New World Sounds: Music of the Americas

A unique collaborative concert celebrating the music of the Americas at Southbank Centre on 1st February 2019.

London-based music charity Poliphonia builds on its exploration of music from the Americas with a special Purcell Room concert on 1st February featuring the acclaimed Brazilian pianist Clélia Iruzun, the Coull Quartet and guest double bass player Sarah Neil.

Renowned for uncovering hidden musical gems of the Americas, Poliphonia’s latest journey of discovery will be an unmissable collaboration that celebrates the 80th birthday year of Brazil’s foremost composer Marlos Nobre and the 60th birthday year for composer, conductor and educationalist João Guilherme Ripper.

In a typical spirit of enterprise for which Clélia Iruzun is recognised, she makes a much-anticipated London appearance with the esteemed Coull Quartet following their joint venture in Rio de Janeiro in October 2017 which was selected as one of the ten best concerts of the year by Jornal do Brasil.

For the programme’s first half at the Purcell Room, Clélia and the Coull Quartet will focus on two works from amongst Brazil’s most distinguished living composers; Desafio for piano and string quartet by Marlos Nobre (born 1939) and From my Window for piano and string quartet – a snapshot of Brazilian street life – by João Guilherme Ripper (born 1959). Between these lively chamber works Clélia Iruzun (one-time pupil of Nelson Freire) will demonstrate her virtuosity in the pianistic fireworks of Alberto Ginastera’s intensely visceral Piano Sonata No.1, a formidable work intended to capture the spirit of Argentinian folk music.

The second half comprises the expansive three-movement Piano Quintet, Op.67, by Amy Beach – an American child-prodigy who became the first successful US female composer in the field of classical music and whose prolific output of some 300 works had been mostly performed and published by the time of her death in 1944. Her passionate and melodically-rich Piano Quintet, with its echoes of Brahms, is masterly in its absorption of late romanticism. Closing this special American celebration will be a ‘surprise’ item featuring all six players.

Poliphonia is a London-based charity whose main purpose is to bring music of the Americas, particularly Latin America, to a wider audience and to promote its lesser-known composers through a nationwide programme of concerts, recordings and educational work. Poliphonia has already promoted a number of UK premieres by Latin American composers which include works by Bernardo Cardona (Colombia), Saúl Cosentino (Argentina) and Ricardo Tacuchian (Brazil). Poliphonia also has a commitment to commissioning new works and working with young musicians as part of its ongoing education programme.

‘New World Sounds: Music of the Americas’ is at the Southbank Centre on 1 February 2019 and tickets are available here.

Full Programme

Marlos Nobre (1939-) Desafio for piano and string quartet

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) -Sonata No.1 Op.22

  • Allegro marcato
  • Presto misterioso
  • Adagio molto appassionato
  • Ruvido ed ostinato

João Guilherme Ripper (1959- )
From my Window for piano and string quartet

  • Carnival Vertigo
  • Antique
  • Drums

Amy Beach (1867-1944) –Piano Quintet Op.67

  • Adagio – Allegro moderato
  • Adagio espressivo
  • Allegro agitato
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