LEON FIRŠT is attending the second year of Master’s studies at the Academy of Music Ljubljana in the Composition class of Prof. Dušan Bavdek. Born in Slovenia in 1994, he started playing clarinet when he was six and later graduated to percussion at the music high school in his hometown.
As a composer, he has attended international courses with Prof. Kurt Shwertzig, Prof. Dušan Bavdek, Prof. Gyula Fekete, Prof. Stephen McNeff, Prof. Iris Ter Schipforst, and others. He has created more than seventy symphonic, chamber, and solo compositions, which have been performed in Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Serbia and Croatia. He has also composed for music theatre, movies, and theatre plays. His works for younger musicians are repeatedly chosen for obligatory pieces in national competitions. His music is performed by the most renowned Slovenian orchestras and musicians and is included in programs of many respected music festivals.
He is a receiver of the Prešeren award, the highest reward given by the Academy of Music and a receiver of the ”Crystal Mark”, which is awarded to the most successful students in his hometown of Celje. In 2017, he received the Prešeren award of University in Ljubljana for his composition success, which is awarded to the most successful students in Slovenia.

LEON FIRŠT

Composer-Fellow 

GRAND WINNER

The Story of Ifugao

PROGRAM NOTES

“The Story of Ifugao” is processing and developing original tribal folk music material through imaginative orchestration and advanced composition techniques. The focus is on rhythmic invention and modal harmony, but retains all the excitement of classical European post-Romantic musical expression. 

The opening segment portrays the Mumbaki, inspired by a magical healer, wherein the tonal material is introduced, after which the main theme is presented in the “Rice Terraces” section. The second half introduces a more rhythmic contrast with a dance-like character, with the reprise in the final segment leading to a spectacular conclusion.