Sara Zamboni (Italy - 1990) is an academically trained composer, classical pianist and creative coach based in 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. She is mostly interested in chamber music projects, contemporary music theatre, music for dance choreography & movement research.
Her works have been performed in The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Republic of North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Italy, France and China. She has been nominated as one of the six composers for the Dutch submission for the ISCM World New Music Days 2021 in Shanghai and Nanning (China) organised by the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM).
She is a member of Nieuw Geneco, the Dutch association of professional composers.
In 2020 she founded Cytokine Records, an independent record label for experimental electronic music. Her online releases are made with love for whoever has time, curiosity and desire to listen to them. Many tracks are regularly used in Modern & Contemporary dance pedagogy in The Netherlands and abroad.
Besides her various activities as a creator, she works at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague where she performs teaching/coaching roles in different departments: in the Dance department as a pianist for Modern dance classes, creative coach, audio & music designer for the soli of Contemporary dance. She also leads workshops in the analogue studio of electronic music of the Composition Department during the First Year Festival, the Open Days and the new Orientation Course: Composition, Sonology, ArtScience. From the Academic Year 2023-2024 she teaches the subject "Creative Coaching" for the 4th year Bachelor students of Studio Production in the Art of Sound department.
By her own initiative, she often organises composition courses & workshops for amateurs, students and semi-professionals to give an opportunity to creative people to get in touch with Contemporary music, its repertoire, styles and forms. She organised a public presentation of the works of her students during the 'Dag van de Componist 2022 & 2023', to generate awareness around the process of making music and the necessity to expose it to an audience.
She believes in the strong connection between body / mind / health / creativity / expression / communication. Therefore, she regularly takes Modern dance & Stott pilates lessons from Joan van der Mast and other guest teachers at the New Dance Center in The Hague; movement language and contemporary improvisation workshops led by ex-NDT dancer and choreographer Amos Ben Tal (Off-Projects). During her free time she goes figure skating on the ice.
Sara's musical adventure began at early age. She has always been fascinated by strange sounds, complex rhythms, ethnic & folk music and non-verbal forms of communication. She also got a lot of inspiration from the various programmes broadcasted by the Italian cultural radio RAI Radio3.
She embarked in the academic studies for classical piano under the guidance of Caterina Vasaturo at the "L. Marenzio" Conservatory of Darfo Boario Terme (Brescia). She graduated in the Traditional Diploma. She had the chance to expand her music knowledge thanks to Antonio Valentino (chamber music), Marino Pessina (music analysis), Vincenzo Simmarano (harmony, counterpoint and fugue, composition).
Later on, she met on her way the pianist Andrea Rebaudengo who took her on a journey through the XX Century piano repertoire. She graduated cum laude for her Classical piano Master's degree with a thesis on "The piano music of Béla Bartók and the research on the folk element" under his teachings and the precious help of Marina Baudoux.
She moved to The Netherlands to complete her Composition studies at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. In the meantime she continued to study piano and chamber music with Gerard Bouwhuis, with a special attention to the Modern and Contemporary repertoire.
She played as a soloist as well as in chamber music groups in various concert venues and notable international festivals such as Korzo Theatre, Theater De Nieuwe Regentes, Het Nutshuis (Den Haag), 'Gaudeamus Festival' (Tivoli-Vredenburg) in Utrecht, 'NJO Muziekzomer 2017' in Apeldoorn and Nunspeet & in the 'Takemitsu Festival' (De Doelen) in Rotterdam with Pulse Wave Quartet. She performed in 'Holland Festival 2019' in Amsterdam where she participated in Stockhausen/AUS LICHT, a production in collaboration with The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, the Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Holland Festival and the Karlheinz Stockhausen Foundation.
She studied Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, The Netherlands, under the teachings of Martijn Padding and Calliope Tsoupaki. She achieved a brilliant B.A. degree in Composition and later on she graduated for her M.A. with distinction: "For the commitment in creating new forms of mixed acoustic and electronic composition". At the same time, 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. These two classes in particular gave a boost to her analytical approach to music technology.
As a composer, she has been selected to take part to the Composer Collider Europe (CCE) 2017-2020, a composition project launched by the Köln-based Ensemble Musikfabrik. Her composition Lumen de Lumine has been premiered at the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra (GR) 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.
Her music theatre piece Dark Vocalise, written and performed by the Italian mezzo-soprano Elena Lorenzi, has been selected for the first edition of the Playground Festival 2022 in Korzo Theater in The Hague.
She has been selected as one of the composers for the Royaumont Academy 2023 in Asnières-sur-Oise (FR). Her new piece for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano was premiered during the Festival de Royaumont on September 10th 2023 by Johanna Vargas (Neue Vocal Solisten) and Ensemble Court-Circuit.
She developed a strong interest in composing electronic music from the analogue studio perspective and the use of analogue gears to achieve a richer musical vision without losing the contact with "the instrument" and its physicality. Step by step she managed to acquire the needed pieces of equipment, licenses and facilities to have her own studio and release her electronic music under her own label Cytokine Records.
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 has been awarded with a gold medal at the WMC 2017 in Kerkrade.
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).
Music for Dance & Choreography
Alongside playing piano for the Modern dance classes at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, she also creates original music for choreographies in professional dance education and for dance companies.
"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.
As a commission from the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music (ZJCM) in Hangzhou (China), she composed the music for Matea Kiselichka's "JAE: Just About Everyone", a 43-minutes new choreography for the China-CEEC Music and Dance Festival 2019.