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20 January 2017 Comments Off on Rob Fokkens: the Signum Quartet at Wigmore Hall and beyond Views: 111 Composers

Rob Fokkens: the Signum Quartet at Wigmore Hall and beyond

If you wonder what a quartweet is, head to Wigmore Hall on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 as the Signum Quartet performs The Third Solitude by Rob Fokkens in a continuing collaboration that reflects the ever-changing world of social media and how that reshapes music: in their #quartweet project, the German quartet asked for works of 140 notes or fewer. Signum Quaret are performing The Third Solitude again at the Deutschlandfunk, Cologne on 14 March, and even earlier than that, his Glimpses of a half-forgotten future in Greven, Germany on 22 January.

Glimpses of a half-forgotten future started life as a single movement work for clarinet quartet, which was commissioned and premiered by Clariphonics in the 2009 Park Lane Group Young Artists Series at the South Bank, London. “I have wanted to rework this movement for string quartet ever since – writing for the Carducci Quartet offered the perfect opportunity, this piece becoming the first movement of the present work. The second and third movements pick up where the first left off,” describes the composer in more detail.

Furthermore, Fokkens has announced a completion of a substantial new solo piano work – On Quietude and Dancing – for South African pianist Justin Krawitz. With a particular interest in contemporary South African music, Krawitz is Assistant Professor in Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado, and gives masterclasses, presentations and piano clinics around the world. The work was commissioned by the SAMRO Foundation, and will be published by Composers Edition in due course.

In addition to this, the South African-born pianist Renee Reznek has released an album of contemporary piano music by South African composers, providing a great introduction to a range of new South African music. Included in the programme is the world premiere recording of Rob’s Five Miniatures for solo piano, written for the Living Composers Project, and premièred at The Space, London by Anne Lovett in March 2007.

In May 2017, Rob Fokkens will take up the role of joint Artistic Director of the Peter Reynolds Composer Studio with John Metcalf, co-ordinating and presenting a new collaboration between Cardiff University and the Vale of Glamorgan Festival. “I’m looking forward to working with an excellent group of young composers who will be joining us for seminars, tutorials, concerts and workshops with the Marsyas Trio and the New York-based six-piano ensemble Grand Band,” says the Cardiff-based composers and lecturer.

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