Andrew Zolinsky (piano): Schoenberg, Beethoven, Ozzard-Low
|Address||Performance Space (ALG10), College Building, City University London,|
|At||City University London Concert Series|
Performance Space (ALG10), College Building, City University London,
City University London Concert Series
Programme: Schoenberg, Three Pieces Op. 11 Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 21 'Waldstein' Op. 53 Patrick Ozzard-Low, Piano Sonata No. 2 (1996-2007) "God knows why my piano music still always makes the poorest impression on me" wrote Beethoven, in 1804 or 1805, just around the time he composed the Waldstein Sonata—one the great masterpieces of piano literature, and often said to be one of the composer’s most technically challenging. While Beethoven's truths radiate from taut structures and heavenly invention, Schoenberg’s interior revelations in the Three Pieces emerge from piercing juxtapositions of fragmentary ideas, obsessive intensity, and total rejection of ornament. Patrick Ozzard-Low’s Sonata No. 2 was composed in memory of Bill Hopkins, the little-known but outstanding English protégé of Jean Barraqué.
Patrick Ozzard-Low (1958) studied composition with the British composer Bill Hopkins (1943-81), who was the sole compositional pupil/disciple of Jean Barraqué (1928-73), and much later with Michael Finnissy. Finished works have been a rare event, seeming to take Barraqué’s obsession with ‘l’inachèvement sans cesse’ to an extreme: of almost two hundred works/pieces 'in progress', only nine in Ozzard-Low’s catalogue are complete. Recently there have been performances in Amsterdam, Cork, Cremona, London and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times wrote of the première of Sonata: In Opposition for solo viola: "closest to Barraqué's Piano Sonata… in spirit if not in sound, structure or style… abstract music to imply existential states… mournful and distant when the soloist was hidden or had her back to the audience, prophetic when she faced her listeners”. The London Times described (a torso of) Piano Sonata No 2 as "arresting for the almost Brahmsian felicity of its none the less barn-storming avant-garde idiom", reflecting that the music's genealogy links to classical and romantic tonality as much as to Barraqué's ultra-intense incarnation of serialism. More recently, his music has taken a new path, increasingly melodic, revelling in both tonal and spectral elements. Aside from composition, Ozzard-Low authored 21st Century Orchestral Instruments (1998), commissioned by the Arts Council, and subsequently founded and co-directed the Centre for New Musical Instruments at London Guildhall University (2000-2004). Prompted by his research, the Acoustical Society of America held a special session on new acoustic instruments at its Chicago conference in 2001, and he is currently completing New Instruments for New Music—a catalogue of recent significant acoustic instruments, designs and technologies for Routledge. Together with the pianist Nicolas Hodges, he co-authored the Bill Hopkins Archive Handlist (2006), a catalogue of the manuscripts and writings of Bill Hopkins which are held at the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basle. He has a BA in philosophy (York 1984), PhD in composition (Southampton, 2008), and has given lectures on instruments and composition across Europe, USA and Brazil. In March 2016, he organised 'The World according to Bob', a two-day festival of music and talks held at City, University of London, celebrating the life and work of the musicologist Bob Gilmore. Pianist Andrew Zolinsky’s unique style of programming and his individual interpretations have secured performances at many prestigious venues and festivals. His work with living composers brings a vivid freshness, energy and passion to his interpretations of music from previous eras. Though a noted performer of contemporary repertoire, Andrew has performed many of the standard concertos, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and Barber with major orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lorraine, and has worked under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Stefan Asbury, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Martyn Brabbins, Baldur Brönnimann, Nicholas Cleobury, Thierry Fischer, Owain Arwel Hughes, Grant Llewellyn, Diego Masson, Andre De Ridder, David Robertson and Pascal Rophe. Andrew has given World and regional premieres of many of David Lang’s works, including, the world premiere in New York of the complete set of Memory pieces, and the Piano Concerto, Fur, commissioned by the BBC, at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Grant Llewellyn. Andrew is also very closely associated with the music of Unsuk Chin. He has performed her complete Etudes for solo piano on many occasions, including the French (Festival Musica in Strasbourg), London (Wigmore hall) and Italian (Venice Biennale) premieres. Andrew also gave the London première of her Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. As part of the BBC’s ‘Total immersion’ series in 2011, Andrew gave the UK premiere of the Double Concerto with percussionist Owen Gunnell and the London Sinfonietta conducted by Stefan Asbury at the Barbican Centre. Andrew also works with many of today’s leading British and Irish composers, including James Clarke, Laurence Crane, Donnacha Dennehey, Michael Finnissy, Michael Zev Gordon, and has given many performances of works by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and the Uzbekistan-born Alexander Knaifel. Andrew has recorded for Cantaloupe, Guild and NMC. Paul Driver in the Sunday Times chose Andrew’s recording of solo piano music by Michael Zev Gordon (NMC), as one of the TOP TEN CONTEMPORARY CD’S OF 2009. His disc of David Lang’s piano music on the Cantaloupe label was released in November 2011. In addition to the aforementioned venues and festivals, Andrew has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, Merkin Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, the Venice Biennale, and in the Czech republic, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Portugal and Taiwan. In November 2013, Andrew made his debut in the International Piano series at London’s Southbank Centre; this recital also formed part of the Southbank centre’s fascinating series, The Rest is Noise. Earlier that month, he made his debut at the Palau de la musica in Valencia with a programme of music by Beethoven, Liszt and Schumann. In 2014, Andrew played in the prestigious Piano Rarities Festival in Husum, Germany, and later that year returned to the Royal Festival Hall, London to give the UK premiere of ‘Gesualdo dub/raum mit gelöschter figur’ by the young Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic, with the Philharmonia orchestra conducted by Baldur Brönnimann. This concert was part of the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series. As passionate about teaching as he is about performing, Andrew is professor of piano, at the Royal College of Music, London. He is also in charge there of a Masters level specialism in contemporary piano music.
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