Opera Star Paul Whelan to premiere new Song Cycle
Hello everyone. A lot of amazing stuff has happened since my last blog.
ANZCA Music Examinations, have accepted in total, 15 of my solo piano pieces to be included in their 2022 – 2024 international piano syllabus. 2 pieces from my latest album Land No More? i hope to release next year, 6 pieces from my second album Rare View, I released in 2018, and 7 pieces from my debut 2016 album Introspection.
ANZCA conducts instrumental examinations in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
ANZCA has also come on board as a concert sponsor of the World Premiere concert which includes my song cycle ‘Such A Fine, Sunny Day’, i wrote last year for bass voice and a 4-handed piano accompaniment.
The song cycle is dedicated to Sophie and her brother Hans Scholl from the Berlin 1940s student pacifist group White Rose. ‘Such A Fine, Sunny Day’ was the last thing Sophie said before Hitler had her executed. I was so moved by their story and bravery that I wrote and set the libretto to my music inspired by their writings. At great personal risk they condemned the Nazis for their crimes against the Jews and urged their fellow Germans to rise up against Hitler.
The 4-hand piano accompaniment was quite a challenge to write, but I think has paid off as I am pretty confident this piece will make an impact, especially with Paul Whelan’s full voice range. Covering themes of betrayal with roaring rage, to painful loss with a deep yearning for solace and ultimately love, I hope this speaks to today’s audiences.
World famous lyric bass opera star Paul Whelan will be recording the song cycle on Thursday 15th of September with Australian international multi-award winning virtuoso Nicholas Young on piano, along with New Zealand concert pianist Anna Maksymova as Special Guest. This will be recorded in NZ’s leading acoustic concert hall, The Piano, in Christchurch.
Craig Field from Sydney’s Underwood Studios will be recording this in 32bit 386kHz and also filming some of it for my promotion purposes.
Tony Betros, General Manager of ANZCA who attended the 2018 live Rare View premiere at Beleura House, which was sponsored by SONY and Stuart & Sons, says:
‘I was introduced to Alan’s work at the Rare View world premiere recording and was extremely impressed with the mastery of style and range of emotions heard in his compositions. To further add to the event, the authority displayed in the performances of pianist Nicholas Young made for an overall outstanding experience. I’d highly recommend the works of Alan to all.’
So now i have ANZCA’s permission to include this in my promotions:
‘…extremely impressive mastery of style and range of emotions…’
It is a huge honour to have Paul Whelan involved and to feature on my 3rd album release. Hopefully this will help me lift my profile to a wider audience.
‘Such A Fine, Sunny Day’ World Premiere concert with Paul Whelan, Nicholas Young and Anna Maksymova is on Saturday 17th September, at The Piano, Christchurch, New Zealand. Doors open 6:45pm. Tickets are $25 student & conc. & $45 full. See here for concert details:
The concert also includes Nicholas Young giving the 2 World Premieres of the latest 2 pieces accepted by ANZCA, as well as the New Zealand premieres of the 13 ANZCA pieces from my acclaimed Introspection and Rare View albums. All of my ANZCA piano repertoire will be published on this website shortly.
This is the second concert ANZCA will have been involved in. They were a sponsor for my SOLD OUT 2019 ANZCA Introspection and Victoria Rare View Premiere at Tempo Rubato, Melbourne.
I hope to see some of my old childhood friends from Christchurch where I grew up. It’s going to be a beautiful time of the year as the city is famous for its Springtime daffodils.
Nicholas Young will also perform a 40 minute lunch time recital on the 26th September as part of the Christchurch Arts Centre lunchtime series. The program consists of Chopin, Griffiths and Schumann.
There is talk of a 2023 New Zealand music tour, more on that later.