Born in Beja (now Portugal), in 1040, Al‐Mu’tamid is one of the greatest writers of the Al‐Andalus (Iberian Peninsula under Muslim government, between 711‐1492 AD). After having been governor of Silves, Al‐Mu’tamid became the king of the taifa of Seville in the year 1069. Defeated by Yusuf Ibn Tasufin, Al‐Mu’tamid was forced into exile in Morocco where he died in prison at Agmat after writing is own epitaph (1095).
Elegia a Al-Mu’tamid is an homage to the forgotten king‐poet, who was one of the most lyrical poets of the splendorous Al‐Andalus. His poetry, torn between an auspicious and glorious past and a miserable forgotten present, reflects both his own life aspirations and the beginning of the fall of a flourishing cultural period in Iberian Peninsula. Commissioned by American Composers Orchestra and written for its Orchestra Underground Ensemble to be premiered on October 14, 2011, the work is based on Al‐Mu’tamid’s own poetic metrical formulae and its development throughout his life.