Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger, Garry Kvistad
Premieres Two Major Works for Percussion
NEXUS, the Toronto-based percussion quintet, has been credited with expanding the modern percussion ensemble’s world of possibilities. Since the group’s first all improvised concert in 1971 NEXUS has performed its music in solo recitals and with symphony orchestras worldwide and has captivated its audiences with an eclectic mix of music that includes contemporary percussion masterworks, novelty ragtime, world music, group improvisations and compositions by the members of NEXUS themselves. Recent examples of the ensemble’s commitment to new music for percussion are two premieres – one in Canada and one in the U.S.A.
‘Colours of Music’ Festival in Barrie, Ontario – September 25, 2007NEXUS presented the world premiere of ‘PHOENIX’ by Canadian composer, Elizabeth Raum. Scored for solo violin and five percussion, this lush composition overflows with romanticism and effectively merges the sonic worlds of strings and percussion. The solo violinist for this premiere performance was Lynn Kuo, a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, whose virtuosity and musicianship were readily apparent throughout. Elizabeth Raum, based in Regina, Saskatchewan, is an extremely prolific composer whose works include three operas, over 60 chamber pieces, vocal works, ballets, concerti, and major orchestral pieces.
‘A Tribute to John Cage’ at Bard College – September 27, 2007John Cage was honored in a concert featuring NEXUS and others at the Bard College’s Fisher Center in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. NEXUS performed the U.S. premiere of ‘Dance Music for Elfrid Ide’ (1940), which was only rediscovered in 2005. Over its 36-year’s of performances NEXUS has been fortunate to work with John Cage. Among the most notable of these collaborations was the NEXUS performance at Cage’s 70th birthday ‘happening’ called, ‘Musicircus,’ in Los Angeles on September 12, 1987.
“[NEXUS] . . . The panache of virtuosity, stamina, more than a
hint of poetry and an infectious delight in their music making.”
– The Australian
The future of music will be secure as long as musicians with the originality,
power and skill of Nexus continue to exist, and presenters like Onstage
continue to use their own creativity in bringing them together.”
– Robert Harris in The (Toronto) Globe and Mail