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Double-Whammy For New Zealand Composer

PROMETHEAN EDITIONS announced today that New Zealand composer John Psathas will have two of his compositions performed in September this year at the KLANGSPUREN SCHWAZ Festival near Innsbruck, Austria. It is a major coup for a New Zealand composer to be represented at such a prestigious European music festival, and this will do much to increase the profile of both Psathas and New Zealand music.

KLANGSPUREN SCHWAZ, the festival for contemporary music in Tyrol will take place for the 8th time in 2001. This year’s festival centers around Great Britain and the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth. Further program emphases are new music from Austria and South Tyrol, compositions for percussion with the ensemble ‘The Next Step’ and soloists Evelyn Glennie and Terry Bozzio, an exhibition, and compositions from various periods of Arnold Schönberg's work to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death.

The opening concert of KLANGSPUREN 2001 will be given by the Tyrol Symphony Orchestra, Innsbruck, and will feature John Psathas’ ‘Percussion Concerto’ for four percussionists. The percussionists are Evelyn Glennie, Gunnar Fras, Robert Pammer and Norbert Rabanser, conducted by musical director Georg Schmöhe, on 7 September 2001. Glennie, Fras, Pammer and Rabanser previously toured this concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with conductor Jerzy Maksymiuk in July 1997.

On 8 September 2001, Psathas’ composition ‘Drum Dances’ will be performed by percussion ensemble ‘The Next Step’. ‘Drum Dances’ was initially written for one percussionist and pianist and has been performed numerous times by Evelyn Glennie. This performance will be a new arrangement of the work for six percussionists.

Psathas, who is travelling to Innsbruck to attend part of the Festival says, ‘It’s often the way that composers today don’t get a chance to hear their music performed after the initial premiere. In this case, I am very lucky’.

Ross Hendy, Psathas’ publisher and manager, said that ‘This is a very significant event for John and New Zealand Music. It is just as important as New Zealand fashion designers showing their clothes at fashion shows in London and Milan. Having his work performed abroad is becoming a frequent event for John, who last year heard his ‘Saxophone Concerto’ premiered by world-famous jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker at an outdoor festival in Bologna, Italy.’


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