Heloisa Amaral appointed as new director of Ultima

The board of Ultima have employed Heloisa Amaral – curator, pianist and music researcher – as the Festival’s new head and artistic director.

Amaral, originally from Brazil, comes from a previous position as project leader in the European contemporary music network Ulysses and has many years of experience within the new music world. She brings with her a wide Norwegian and international network. She will take up the position on 1 February 2023 for a five year period.

Ultima’s chairman, Yngve Slettholm, comments: ‘We are delighted to be hiring Heloisa Amaral as Ultima’s new leader and artistic director. She has a many-sided background, solidly based in Norway’s music scene, and a reliably international perspective. Her experience, both as a virtuoso performer and in academic circles, will also be of enormous value to us. We look forward to Ultima’s continuing progress under her leadership.’

Heloisa Amaral has been living in Norway since 2003 and has been active as a freelance pianist and member of contemporary music ensembles including Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, asamisimasa and Ensemble neoN. She has previously worked as a curator and project leader at both Ultima and NyMusikk.

Alongside her work as a musician and project leader for Ulysses, Amaral has recently taken her PhD in artistic research at the Orpheus Institute in Belgium and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Heloisa Amaral says:

‘Someone once wrote of Ultima that the purpose of the festival was to bring new impulses to a ‘small culture’. This is no longer the case. Today Ultima is a pace-setter in the world of contemporary music, both nationally and internationally.

‘This is all due to formidable efforts from Ultima’s members and artists. Year after year, they all contribute to making a programme that challenges boundaries between musical genres and artforms, and which breathes new life into more traditional musical approaches.

‘Beyond this, what can Ultima be? As well as presenting the usual range of exciting productions, in the years to come we will also focus on what happens ‘backstage’. Together with Ultima’s artists, audiences and members, we’re going to explore the idea of Ultima as an open workshop and laboratory for developing artistic techniques and collaborations. In these disturbing times, how can Ultima contribute to new perspectives on how we can cooperate and relate to one another and the world around us?’

Ultima Festival is the largest contemporary music festival in northern Europe, taking place every year in September. Ultima is run as a Foundation. 18 institutions and organisations from Norwegian music and culture contribute to the festival and act as members of the foundation’s board.

For more information, please contact:
Yngve Slettholm, chairman, yngvesl@hotmail.com, +47 480 82 621
Heloisa Amaral, heloisa@ultima.no, +47 456 67 873

Photo: Ellen Inga / Impossible Situations

Published Friday, 6 January 2023