For Those Who Died Trying

“Performed with intensity and poise by the Mivos Quartet…the resulting
[musical] tributes are poignant.”
– Steph Power, BBC Music Magazine
“Frank Horvat’s string quartet ‘For Those Who Died Trying’ is a musical outcry
against the constant violation of human rights in Thailand and a sensitive
portrait of [37] exceptional people. It’s a profound, moving and ultimately
timeless album.”
– Maxi Einenkel, Klassik Magazine
“It is impossible to escape Frank Horvat’s mystical hypothesis that music
is somehow part of all human DNA…a testament to the genius of Horvat
that he is able to craft this into each segment of this unique 35-movement string quartet.”
– Raul da Gama, WholeNote Magazine

“What is curious is how he seems to succeed in evoking these people
purely through sound… Each movement takes on its individual character
but retains a larger connection to the work as a whole.”

– Allan J. Cronin, New Music Buff
“These compositions are gifts, tenderly composed and gorgeously played…
They are universally moving.”
– Richard Allen, A Closer Listen

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World-renowned Mivos Quartet records the 35-movement string quartet, The Thailand HRDs, by Canadian composer Frank Horvat. This piece was inspired by the photo essay, For Those Who Died Trying, by photographer Luke Duggleby.
For Those Who Died Trying presents photographs of murdered or abducted environmental Human Rights Defenders in Thailand by placing a portrait of the victim, when possible at the exact place where they were murdered or went missing. “We wanted this photo exhibition to expose the situation of human rights defenders in Thailand and support their legitimate quest for justice,” said Liliana De Marco Coenen, Executive Director of Protection International.
The Thailand HRDs presents each photo in a 2-minute classical string-quartet composition utilizing just the musical pitches/letters found in the names of each victim – implanting their unique musical DNA in every piece. “This music is not intended to be purely melancholic but have a tinge of defiance so the memory of these heroes lives on and will hopefully spur listeners to find their inner activist and fight for what they feel is important in this world,” explains Frank Horvat, the composer.

Protection International

“It is vital, for the victims and the families, that their fight and their death should not be forgotten and left unrecognized,” Luke Duggleby

(composition commissioned by Protection International)

Part of the 35-photo essay, For Those Who Died Trying, by Luke Duggleby and Protection International

Women Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), Ms. Montha Chukaew, 54, and Ms. Pranee Boonrat, 50, were shot and killed while on their way to a local market on November 19, 2012. They were members of the Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT). The SPFT is a landless peasants’ network formed in 2008 campaigning for the right to agricultural land. The bodies of these HRDs were mutilated by the gunmen, to intimidate the community. View all 35 photos at –

Frank interviews Pranom Somwong, Thai Human Rights Activist, Lawyer affiliated with Protection International (start listening at 28:30)

Project Partners:

About PROTECTION INTERNATIONAL: International non-profit organization that provides protection strategies and tools for security management to human rights defenders who are at risk.

About LUKE DUGGLEBY: Award-winning British freelance photographer who has been based in Asia for 15 years shooting documentary, portraiture and editorial assignments for media and clients including National Geographic, Al Jazeera, TIME, and the New York Times.

About FRANK HORVAT: One of the most inventive songwriters to come out of the contemporary scene in Canada (WholeNote Magazine), this award-winning Toronto-based composer’s music explores a wide array of themes from love to social justice issues.

About MIVOS QUARTET: This New York Quartet has earned a reputation as one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles (The Chicago Reader) and is active in performing works by contemporary composers and presenting new music to diverse audiences all across the world.

Recording funded in part thanks to generous support from:

Recording funded in part thanks to the Ontario Arts Council

Recording funded in part thanks to the Toronto Arts Council

For Those Who Died Trying - composed by Frank Horvat, photography by Luke Duggleby / Protection International
#music4HRDs (worldwide social media string quartet video initiative)


Classical Chamber


Mivos Quartet – Olivia De Prato (violin), Lauren Cauley Kalal (violin), Victor Lowrie Tafoya (viola), Mariel Roberts (cello)

Composed By

Frank Horvat

Produced By

Frank Horvat

Recorded At

The Canterbury Music Co. by Jeremy Darby and Julian Decorte,
August 2018

Mastered By

Dennis Patterson

Cover Photo

Luke Duggleby / Protection International

Cover Design

inspired by Christy Morgan


ATMA Classique

Release Date

16 November 2018

The silent portraits, looking small and vulnerable in their settings…looking back at the viewer from the scene of their last terrifying moments.
– The New York Times

We are moved by the sensitivity and integrity of the work. This passionate and heartfelt music carries an emotional message to the audience.
– Jury, Kathleen McMorrow Music Award

An essential recording.
– James Strecker Reviews the Arts

Story behind the tracks

01-35 The Thailand HRDs*

*winner of the inaugural Kathleen McMorrow Music Award

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