Tag Archives: music

School of Music to host Grammy award nominated quartet

The UC School of Music Kura Puoro is delighted to be hosting the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ) in September. A special one-night-only concert in The Great Hall at the Arts Centre is being presented on Monday September 23. This concert forms the second in a series of three concerts in partnership with The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.

Senior Lecturer, Dr. Justin DeHart is one of the founding members of this world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble. Since 2009, the LAPQ has forged a distinct identity that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartet.

Percussion quartet has gained popularity over the last two decades with the advent of DIY chamber groups and the rise of post-minimal music making combining rock aesthetics with electronica and experimental genres. Justin says, “The dynamic as a musician in quartet is just pure fun: the give and take and communicative aspect of a more intimate group”.

For LAPQ the percussion quartet medium has been an exciting medium to explore and commission new repertoire. There just isn’t the hundreds of years of percussion quartets available to use from Beethoven, Brahms, and even Stravinsky. LAPQ’s “classic” repertoire is not yet a hundred years old!

Justin is particularly excited to share his new home country with his fellow quartet members. “I am excited to introduce the group to all the wonderful people I have met here, and have some time for them to experience a bit of the culture.”

While in Christchurch LAPQ will also perform a concert with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra playing the world premiere of Gyre (Ghosts with Accents), a piece written for them by UC lecturer and Adjunct Senior Fellow, James Gardner. James says, “I feel doubly lucky to have been offered this commission. For one thing, being asked to write for the LAPQ is an honour, as well as a technical challenge. I was keen to draw on the players’ expertise and finesse on many instruments as well as their enthusiasm and – here and there – their improvisational skills. The second aspect is to write for the CSO, whose programmes over the last few years have been consistently innovative and have featured New Zealand composers.”

James took the “slightly unusual decision” to focus on ‘unpitched’ percussion in his writing for solo quartet. He says this was “partly because I didn’t want to rely on pitch/harmony for the quartet writing (the orchestra is large enough to provide harmony) and partly because I wanted to showcase the subtleties and richness that can be drawn from such a variety of objects in the hands of such fabulous performers.”

The concert in the Great Hall on September 23 will be their New Zealand debut performance solely as a quartet.

This concert will feature modern works written for percussion quartet with and without electronics. They will perform some of their signature recent commissions from the West Coast of the United States alongside some seminal classics from the region. The concert will feature virtuosic displays of rhythm, sound, light, and movement on over 60 different percussion instruments from around the world, including drums, marimbas, conch shells, tin cans, cricket callers, wooden rulers, and a lion’s roar.

“Percussion still has an aspect of novelty despite it coming out of from the back of the orchestra in the early 20th century”, Justin says. “I think that when people normally think of percussion, they think of loud repeated rhythm, and perhaps barbaric rituals. With our concerts, audiences will be able to experience an often neglected side of percussion—a side of percussion that is far more expressive, sophisticated, and intriguing.”

Tickets for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet at The Great Hall can be purchased online for $20 waged, $10 unwaged. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the cutting edge of what percussion quartets are currently capable of!

The Beauty of Chamber Music set to delight this weekend!

The UC School of Music | Kura Puoro are delighted to be partnering with The Arts Centre | Te Matatiki Toi Ora to present the first in an annual series of three unique concerts in the stunning Great Hall.  The first concert is this Sunday, August 11. This concert will feature a beautiful programme of chamber music, and guest violinist, Isaac Shatford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A semi-finalist in the 2018/2019 National Concerto Competition, former concertmaster of NZSSSO, a member of the Dunedin and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras, and a prize-winning composer, Isaac is a fantastic musician.

Isaac is no stranger to chamber music. His piece for a string quartet, Frost and Fire, won him the composer award at the New Zealand Chamber Music Contest in 2014 and was recorded by Radio New Zealand’s Concert Programme. He also says that, “I probably enjoy playing chamber music the most. Concertos and showpieces are fun, but you constantly feel as if you’re under a microscope. The pieces I’ve enjoyed most have been where I’ve been collaborating with awesome people, and working towards something much bigger than my part alone.” (Interview with Down in Edin magazine, 2018)

The concert is a celebration the beauty of chamber music, with winter delights for the soul. It will feature music by Isaac Shatford, Charles Ives “transcendent” 3rd violin sonata played by UC professor Mark Menzies and local piano star Yifan Yang, and music by Beethoven and Leclair.

Other concerts in this series include the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet on Monday September 23, and Sing! Sing! Sing! a concert of vocal fireworks, percussion masterpieces and much more on 13 October.

The Beauty of Chamber Music will be held in the Great Hall at 2pm, Sunday August 11. Tickets are available online at this link – $20 (waged) or $10 (unwaged). Come along and feed your soul!

CELEBRATING FRESH THINKING: PROFESSORIAL LECTURE SERIES

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Richard Watt and Professor Jędrzej Białkowski in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday 1 August from 4.30 – 6.00pm

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

“The Economics of Music and the Music of Economics” – Presented by Professor Richard Watt, Department of Economics & Finance

Economics, in one way or another, is concerned with decision making – choosing the optimal course of action from among those available. As such, one of the principal applications of economics is to study decision making along the value chain of goods and services in an economy, or more generally, decision making in “markets”. A study of a market begins with the entrepreneurial actions of bringing together inputs (raw materials, labour, capital, etc.) to create something useful, then the resulting goods and services must be made available to the consuming public (decisions around transportation, and retailing), and finally the consumers themselves decide which of them to consume (depending on their income, their preferences, and the prices of the goods and services that are available). Of all of the goods and services that circulate in an economy, “music” is one of the most fascinating, with a series of particular circumstances that have tested standard economic theory in many ways. In this talk, Professor Watt will outline the economics of the “music market”, touching on its special characteristics and the economic institutions that have evolved, and that continue to evolve, to contribute to the music market being functional, profitable, and welfare enhancing.

“Greener than a Greenback: Might the idea of socially responsible investing change the finance industry?” – Presented by Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski, Department of Economics and Finance. 

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the idea of socially responsible (or sustainable and responsible) investing (SRI) has become increasingly popular, attracting a substantial amount of investors’ money and moving from a niche investing strategy to a mainstream one. SRI market participants typically seek to achieve financial returns combined with consideration of some aspect of firms’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) profiles. Given the rapid proliferation of green financial products, the increasing assets under management and the differences across the products, it is important to understand this growth and the investor demand behind it.

Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski will discuss the past, current trends and the challenges faced by so-called green finance. In particular, he will focus on the behaviour of SRI investors and the performance of different types of assets in terms of risk/return profile and exposure to ESG values. Light will be shed on the importance of regulations for the development of socially responsible investing.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua