Duo526 takes Brandon audience on musical journey

Two women smile. One woman is holding a violin and bow
Violinist Kerry DuWors, left, and pianist Futaba Niekawa are duo526.
Two women smile. One woman is holding a violin and bow
Violinist Kerry DuWors, left, and pianist Futaba Niekawa are duo526.

Performances with duo526 have taken Brandon University (BU) School of Music professor Kerry DuWors around the world, and, for the next pro series concert, she will take a hometown audience on a journey of their own.

DuWors, on violin, and her duo526 partner Futaba Niekawa, on piano, will perform a 60-minute-long program of sonatas from the classical period to the early 20th Century on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 pm, at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall. The evening is billed as a musical journey from Germany to Spain to France, showcasing the works of Beethoven, Joaquin Turina and Gabriel Fauré.

“Our last performance at Brandon University was in 2017, so we are very much looking forward to being back on the Lorne Watson Recital Hall stage together once again and playing on the School of Music’s new Steinway grand piano,” said Niekawa, who is a faculty member at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

The evening will begin with a performance of Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. 12 No. 2. Next, the duo will perform Turina’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, Op. 82. The program will conclude with Fauré’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op. 108.

“Futaba and I have had a special musical connection since we first performed together more than 10 years ago, and we’ve continued to grow as musicians and a duo since then,” DuWors said. “For this performance, we chose works from three incredible composers that inspire and challenge us, and while we have played across the globe, there is nothing better than playing in front of a home audience in Brandon!”

Founded in 2011 at the Eastman School of Music, duo526 as performed across Canada, the United States and Japan. Passionate about creative thought and the art of listening, their recordings for Navona Records have received critical acclaim. Their joy of collaboration results from risk-taking, inspiration, and spontaneous reactions. Dedicated to mentorship and pedagogy, duo526 started their annual summer Sonata Seminar in 2018, held at both Brandon University and the Jacobs School of Music. Their most recent album, Duo Fantasy, was released in 2019 to rave reviews.

“Kerry and Futaba are brilliant musicians, and their performances together are spectacular,” said Greg Gatien, Dean of Music at BU.

I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2023 than by welcoming duo526 to our Lorne Watson Recital Hall stage, for an inspiring and memorable evening of music.

Tickets for duo526 on Friday, Jan. 6 at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, are available at the door, or from the School of Music Office.

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council.

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

Please contact the School of Music at Music@BrandonU.ca with any accessibility considerations.


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