Following appearances at venues and festivals in several parts of Europe this year, acclaimed South African pianist Justin Krawitz will present a program of contemporary piano music at Hiddingh Hall, as part of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts’ Music in the City series.
With his work as a 2011 Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow as a base, this concert presents a fascinating program of piano works, featuring both local and international composers, and drawing significantly on Krawitz’s experience working with living composers.
Krawitz performs two works by South African composers, opening with Arnold Van Wyk’s Tristia – a seldom-heard gem of South African piano music; followed by Hendrik Hofmeyr’s new Piano Sonata, written for Krawtiz on commission by the South African Music Rights Organisation. Krawitz premiered Hofmeyr’s work earlier this year as part of the public art festival Infecting the City, but this Music in the City concert features the first performance of the work in a formal concert setting. In a sense, these composers represent opposite poles of composition in South Africa: Van Wyk (1916-1983) is widely considered the father of South African classical music, while Hofmeyr (b.1957) is among the younger generation of composers and is active on the contemporary musical scene.
The concert will conclude with a performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa’s Piano Sonata No.1. Born in Prague in 1921, Husa boasts an illustrious career which led him first to Paris and then on to the United States where he has lived since 1954. Krawitz worked with him on his Piano Sonata No.1 at his home in North Carolina in 2010, before going on to record the work for Czech Radio. The recording that emerged was enthusiastically endorsed by the composer and has been broadcast Europe-wide under the program Euradio.
Justin Krawitz is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town where he lectures in Piano and Piano Pedagogy. He has served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Luther College in Iowa and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Krawitz is known for his highly considered artistic collaborations that lend his performances of new and little-known repertoire a distinct sense of authority.
Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.
Photo by Sydelle Willow Smith (Infecting the City 2012).