American pianist performs rare modern piano works


The celebrated American pianist, and conductor Stephen Drury is to visit Sydney this November. He will give two public recitals in the magnificent rock-walled New Hall of Sydney Grammar School.

Stephen Drury (b 1955) was student of Claudio Arrau and is now on the piano faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He performs repertoire that ranges from the baroque to the contemporary, but with a focus on music written during the last century. His performances and and recordings include works by Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, John Cage, Frederic Rzewski, and John Zorn. He has toured extensively around the world, performing in developing nations as well as countries with an established Western music tradition. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, as well as in Japan, Pakistan and Hong Kong as Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency.

Drury is also artistic director and conductor of the Callithumpian Consort, and created and directs the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at New England Conservatory.

Drury has the singular advantage of being a performer of music by composers who are still living. He has had the opportunity to work closely with many of them, including Cage, Ligeti, Rzewski, Steve Reich, Olivier Messiaen and Luciano Berio. His recitals will be a rare opportunity to hear repertoire that is rarely heard in Sydney, performed by a pianist who knows first hand, what the composer wanted to say. The fusion of Drury’s superior virtuosity, deep love for contemporary and experimental music, and commitment to modern American classics- rarely if ever heard in Australia!- make these concerts an exceptional musical experience for Sydney audiences.

Sydney born composer Nicholas Vines’ Terraformation ~ I. Soletta is part of the second programme. Vines’ Uncanny Valley performed by pianist Zubin Kanga, was awarded the AMC/ APRA NSW State Award for Performance of the Year 2012.

American composer Frederic Rzewski’s (b 1938) The People United Will Never be Defeated! is a set of 36 variations on the Chilean song ¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido! by Sergio Ortega and Quilapayún. Pianist Ursula Oppens premiered it on February 7, 1976, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Rzewski dedicated the composition to Oppens, who had commissioned it as a companion piece to Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Oppens’ 1979 recording of the work was named “Record of the Year” that year by Record World, and received a Grammy nomination.

Drury will work with students of Sydney Grammar School through lessons, presentations and workshops.

Recital 1 ,Wednesday 21st November

Cage, John ~ Etudes Australes

Zorn, John ~ Carny

Ives, Charles ~ Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840–60

Recital 2, Friday 23rd November.

Vines, Nicholas ~ Terraformation ~ I. Soletta

Rzewski, Frederic ~ The People United Will Never be Defeated!



Adults ~ $20 for one concert or $30 for both

Concessions (students, pensioners) ~ $10 for one concert or $15 for both

Tickets available at the door.

Limited parking is available.













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