UC School of Music is very proud to present the Virtuosity Series to be performed at the Arts Centre during the Christchurch Arts Festival of 2017 in August and September this year. The Virtuosity Series is a three-part series that features different disciplines. Professor Mark Menzies, Head of Performance, School of Music talks about how the programme features the idea that “sound itself has its own kind of incandescent virtuosity”.
Virtuosity of Sound is the first installment of the series and as Mark describes, there is a certain openness in the music and it has been composed in such a way that allows the performer to explore in the moment the sound created by the virtuosity on display. The audience will be treated to the ultimate capacity of the instruments themselves, and also in the diverse collective of instruments involve, for example, the Balinese Gamelan features as an exotic instrument.
One of the pieces featured is ‘Concerto for Active Frogs’ by Anne LeBaron. Mark is “particularly delighted to include this piece which features improvisation with the musicians being free to contribute their own voice and sounds”.
Virtuosity of Percussion is the second installment of the Series and features Senior Music Lecturer Dr. Justin DeHart on percussion. He has selected a piece called ‘Anvil Chorus’ by American composer David Lang. Justin explains that Lang was inspired by Blacksmiths’ use of rhythm to distinguish their beating patterns on metal to create new tools, while Justin himself is inspired by the constant construction noise as he settles as a new resident in Christchurch. He says, “the natural occurrence of hammering polyrhythms sang out from a construction site, reminds me how basic and productive rhythm can be”.
Justin says that each of the four movements of the piece explore a different single sound source (conga, cymbal, glockenspiel, and tambourine) that is manipulated through live electronic processing. He has chosen “works for this concert that highlight the diverse aspect of percussion” and in his performance he hopes that in a small way his “hitting of stuff” will also add to the exciting and creative rebuild of Christchurch.
The final of the three arts festival concerts, the Virtuosity of the Viola/Violin, is the first of four concerts Mark will be presenting this year at the School of Music. The series is called ‘4 in the time of 7’, and will feature Mark’s virtuosic playing described by a reviewer in Los Angeles as “a penned-up Paganini”.
While the Virtuosity of Percussion and the Virtuosity of Viola/Violin are presentations of more traditional repertoire, they will feature works that people are not likely to have heard before.
Thursday 31 August, 7.00-9.00pm
Monday 4 September, 7.00-9.00pm
Sunday, 17 September 5.00-7.00pm
School of Music Recital Room, UC Arts,
The Arts Centre of Christchurch, 3 Hereford Street
TICKETS: $20 / Concession $10
BUY TICKETS: www.artsfestival.co.nz/virtuosity-series