well as encouraging classical music in schools with the wonderful outreach programme. The company also really helps its Yeomen create connections with other Yeomen and the music industry.

In addition to my work as a composer, I am an aspiring conductor and will begin my studies for a master’s degree in conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in September. Whilst going through my audition process, the Company put me in touch with fellow Yeoman conductor Ed Farmer, who shared his experience and advised me on the best conservatories to apply for. More recently the Company has generously given me the opportunity of a premiere of Paradise Regained in the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival in June.

Other recent composition activity includes the premiere of my first ballet, and a commission from the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. The ballet was premiered at The Brindley Theatre in Cheshire and is based on the intriguing story of King Edward VIII’s relationship with Wallis Simpson before he abdicated. And I’m really looking forward to my collaboration with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra which will culminate in a performance of the new work in March 2015.

One thing that particularly strikes me about the members of the Worshipful Company of Musicians is their sheer enthusiasm for classical music, and for promoting it through the young musicians that they support. I witnessed this again at the concert tonight and it reminds me how lucky all young musicians are to be dedicated to something that can bring so much enjoyment to so many.