Yati Durant

2023

UK

Composition, Pedagogy

Yati Durant

Yati Durant is a U.S. born composer, lecturer, trumpeter and conductor currently based in the UK.

His first music studies in piano, composition and trumpet began at age 7, earning him many regional prizes and accolades, especially as a jazz musician. In the early 1990’s, he co-founded the experimental jazz ensemble Honey Junkie and directed his own large jazz band The Yati Durant Project Band, composing every piece for each concert. His efforts led to commissions co-funded by the National Endowment of the Arts with Old Town Tribute in 1996. His studies continued with Portland trumpeter Thara Memory before moving to New York, where he began a successful stint as a TV and film music composer writing for clients such as HBO, Walt Disney Productions, Fox, US Army, Jif, Waterman Pens and many others.

After receiving a commission in 1997 from The Juilliard School for his first string symphony The Ship, he began studies in composition at the State Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany with Polish composer Krzysztof Meyer. He studied composition there under Krzysztof Meyer until 2005, and Electronic Composition under Hans Ulrich Humpert until 2006. His critically acclaimed new score to Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin earned him a prestigious first Meisterklasse Konzertexam in 2006. His other teachers include George Crumb, Philip Lasser, Narcis Bonet, Lee Konitz and conducting with Jonathan Brett. In 2021, Yati received a Ph.D. in Composition for his audiovisual compositional research project Saundaryalahari, supervised by Prof. Peter Nelson from the University of Edinburgh.

As a composer, Yati’s compositions and films have received many prizes from International festivals, including a Panorama Public Prize at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival for Erika Rabau – Der Puck von Berlin and a BAFA National Commerce Film Award nomination for the WDR/ARD documentary Ein Klavier geht um die Welt. He is a finalist of the 2009 Concorso Giovani Musicisti Europei in Aosta, Italy with his score to C. Chaplin’s The Vagabond. Recent highlights include his conducting of the Staatsorchester Braunschweig to his 2005 orchestral and electronics score for Battleship Potemkin (1925) at the opening of the Braunschweig International Film Festival and at the Murnau Film and Musikfest, Bielefeld in 2018, and the inclusion of his scores for restored films from the Jean Desmet Dream Factory collection at EYE Amsterdam in 2015. He conducted his commissioned compositional piece *A2 for the 2014 Norman McLaren Centenary at the Playfair Library, Edinburgh. Also, in 2014, Yati worked with the Scottish Documentary Institute to compose the soundtrack to the Commonwealth Games 2014 documentary Sightlines. Highlights in 2012 include commissioned performances for the Polish Consulate, performed by the Edinburgh Quartet of his composition Mazowsze, and premieres of Verse (II) by the Orquestra Sinfoônica de Barra Mansa, Brasil.

His has written in Germany for clients such as ARD and the WDR, and his compositions and film scores have been published on CD and DVD by Film Dienst/Normal Records and Filmmuseum München. He also has an international profile as a performer of jazz trumpet and electroacoustic music, and has performed in Italy, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, India, France, Brazil and in the United Kingdom.

Yati held the post of Lecturer in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image at the University of Edinburgh from 2010-19. During this time, he lectured and undertook research in composition, film composition, orchestration, music analysis, music in social contexts, and music technology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His most significant accomplishment was the MSc in Composition for Screen, which he designed and directed and quickly became one of the most renowned and influential postgraduate programmes of its kind in Europe. He is frequently invited to hold lectures, symposia, masterclasses and workshops in composition, composition for screen, improvisation and performance at major Conservatories and Universities across Europe, India and China. He holds advisory and organisation roles at several International film festivals, such as the Festival International du Film d’Aubagne and the World Festival of Animated Film Varna, and regularly contributes to their programmes and workshops. He is currently serving as Visiting Professor of Conducting and Film Music at Conservatorio di Musica Francesco Venezze Rovigo, Italy, Director of the International Media Music and Sound Arts Network in Education (IMMSANE) and lecturer for Thinkspace Education UK. He is Orchestra Mentor-in-Residence for the WDR Funkhausorchester in the 2021 - 2023 concert seasons.