Composer - Young, Ken

Piano Trio (premiered October 2015) – 17′

2015 is a busy year for Kenneth Young. He’s been composer in residence at the Auckland Philharmonia for the past couple of years, and he also has a CD of his orchestral music coming out with the NZSO, to celebrate a significant birthday in November – listen out for him as Composer of the Week on Radio NZ Concert. There’s also his teaching at the NZSM, his production work for Rattle, and his conducting – he works regularly with all the major orchestras in New Zealand and Australia – and he is probably best known for his orchestral music, having been Principal Tuba of the NZSO for some 25 years. However, he has also written a quantity of solo instrumental and chamber music, and describes it as ‘the acid test’ for a composer. ‘You’ve got to be very much on your game, because there’s nowhere to hide. It’s very good for honing the old technique.’  

This is his first piano trio:  

‘There’s no programme as such, but it’s not abstract, put it that way. When I began writing it I was feeling angry about a couple of things that were going on – political and societal issues here in New Zealand. My ire was raised, and when my ire is raised I always find it a good time to pick up a pen and take it out on a piece of manuscript paper – rather than anybody else! It’s quite a cathartic process for me – I’ve experienced that previously. So that’s why the trio starts angrily, and the first section continues on all fast and furious until it reaches the expressive part of the piece, when the tension dissipates somewhat and it becomes more melancholy. There’s a sad little waltz in the piano and a lament from Ashley, then an uplifting solo from Justine towards the end. I don’t want to say how it ends – that would spoil the surprise! But let’s just say, there are several mood swings in there. What I can say is I’ve loved writing it. They’re all friends of mine and it’s just a joy to be able to write for people who can play anything I put in front of them. They all get a chance to express themselves with slower-form music, but they also get a chance to engage us with their phenomenal technique.’

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In an act of musician solidarity, this is a gift from us in New Zealand to Anna Im, the winner of the 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, who because of Covid-19 and New Zealand's strict border controls, is not able to enter the country to perform her Winner's Tour.

The collaboration features Somi and Ashley from NZTrio and Julia Joyce of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The video has been beautifully directed by Sergey Malov (winner of the 2011 "Michael Hill").

Thank you to Lewis Eady for providing us with the beautiful Boston ❤️
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NZTrioThursday, August 6th, 2020 at 10:59am
So privileged to have such an incredible Board of Trustees, here's a recent article on one of our family members - the amazing Carmel Walsh O'Neill xo

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