Photo credit Angela Turner
Two of Australia’s most innovative, imaginative and searching musical voices come together to re-imagine works of the past, re-invent the works of the present, and forge new paths into the future in the genre of two piano ensemble. The duo seeks to explore the theatricality, dramaturgy, and the intimate and intricate dialogue possible between the two instruments.
The undisputed hit of the 2017 Canberra International Music Festival, Davidson harnesses the voices and visual footage of 19 artists and politicians (Brecht, Goebbels, JFK, Percy Grainger, Judith Wright, David Malouf, Whitlam and, yes, DJ Trump among them), capturing the music of their often iconic speeches, and crystallising it in a score played live with astonishing brilliance by Sonya Lifschitz. The text is sometimes followed to the syllable, at other times looped and mashed up to create wild flights of what could be mistaken for Cuban jazz riffs.
The title refers to courageous Russian pianist Maria Yudina, an outspoken champion of artistic freedom whose recording of a Mozart concerto was ironically on Stalin’s turntable when he died. Ukrainian born Lifschitz, for whom the music was conceived, approaches her formidable task with equal fearlessness.
Please find Adelaide Festival event detail here: adelaidefestival.com.au/2018/stalins-piano
A smash hit at its 2017 premiere at Canberra International Music Festival, Stalin’s Piano is a compelling musical exploration of a century of history, art and politics. Celebrated pianist Sonya Lifschitz weaves virtuosic music together with video and audio recordings of eminent artists and political figures in this striking multimedia composition by Robert Davidson.
Musical vignettes of notable identities are entwined with actual excerpts from their lives and work, from Le Corbusier to Shostakovich, Jackson Pollack to Ai Wei Wei, and Julia Gillard to Donald Trump.
Robert Davidson is renowned for unearthing the hidden musicality of speech in his works, creating a new dialogue between voice and instruments.
Praised by the New York Times and The Age as “dynamic” and “powerful”, Sonya Lifschitz is internationally-recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative and fiercely creative musical voices.
Sonya Lifschitz piano
Duration: approximately 60 minutes, no interval
City Recital Hall Member $25
May 12, 2018
Melbourne Recital Centre
May 23, 2018
ANU School of Music
May 24, 2018
WSU School of Music
June 4, 2018
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)
June 14-17, 2018
Look & Listen
Robert Davidson, City Portraits:
Commission & Collaboration
Festival Curation (Australian National Academy of Music)
The Architecture of Time:
Crumb & Tchaikovsky
Andrew Byrne White Bone Country (live from fortyfivedounstairs, excerpt)
J.S. Bach/arr. Emmerson Goldberg Variations (trailer)