LSM Newswire

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sudbury pianist Yoko Hirota will perform selections from her new CD, ĺ─˙Small is Beautiful: Miniature Piano Pieces,ĺ─¨ in the next concert of the 5-Penny New Music Concerts series

5-Penny Web Site: www.5pennynewmusic.ca
           
Sudbury pianist Yoko Hirota will perform selections from her new CD, ĺ─˙Small is Beautiful: Miniature Piano Pieces,ĺ─¨ in the next concert of the 5-Penny New Music Concerts series. The concert is on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. at St. Peterĺ─˘s United Church in Sudbury. Special tickets, which include a complimentary copy of the CD, are $25 and $20 for students.  General admission (without the CD) is $15 and $10 for students.  Both tickets are available at Black Cat, Laurentian University Bookstore, Laurentian Music Department and at the door. CDs may also be purchased at the concert at a cost of $15.

A celebration of the miniature in music, Hirotaĺ─˘s program takes the listener on a musical journey from early twentieth-century Vienna to twenty-first century Northern Ontario. The opening set, entitled ĺ─˙Six Little Piano Pieces,ĺ─¨ opus 19, was composed by Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna in 1911. One of the most admired compositions of its kind, the set presents in snapshot style a series of mood pictures ranging from playful to meditative. The moving sixth piece is said to be a tribute to Schoenbergĺ─˘s friend and mentor, Gustav Mahler, who died a short time before. Composers from Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the United States are also represented on the program.

Hirota pays particular attention to Canadian composers, including Brian Cherney (ĺ─˙Elegy for a Misty Afternoonĺ─¨), Aris Carastathis (ĺ─˙Tracesĺ─¨) and Robert Lemay (ĺ─˙Tanze vor Angstĺ─ÂHommage łŢ Paul Kleeĺ─¨). It is striking how the genre allows each of these composers to capture the essence of the moment while imaginatively exploring the technical and expressive possibilities of the piano.

 ĺ─˙Small is Beautifulĺ─¨ is earning favorable reviews. Writing in the Toronto classical music magazine, The Wholenote, John S. Gray praised Hirotaĺ─˘s performance, noting that the album adds to her already impressive set of laurels. ĺ─˙But it is the works from her adoptive land, Northern Ontario, which make the disc unique,ĺ─¨ wrote Gray. ĺ─˙Aris Carastathisĺ─˘ ĺ─˛Tracesĺ─˘ and two recent works by Robert Lemay are remarkable.ĺ─¨ Carastathis is a music professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, while Lemay is an international prize-winning composer who teaches at Laurentian.

Prior to Hirotaĺ─˘s performance, Lucien Pelletier, a philosophy professor at the University of Sudbury, will discuss the significance of the miniature in art.  Pelletierĺ─˘s presentation begins at 7 p.m.

The event is presented in cooperation with Laurentian University, Cambrian College and  Interdisciplinary M.A. Program in the Humanities of Laurentian University. It is also made possible with the financial support of the SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Greater Sudbury.


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