Photo by Eric de Vries
Cradled in a merging cultural hybridism in Indonesia, it is for Alfian a blasphemy to cage music in one single box. Growing up with pop, rock, Indonesian folk and traditional music, he studied classical music at home from the age of 9 with his father Yoesbar Djaelani, who taught him harmony, counterpoint and orchestration before he even started to play the cello at the age of 13.
Alfian Emir Adytia studied cello in Sekolah Menengah Musik Yogyakarta (High School of Music Yogyakarta) in 2008-2011, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta) in 2011-2016 and Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in 2017-2019. In parallel, he benefited from cello lessons and masterclasses from external teachers. These experiences led Alfian to several achievements as a cellist such as The Best Performance Prize in the 2013 Zhang Jia Jie International Country Music Week (China), 2nd prize in 2018 Asten Classic Award (The Netherlands), 1st prize in 2018 Willem Twee Chamber Music Competition (The Netherlands) and Artist-in-Residence of the 2021 International Cello Festival Zutphen. A path / A classical training that didn’t stop Alfian from playing Metallica and Bach with the same intensity. A borderless genre sensitivity that we can find in the wide range of festivals and orchestras in which he performed like Amsterdam Cello Biënnale, Amsterdam Minimal Music Festival, Nationaal Jeugdhorkest, Dordrechts Kamerorkest, Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra, Nusantara Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival, Festival Dag In De Branding, Bachfestival Dordrecht, Jazz In De Gracht, Opera Forward Festival, Gaudeamus Muziekweek and Tong Tong Fair.
Alfian’s cellist background nurtured his approach to composition at the crossroads of a wide range of borderless influences. Composing various music for solo instrument, ensembles, songs, electronics and orchestra for which Alfian won in 2016 the 1st prize in Composition Competition 50 Years Of Blessings Avip Priatna (Jakarta), and has been commissioned by Kompas Gramedia, Jakarta Concert Orchestra, Jakarta City Philharmonic and ISI Yogyakarta Student Orchestra. Cello has been an integral part in Alfian’s composition process. His journey as a cellist and composer inspired him to create new cello etudes commissioned by the Cello Academie Zutphen for educational purposes. Towards his contemporary cello exploration, he blended together his cello experiments with musical influences from his roots which inspired him to the composition of his first opera for World Opera Lab. All these roads led Alfian to produce six albums that express his vision of syncretism : - Nachtmusik (2016), ANIMINIMAL (2019), Complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Cello (2020), Death of Beauty (2021), Dendang (2021) and Textures (2022)