LSM Newswire

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mark Fewer performs Lou Harrisonĺ─˘s violin concerto


MONTREAL, February 5, 2009. The next concert of the CBC/McGill series sees Montreal-based violinist Mark Fewer perform one of the most unique violin concertos of the 20th century: Lou Harrison's concerto for violin and percussion. The concert takes place on February 12th, 2009, at 8 pm at Pollack Hall.





Only a few days after his critically acclaimed appearance with the Foden's Brass Band in Manchester, Mark Fewer once again joins forces with an ensemble that is no standard choice for a classical violinist. In Lou Harrison's concerto for violin and percussion, the violin is accompanied not only by drums and cymbals, but also by flowerpots and plumber pipes. What you'd think might be an ear-deafening experience is indeed a lyrical piece full of subtleties and exploration of sound.





Lou Harrison, a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg and Charles Ives, was interested in the music of Asia and the native peoples of America and included many at that time foreign instruments and sounds in his music. Despite many exoticisms, his work is deeply American, based on Western European tradition, but at the same time exploring the diversity of cultures and sounds.





Violinist Mark Fewer has often proved his talent to switch roles and to move around styles. He has a strong reputation as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, jazz musician, and artistic programmer. Mr. Fewer was concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2008, and he is the artistic director of the Scotia Festival of chamber music and the SweetWater Music Weekend in Owen Sound, Ontario. He teaches violin, chamber music, and string improvisation at the McGill University.





Mr. Fewer has just come back from Manchester, where he performed Bramwell Tovey's "Nine Daies Wonder" that had been specifically written for him. In this piece, Mr. Fewer follows the nine-day publicity stunt of Shakespeare's comedian William Kempe from London to Norwich in the 1600s, by singing, dancing, playing, and reciting Shakespeare texts.

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