Evis Sammoutis, composer and guitarist, was born in Cyprus in 1979, where he had his first musical lessons at the age of six. By the age of sixteen, he had already obtained both the LRSM and the Performance and Teaching Diploma with distinction before moving to England in 1998 for university studies.
Upon graduation from the University of Hull with a first class degree (BMus) in all disciplines, he completed his PhD studies in Musical Composition at the University of York under the supervision of Dr Thomas Simaku. Evis has also furthered his studies at world-renowned festivals, seminars and workshops, including Darmstadt, IRCAM, Royaumont and Tanglewood as a composition fellow, working with leading composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Georges Aperghis, George Benjamin, Johannes Schollhorn and Augusta Read Thomas.
Following his PhD studies, Evis was awarded a Wingate Foundation Scholarship (2005 – 2007) to pursue his compositional research more independently, whilst teaching Composition and Orchestration at Nottingham University (2005 – 2007) and guitar performance at York University (2002 – 2007). Evis also taught composition at Hull University in 2006. He is currently Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the European University Cyprus, having also served as scientific collarobator to the same institution prior to this appointment.
Evis’ works have been commissioned by festivals and organizations such as Venice Biennale, Klangspuren, Royaumont and ARD, performed at leading festivals and contemporary music series such as Tanglewood, MusicNOW, Gaudeamus, Music of Today and ISCM in more than forty countries throughout Europe, America, Africa and the Far East and broadcast on several national radio stations throughout Europe, America and the Far East such as BBC Radio 3, SWR2, Radio France, RAI3.
The composer has received numerous accolades and over thirty-five compositional awards, prizes, scholarships and recognition at competitions including the Royal Philharmonic Society Award (England), the Irino Prize (Japan), Franz Liszt Scholarship (Germany), first prizes at the Andres Segovia (Spain), Look and Listen (USA) and Dundee (Scotland) competitions, second prizes at Concours Dutilleux (France), Jurgenson (Russia), Y.A Papaioannou (Greece) and Samobor (Croatia) competitions, special prize at the Fifth Annual Composition Contest
Performers include leading ensembles and specialists in new music such as the Ensemble Modern, the Arditti, KAIROS, Kreutzer, Doelen, Zephyr and Prometeo String Quartets, Ensemble Nomad, Ensemble Aleph, EXAUDI, Het Collectief, New York Woodwind Quintet, Arirang and Chantily Quintets, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Endymion, members of Philharmonia Orchestra; orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symfonia, the Orchestra of Opera North and the Athens Symphony Orchestra; as well as soloists such as David Alberman, Alan Thomas, Movses Pogossian, Rohan de Saram, Sarah Leonard, Julian Warburton, Adrian Spillett and John Potter, to name but a few. Conductors include Christoph Poppen, Elgar Howarth, Kasper de Roo and Franck Ollu, among others.
Evis is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Pharos Arts Foundation International Contemporary Music Festival, established in 2009. This annual festival, now in its sixth year, is the first of its kind not only in Cyprus but also in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The festival has already presented over forty commissioned world premieres by notable young and established composers, which were performed by some of the world’s leading ensembles.
Evis was recently selected to continue to the third and final year of The San Fedele Prize in Milan, Italy, and has also served as Coordinator of the Iannis Xenakis – in Memoriam International Conference that was recently held in Nicosia. In 2012, he completed new works for the New York Woodwind Quintet, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment, a new orchestral work commissioned by the Athens Symphony Orchestra, two new string quartets for the Arditti Quartet and Quartet Prometeo and a short work for the London Symphony Orchestra. In the 2013 season he composed the set piece for the bassoon and piano category of the 2013 Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD München in addition to new large ensemble works for Klangforum Wien and Ensemble Modern and a new composition for five singers for the Neue Vocalsolisten.