duo526 returns to BU stage for Pro Series performance

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BRANDON – A visit to an idyllic New England setting provided the inspiration for an upcoming Pro Series recital by duo526.

Brandon University (BU) School of Music faculty member Kerry DuWors and collaborative artist Futaba Niekawa will make their third appearance in Brandon as duo526 on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m., at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall in the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building. The duo will present a programme with the theme of fantasy pieces. These include Bolcom’s Duo Fantasy, Mackey’s Elegie and Fantasy, Villa-Lobos’ Sonata Fantasia No. 2, and Bax’s Violin Sonata No. 2.

“The idea came out of a summer residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire. We worked through repertoire based on “Fantasia,” a musical composition with roots in improvisation,” says DuWors. “Fantasy works often don’t adhere to the strict structure and classical form – who doesn’t like to break the rules once in a while?! Futaba and I enjoy curating theme-based programs that bring together works that are seldom performed. Our Pro Series programme is eclectic. There’s something for everyone!”

DuWors and Niekawa met at the Eastman School of Music in 2010, while studying with lauded professors Jean Barr and Charles Castleman. Together, duo526 – named after the first piece the musicians honed together, Mozart’s Sonata No. 35 in A Major, K. 526 – have been artists-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts as well as at Brandon University and Indiana University. They have performed recitals in Canada, the United States and in Europe, and have a recording entitled Ballade to their credit.

Originally from Japan, Futaba is a pianist and harpsichordist who has not only performed on this continent, but also in Europe and Asia. She is passionate about chamber music, contemporary works, and the weaving of music with various other art disciplines – dance, visual arts, the written word – in performance. Now on faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, she continues to champion the sharing of music with diverse audiences through duo526’s “Mozart in Public Spaces” initiative – video recordings of the complete Mozart set of sonatas, which are paired with the global street piano project, “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

DuWors has been a faculty member at BU since winning the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition in 2003. As well, she has won the Felix Galimir Award for Chamber Music Excellence, two Canada Council Career Development Grants, and she is a four-time laureate of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Musical Instrument Bank. A busy performer as well as educator, DuWors was the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in September. She has also appeared as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

“There’s a special atmosphere and energy about performing on ‘home turf’ that comes when you know practically everyone in the audience,” says DuWors. “The chemistry between audience and performer is electric.

“Despite the fact that I have performed in concert in Brandon over 100 times since I arrived at BU, and this being duo526’s third performance in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall over the past five years, there is the spark and curiosity of seeing what new things will come with this next performance.”

Tickets for the performance are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and alumni, and are available at the door or in advance in the Main Office in the School of Music. The next Pro Series concert is slated for January 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., and it will showcase several of the School of Music’s talented faculty members.

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of Manitoba, through a Consolidated Arts Programming Grant through Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

Please note that seating in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall is limited and that programmes are subject to change. For up-to-date listing of Pro Series and student performances, please visit BrandonU.ca/Music/Events/Category/Performances.


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