UFA Sextet is a Swiss-based ensemble consisting of six electric guitars. It was founded in early 2020 by former students of the Darmstädter Ferienkurse guitar class, out of the dream of a large-scale project of their tutor Yaron Deutsch and the composer Elena Rykova.
After their first meeting, with a residency at La Muse en Circuit in Paris just before the Covid-19 crisis hit the world, and the intense period of remote working carried out during the months of lockdown in preparation for their online broadcast for the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik on the radio program WDR3, the need became clear for something more. For a place to meet, share ideas, learn from each other and grow together as a group and individuals.
This project brings together six emerging performers operating all over Europe on the common ground of new music. Six seemingly equal acoustic/electric-hybrid instruments differ upon second glance; complementing and interfering with each other on a range from microscopic to interplanetary. An unprecedented formation which aims to enrich, develop and expand the electric guitar musical panorama, exploring its possibilities and finding original ways of creating new music in continuous collaboration with composers and other artists. UFA is an artistic research laboratory, a place of exchange, relationships and cross-contaminations, a self-determined space devoid of dogmatisms and prejudices.
UFA Sextet comprises: Giuseppe Mennuti, Christopher Moy, Francesco Palmieri, Ruben Mattia Santorsa, Alex Tentor, Samuel Toro Pérez.
Giuseppe Mennuti (*1994, IT) began his guitar studies with Davide Cervellino, Michele Greci and Gianvito Pulzone at the Conservatorio “Gesualdo da Venosa” in Potenza. He enrolled at the Conservatorio Superior “Manuel Castillo” in Seville under the guidance of Francisco Bernier. He has performed in numerous concerts in Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and France, earning several awards in music competitions both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. He is currently attending the Master of Arts in Music Performance at the Hochschule der Künste of Bern with Elena Casoli.
Christopher Moy (*1990, US) is a multifaceted performer of diverse inspirations. With a background in classical, jazz, and contemporary music, he works together with prominent composers and performers across Europe as a classical and electric guitarist, vocalist, and improviser. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Christopher is an alumnus of and frequent collaborator with the Zone expérimentale contemporary music collective, co-creator of the Stop, Drop, and Roll trio of modern theatrical music, and e-guitarist of the False Relationships and the Extended Endings new music ensemble and the KlangLab ensemble of new music and scenography.
Francesco Palmieri (*1996, IT) is a classical and electric guitarist. His artistic practice focuses on contemporary music, ranging from free improvisation to music theatre. Winner of numerous scholarships, in 2019 was awarded 1st prize at the Valentino Bucchi International Competition for Interpretation of Contemporary Music (Rome). Beside his solo activity, he is member of Opificio Sonoro (IT) and Shifter Ensemble (CH). After his studies in Italy and Spain, in 2020 he graduated with distinction from the Bern University of the Arts (CH with a MA in Music Performance. He is currently attending the MAS in Contemporary Music at the FHNW Basel Academy of Music.
Ruben Mattia Santorsa (*1992, IT), contemporary music is currently at the heart of his work and his artistic manifesto. He held concerts and lectures in Europe, the US and South America, at Northwestern University of Chicago, CNSM of Paris, Elbphilharmonie, KKL and Musikverein Wien. He played with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Enno Poppe and Marin Alsop, and with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, the Radio Symphonieorchester Wien, the Mosaik, the MDI, and the Contrechamps in festival like Milano Musica, Lucerne Festival and Wien Modern. With Adrian Pereyra he started a new project for two guitars and electronics. He loves to write short stories.
Alex Tentor (*1993, ES) is a classical and electric guitarist based in Belgium. In 2019 he graduated with honors at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Zaragoza, Spain, where he had the chance to work closely with the Spanish composers José María Sánchez Verdú and Alberto Bernal. He also has worked with Tristan Murail, Yaron Deutsch and Mats Scheidegger among others. Alex has collaborated with ensembles like Schallfeld, Vertex Container, Km2 and Ensemble Bayona. Alex is an active commissioner of new pieces for his instrument, collaborating with composers such as Guillermo Cobo or Diego Jiménez Tamame. He currently studies for his Masters under the guidance of Nico Couck.
Samuel Toro Pérez (*1992) is an Austrian-Colombian guitarist and performer. He has studied the classical guitar with Prof. Alvaro Pierri at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna and with Prof. Anders Miolin at the Zurich University of the Arts. As a chamber musician, Samuel regularly performs with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Phace, andother stage and the UFA sextet playing both classical and electric guitar. His solo projects include recitals and performances ranging from Baroque to contemporary music. Samuel currently lives in Zurich, works as a freelance musician and performer and as a tutor in contemporary guitar and chamber music at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna.