A Brandon University (BU) School of Music Associate Professor will perform concerts close to home and on the other side of the world this summer in support of her new album.
Violinist Kerry DuWors and pianist Futaba Niekawa, who teaches at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, have performed together as duo526 since they studied at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. in 2011. Their name as a duo was inspired by the connection they formed during their assigned performance of Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, K. 526.
This May, duo526 released its latest album, DUO FANTASY (Navona Records/Parma Recordings). Featuring works by composers Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom, the recording uses improvisation and free form to explore the fantasia elements of the pieces. The liner notes were written by the former Dean of BU’s School of Music, Dr. Glen Carruthers.
The album has received rave reviews:
“DuWors and Niekawa are a beautifully balanced duo, with exceptional intonation and a tangible empathy. DuWors’s feeling for line is well exemplified by the account of Villa-Lobos’s marvellous Sonata fantasia No 2 (1914), the second of his three violin sonatas, especially in the central Largo, the longest span, where her soaring cantilena over Niekawa’s rippling accompaniment is a real delight” (Gramophone Magazine, August 2019).
“With its exploration of engaging and rare repertoire, Duo Fantasy is easily a must for those who are interested in 20th Century music for violin. Each work is an important window into the changing aesthetics, developing musical voices, and reactions to the changing world around each of the composers represented” (Cinemusical review by Steven Kennedy).
“Niekawa and DuWors create an art that goes beyond mere interpretation. The personality of the two musicians expands out with a creative attitude towards the world” (Sonograma Magazine review by Marçal Borotau).
DuWors and Niekawa performed at the Regina Chamber Music Festival July 4 to 6, then DuWors returns to Manitoba for the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival from July 24 to 28, and their own duo526 Sonata Seminar at BU from July 29 to August 2.
A concert tour of Japan is planned for Aug. 8-21, with performances in Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. From Oct. 19 to 26 duo526 will be in New Hampshire for the Avaloch Farm Music Institute Residency. From mid-May to mid-June 2020, duo526 will be touring BC giving 14 performances for the Living Room Live house concert series.
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