(b. 21 June 1974, Fier).
Albanian composer, now resident in the USA, of mostly orchestral, chamber and piano works that have been performed in Europe and North America.
Mr. Volaj studied composition with Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis at the State Conservatory of Music in Thessaloníki, where he earned his BMus in 2001. He then studied composition with Vladimir Tarnopolski at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow in 2003 and with Theodore Antoniou and Lukas Foss at Boston University, where he received his MMus in 2003. He studied composition with André Bon and Allain Gaussin at the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau in 2005, on the Fontainebleau Fellowship and Robert Casadesus Fellowship, both from the University of Maryland, College Park, and with Lawrence Moss at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his DMA in 2008.
Among his honours are the Prix pour composition Nadia-Boulanger from the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau (2005, for being the best music student), First Prize in the competition Walsum of the University of Maryland, College Park (2006, for Phos II) and six annual awards from ASCAP (2003–08). His music has been performed in France, Greece, Italy, Russia, and the USA.
He taught counterpoint, fugue and harmony at the Northern Conservatory of Music in Thessaloníki from 1997–2001 and ear training and solfège as an assistant at Boston University from 2001–03. He taught ear training and solfège as an assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2003–08, where he was also a lecturer in music theory in 2007. He has taught music theory, rock music and 20th-century music at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 2008.
He has lived in the USA since 2001.
COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS
Saupade (improvisational text), female actor–soprano, violin, viola, cello, 2005
ION (opera in 7 scenes, libretto by Nick Olcott), 3 mezzo-sopranos, countertenor, 2 baritones, mixed chorus (2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor, 2 baritones), soprano saxophone (+ alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone), piano, 2 percussion, 2007
For Large Orchestra, orchestra (8 winds, 11 brass, harp, 3 percussion, strings), 1999
Fantasy, orchestra (10 winds, 10 brass, piano, 2 percussion, strings), 2004
In Memoriam Witold Lutosławski, large orchestra (12 winds, 11 brass, harp, piano, 2 percussion, strings), 2004
Anoiksi – Spring, symphonic band, 2005
Folk Dances, accordion, 1993
Sonatina, flute, 1996
Fluxus, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, percussion, 2001
For Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 2001
Moments, percussion, 2001
For solo Harp, harp, 2001
For solo Double Bass, double bass, 2002
Lament, French horn, piano, 2002
Moments, flute, clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, 2002
Solo Guitar, guitar, 2002
Short Fantasy, oboe, 2002
Sextet, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, 2002
Trio, clarinet, piano, percussion, 2003
Fantasy, flute, 2003
In Memoriam Bledi Llangozi, cello, 2004
Phos I, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2005
Echoes, clarinet, fixed media (4 tracks), 2005
Phos II, string quartet, 2006
Collage à Pink Floyd, clarinet (+ bass clarinet), electric guitar, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 2006
For Robert Casadesus, flute, harp, viola, 2007
Sequenza, trombone, 2009
Two Songs (Mediterranean Suns – Silver Swanne) (texts by Kenneth Koch, an anonymous source in English), mezzo-soprano, baritone, piano, 2003
Seven Songs (text by Panaiotis Argiropoulos), soprano, clarinet (+ bass clarinet), percussion, live electronics, 2008
For solo Piano, 1999
A Short Variation on a Theme of Theodore Antoniou, 2008