Sara Zamboni (1990) is an Italian composer and pianist based in The Hague, The Netherlands. Her musical interests and influences are multiple and diverse. Her composition projects encompass instrumental works, electronic music and combinations for various destinations, privileging music for live performances in theatres and concert halls.
Currently, she is focused on chamber music projects, music for contemporary dance performances and music theatre. Her compositions have been performed in The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Republic of North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Italy and China. She manages her own studio for composition and electronic music production. She also works as a piano accompanist for Modern dance classes at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. She is a member of Nieuw Geneco, the Dutch professional association for composers, a section of ISCM.
She recently founded her own record label, Cytokine Records: an independent record label for electronic music and combinations of electronic music with acoustic instruments. The releases are made with love for whoever has time, curiosity and desire to listen to them.
Sara Zamboni studied for five years at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, The Netherlands. She studied composition with Martijn Padding and Calliope Tsoupaki. Parallelly, she also followed courses in the Institute of Sonology such as 'Composing in the analogue studio' with Kees Tazelaar and 'Audio engineering in electronic music' with Paul Jeukendrup. She achieved a brilliant B.A. degree in Composition and later she graduated for her M.A. with a distinction "for the commitment in creating new forms of mixed acoustic and electronic composition".
She has been selected to take part to the Composer Collider Europe (2017-2020), a composition project launched by the Köln-based Ensemble Musikfabrik. Her composition Lumen de Lumine (2018) has been premiered at the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra (GR) by Ensemble Musikfabrik conducted by Christian Eggen and professionally recorded in Köln in November 2020.
She is currently focussed on composing for acoustic instruments and recordings of these on multichannel fixed media (once known as "tape"). Combining acoustic instruments and their digital counterparts represents a big fascination for her: it requires instrumental knowledge combined with music technology. The main purpose of this, is exploring the relationship between the player and several versions of him/herself, and the consequences in sound and stage presence that they might generate.
She started a series of compositions committing to this combination: A Playful Piece for clarinet and stereo fixed media; Lumen de Lumine for 11 instruments and 6-channels fixed media and Dark Vocalise for voice and 5-channels fixed media. Embarking in such projects required her to develop a strong mentality of team-work, where creative elements and practical aspects are always confronted and discussed with her performers and audio engineers.
Sara is committed to work with specific performers, musicians and creators to guarantee the maximum attention for each-other's creative ideas according to everybody's personal and professional beliefs.
"I am always trying my best to be creative and functional"
Sara developed a strong interest in musicality since early age. She studied and graduated in Classical Piano (Traditional Diploma) at the "Luca Marenzio" Conservatory of Darfo Boario Terme (Brescia) under the teachings of Caterina Vasaturo. She also studied 'harmony, counterpoint and fugue' with Vincenzo Simmarano and 'music analysis' with Marino Pessina. She has been introduced to the world of chamber music thanks to the passion of the pianist Antonio Valentino.
Later on, in the same institution, she met on her way the pianist Andrea Rebaudengo who took her on the trail of modern repertoire and coached her in her Master's Degree together with the sympathetic approach of Marina Baudoux. She achieved her M.A. in Classical piano performance cum laude with a research on "The piano music of Béla Bartók and the rediscovery of the 'popular' element".
Since she moved to The Netherlands to study Composition, she also began studying modern piano repertoire with Gerard Bouwhuis. This represented a life-changing experience for her thanks to Gerard's deep knowledge of repertoire, technique and his always positive teaching approach, passion, musicality, precision and sense of humor.
As a chamber musician, she performed in various concert venues in The Netherlands such as Korzo Theatre, Het Nutshuis, KABK, Theatre De Nieuwe Regentes, Nieuwe Kerk, Arnold Schönbergzaal (Den Haag), Tivoli Vredenburg (Utrecht), De Doelen (Rotterdam), Orpheus Theatre (Apeldoorn), Theater Veluvine (Nunspeet), WWII Flight Hangar (Arnhem).
She participated to the NJO Muziekzomer 2017 together with Isobel Warmelink (violin), Daniele Zamboni (clarinet) and Berber Heerema (cello) presenting Quatrain II by T. Takemitsu, Quatuor pour la fin du temps of Messiaen and her own compositions in a music theatre frame directed by Teus van der Stelt. She took part in the Stockhausen/AUS LICHT opera marathon during Holland Festival 2019 in the Gashouder (Amsterdam) playing piano in Stockhausen's Donnerstag Gruß and synthesizer in Michaels Reise um die Erde, conducted by Adrian Heger.
Since the first lessons in the "Stockhausen Studio", the analogue studio of the Composition Department of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, she developed a strong interest in composing electronic music and in the use of technological means to achieve a certain musical vision. Her first teacher was the producer and songwriter Maurice Bom "Mouse". His eclectic personality, sharp approach and unstoppable creativity stimulated her to find her own way and vision about electronic music. Step by step she managed to acquire the needed pieces of equipment, licenses and facilities to build up her own studio. Some people understood her goals and priorities: investing in the development of her own studio means nurturing the creative possibilities required by the projects she takes part.
Several successful projects have been accomplished by her and her collaborators such as the electronic composition part for Lacrymosa, commissioned by the Harmonie Concordia Obbicht in 2017. This project was very peculiar due to the involvement of two composers: Rob Goorhuis for the instrumental part and Sara Zamboni for the 4-channels fixed media part. The performance of the Harmonie Concordia Obbicht conducted by Alex Schillings was awarded with a gold medal at the WMC Kerkrade in 2017. Her electronic music composition "Suite in a Mental Space" (part 1 & 2) has been nominated for the Tera de Marez Oyens Prize 2018.
She composed electronic music for two events curated by Karin Post for the Schrit_tmacher Festival presented in the SCHUNCK* Glaspaleis in Heerlen (NL): the music for the exposition "Punk+Dans+Kunst: Angry Movements" (2018) and the techno track Techno Giselle for the conference "Romantiek Nu" (2019).
A set of electronic music compositions for Modern and Contemporary dance have been composed thanks to the facilities of her own studio. Enriching the technical possibilities of this studio means investing in her creative independence and vision.
Sara is frequently asked by The Royal Conservatory to lead workshops in the analogue studio of the composition department, especially during the First Year Festival and the Open Days.
"I find very important the concept of 'creative independency'. It starts from having my own tools to make music"
music for dance
Since her early Bachelor's studies, she had the chance to learn and develop her interest in composing for dance. Later on also as a pianist, thanks to the passion and the patience of Joan van der Mast who guided her into the world of modern dance. After some years, Joan is still a source of inspiration due to her strong personality, musicality, creativity and commitment as a dance teacher and educator.
She composed the music for "The Silence of the Bees" (2016), a choreography of Joan van der Mast performed during Dance Fest Skopje 2016 by Skopje Dance Theatre, the first professional contemporary dance company in Macedonia lead by Risima Risimkin.
She composed music for Matea Kiselichka's "JAE: Just About Everyone", a 43-minutes new choreography for the China-CEEC Music and Dance Festival 2019 organised by the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music in Hangzhou (China).
Sara works also as freelance piano accompanist for modern dance at the Dance Department of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague where she plays for modern dance classes, composes music for school performances and helps the students with the music for their soli.