Following a record number of applicants to our open call, five artists have been selected for this year’s hcmf// shorts and will feature in an extensive programme alongside other curated free performances.

These short performances provide a platform for emerging artists to perform at the UK’s leading new music festival. Each short will present either new works or an innovative interpretation of existing contemporary pieces.

The programme includes an eclectic mix of solo instrumental performers, electro-acoustic music, contemporary and experimental compositions as well as audio-visual work.

The concerts will take place in venues across Huddersfield on Monday 20 November and admission is free.

The five successful applicants are:

  • Gilles Grimaître
  • Kevin Fairbairn
  • LUX:NM
  • Passepartout Duo
  • Sukitoa o Namau

Gilles Grimaître: Swiss pianist / improviser / performer

Gilles studied the piano at the Hochschule der Künste Bern with Prof. Pierre Sublet where he received his Master Performance diploma with distinction. He also studied the organ and

composition with Xavier Dayer.  Gilles is very active in the contemporary music field and performs regularly in Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and with ensembles such as Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Proton. He is also a member of the Collegium Novum Zürich and founding member of the young Ensemble Lemniscate.

Gilles Grimaître won the first prize at the 2013 Nicati competition for contemporary music and also won the scholarship holder at the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt/ Main for the academic year 2013-2014.

Kevin Fairbairn

American trombonist Kevin Fairbairn performs regularly throughout central Europe, and specializes in the performance of contemporary and experimental music.  In 2013 he moved to Switzerland to work with Mike Svoboda at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel.  Since then he has performed regularly as a freelance trombonist with Klangforum Wien and Collegium Novum Zürich, where he is a member.

He collaborates frequently with young composers and has premiered many pieces.  He is committed to the exploration of new techniques and media in the language of contemporary trombone, and develops these ideas in solo, multimedia, and improvisation settings.

Kevin Fairbairn has also worked as a brass instrument maker.  He apprenticed with George McCracken in Barhamsville, Virginia, and also worked for the S.E. Shires Company in Boston. He has built and repaired all manner of brass instruments and performs on a trombone of his own design and construction.

He studied in America at the University of Maryland, College Park, Bowling Green State University, and Boston University, and since 2014 has lived in Vienna. Since 2016 he is working towards a PhD from Leiden University through the docARTEs program of the Orpheus Institute in Ghent.


  • Ruth Velten – saxophones
  • Florian Juncker – trombone
  • Silke Lange – accordion
  • Malgorzata Walentynowicz – piano/keyboard
  • Lucy Railton – violoncello
  • Martin Offik – sound engineer

LUX:NM contemporary music ensemble berlin is a soloist ensemble for new music that has rapidly developed into an internationally sought-after ensemble.

Saxophonist Ruth Velten and accordionist Silke Lange founded the ensemble in 2010 with the goal of creating self­-designed and varied concert programmes with a flexible instrumentation.

Working without a conductor, the ensemble dedicates itself to the performance of contemporary music as well as to initiating the creation of new works, by regularly commissioning them. Through intensive ensemble work and close collaborations with composers, the ensemble develops new projects in which electronics and genre-transcending ideas very naturally find their place.

Passepartout Duo

Formed by pianist Nicoletta Favari and percussionist Christopher Salvito, Passepartout Duo is based in Brussels, Belgium.

The duo’s musicians are known for their tireless advocacy of new works for the instrumentation and the compelling films they create. Drawing from their international backgrounds, the group seeks to champion ideas that cross aesthetic boundaries through new collaborations. They have concertized extensively in both America and Europe, and were awarded fellowships at the Yale School of Music’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and at Eighth Blackbird’s Creative Lab. They have been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre, The Crosshatch Centre for Art and Ecology, and Avaloch Farm.

Recently, they collaborated with the animator Anna Van Riel on her most recent short by providing original music and sound. Their presentation at hcmf// focuses on gesture as a starting point for composition.

Sukitoa o Namau

Sukitoa o Namau is a sound artist, performer and researcher from Morocco.  She uses sound to delve into concepts and processes like fascination, hypnosis, aura and trance. Her background is rooted in contemporary dance, performing and visual arts.

She joined the Art Dance International’s school in Toulouse in 2009 for a 3-year training course and has followed an academic path in Performing Arts and Theatre Studies since 2010. In 2013, she created her dance company UCHRONIE and directed Des fleurs pour Schrödinger, for which she composed and performed a sound environment.

Last year, she was awarded the prestigious ‘Andreas Robbins Scholarship’ by the UPA (Underground Producers Alliance), a consortium of underground producers, MC’s and engineers founded by Scotty Hard (Wu Tang Clan), HPrizm (Anti Pop Consortium) and Raz Mesinai (Badawi, SubDub) in NY.

In 2017, she released her debut EP Nari, and has been chosen as a featured artist for Taqsim, a platform that enables musicians and producers from the MENA region to communicate through sound, improvisation and collaboration, in cooperation with Mideast Tunes.