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Celestial Sounds

6 August 2004

Celestial Sounds

Two remarkable international instrumentalists: Japanese performer/composer Takashi Harada, who plays on one of the first invented electronic instruments, the ethereal ondes martenot, and Thai crystal-glass virtuoso, Thaweesak Weeraphong, will be hosted at Victoria University in the next two weeks.

Takashi Harada is the world’s leading player of the Ondes Martenot, an instrument invented in Paris in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. Using a seven-octave keyboard, it was one of the most successful of the early electronic instruments and has inspired generations of composers and audiences with its haunting sound.

Harada studied piano with Keiko Toyama, and Ondes Martenot with Jeanne Loriod. As a prolific ondist and composer, he has premiered more than 200 new pieces for the ondes, many of which have been written especially for him. He appears regularly as a soloist with major orchestras around the world, such as the Boston, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, and the Filarmonica della Scala of Milano. His recording of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphonie won a Diapason d’Or in 1994.

Thaweesak Weeraphong is one of the world’s few professional players of crystal glasses. Unlike a version of the instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin, played from a keyboard, Mr Weeraphong’s glasses are laid out on a table-top, requiring astonishing skill and finesse in manoeuvring across the edges of the glasses.

During their residency these two musicians will present workshops and concerts featuring their own music, as well as compositions and arrangements especially created for them by New Zealand composers. Programme of Events Thursday 12 August (Victoria University) 3.10 Composer Workshop, Adam Concert Room, School of Music (free admission) 6.00 Concert, Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University ($12/$10)

Friday 20 August (Ilott Concert Chamber, Wellington Town Hall) 2.00 & 6.30 Concert (Festival of Japan) (free admission)

Saturday 21 August (Sacred Heart Cathedral) 8.00 Guest appearance with the Tudor Consort/Gate 7 Ensemble (Tickets $25/$15 available from Ticketek)

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Asia 2000 Foundation, Thai Airways, the New Zealand-Japan Exchange Programme and the Nissho Iwai Trust.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact either Associate Professor Jack Body on 04 463 5853 or jack.body@vuw.ac.nz

ENDS

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