For a complete list of all reported concert and other events
involving Christos' music that have taken place before the current year please click HERE
or on PAST, CURRENT & UPCOMING EVENTS on the left-hand-side menu.
Performances of smaller solo or chamber works of which
we are not notified by the performers or presenters
may not be listed.
January 9, 7:30 PM. Extreme Unction. Jeff Reilly, bass clarinet. Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Dinuk Wijeratne. Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhausie Centre for the Performing Arts, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
January 18 & 19, 7:30 PM. Odd World. Schumann Chamber Players (Sandy Ymamoto, violin; Amy Levine-Tsang, cello; Michelle Schumann, piano). "It's All Greek to Me" program. Austin Chamber Music Center. Austin, Texas.
March 8, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Patricia Ryan, cello; Bjorn Grina-Shay, marimba. Gustavus Adolphus College, Bjorling Recital Hall, 800 West College Aveneu, St. Peter MN.
March 21, 7:00 PM. Odd World. Architek Percussion. Marimba Plus concert. Maison de la Culture. Frontenac, Quebec.
April 2, 7:30 PM. Mirage? Beverley Johnston, marimba; London Simphonia under the direction of Kevin Mallon. Talbot Street Church, London, ON.
April 13, 7:30 PM. World Premiere of Agnus Dei. for bass clarinet, SATB choir(s), SurroundSound audio and audience. Jeff Reilly, bass clarinet; The Monday Morning Singers & the Uxbridge Chamber Choir. St. Paul's Anglican Church, 59 Toronto St. S., Uxbridge, ON.
April 27, 7:30 PM. Departures.Sarah Yunji Moon, flute; Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Eric Paetkau. TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre, Saskatoon, SK.
April 28, 2:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Lynn Vartan, marimba. Civic Morning Musicals. Park Central Presbyterian Church, Syracuse, NY.
May 3, 8:00 PM. Arabesque. Andrea Tyniec, violin; Sinfonia Toronto under the direction of Nurhan Arman. Masterpiece Series. Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, ON.
May 4, 7:30 PM. "I Am In Need of Music" from Four Songs on Poems by Elizabeth Bishop. Suzie LeBlanc, soprano. Part of a program by the Elektra Women's Choir called "I Am In Need of Music. Shaughnessy Heights United Church, 1550 W 33rd Avenue, Vancouver, BC.
May 31, 8:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. Schloss, Roter Saal Ismaning, (Munich) Germany.
January 6, 5:30 PM. Dystopia. Marc Djokic, violin. Kyoko Hassimoto residence, Montreal, Quebec.
January 7, 2:00 PM. Arctic Dreams. Rachel Beetz, flute; Morris Palter, vibraphone. SoundON Voyages. Sand Diego New Music. The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla, CA.
January11, 12:00 PM. Premiere of Night Sky (middle movement of Vignettes) for violin and marimba. Mark Djokic, violin; Beverley Johnston, marimba. BEV@60 anniversary concert. Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.
January12, 7:30 PM. Arctic Dreams. Sally Schlichting, flute; Morris Palter, percussion. Con Brio: Chamber Series. Holly Trinity Episcopal Church, Juneau, Alaska.
January13, 7:30 PM. Arctic Dreams. Sally Schlichting, flute; Morris Palter, percussion. Con Brio: Chamber Series. Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum. 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska.
January 22, 8:00 PM.Coming To. Veronique Mathieu, violin; Stephanie Chua, piano; Orion Series in Fine Arts; School of Music, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.
January 24, 7:30 PM. Dystopia. Marc Djokic, violin. Tanya Schulich Hall, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
February 3, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. Kulturraum St. Gereon Forchheim, Feuchtwangen, Germany.
February 5, 6:30 PM. Nadir. Elizabeth Janzen, flute; Veronica Salinas-Lopez, viola. A&M University, Kingsville, Texas.
February 11, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Bjorn Grina, marimba. Conflict / Perseverance concert. A project by Zeitgeist New Music. Studio Z. 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN.
February 24 &25. The Isle is Full of Noises. Philharmonie Zuidnederland (South Netherlands Philharmonic) under the direction of Lucas Macias Navarro.
February 24, 8:15 PM. Musiekgebouw Eindhoven. DLL Main Hall, Eindhoven. The Netherlands
February 25, 8:00 PM. Theater aan het Vrijhof, Maastricht. The Netherlands.
March 2. String Quartet No. 1 (The Awakening). Members of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Forward Currents Festival. Mackenzie Art Gallery, 3475 Albert Street, Regina, SK.
March 3, 4:00 PM. Arctic Dreams. Amanda Lowry, flute; Brayden Krueger, vibraphone. Maureen Forrester Recital hall, John Aird Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON.
March 17, 7:30 PM. Zeitgeist. Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gemma New. FirstOntario Concert Hall, Hamilton, ON.
April 2, 7:30 PM. Departures. Rebeccca Moranis, flute; Younggun Kim, piano. Victoria College Chapel, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
April 5, 8:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Brittany Baptista, marimba. Recital Hall, UTN College of Music. Denton, Texas.
April 7, 8. Parasol by Sarah Slean, transcribed and expanded for alto, solo violin and orchestra by Christos Hatzis. Sarah Slean, vocalist; Okanagan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rosemary Thomson.
April 7, 7:30 PM, Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna, BC.
April 8, 7:00 PM. Vernon Performing Arts Centre, Veron, BC.
April 12, 7:30 PM. Orbiting Garden. Joseph Petric, accordion. 918 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON.
April 14, 7:00 PM. Departures. Alheli Pimienta, solo flute; Toronto Latin American Flute Festival Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Tarris. East Common Room, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
April 18, 6:11 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Gage Kroljic, marimba. The 2018 Undergraduate Exhibition. Flex Theater, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park Campus, Penn State University, State College, PA.
April 27, 4:00 PM. Departures. Eftihia Victoria Arkoudis, flute; Serenity String Orchestra under the direction of Andre Januario. Bloch Learning and Performance Hall; Creative Arts Center, Morgantown, West Virginia.
May 4, 8:00 PM. String Quartet No. 3 (The Questioning). The Afiara String Quartet. Concert in connection with the 2018 Eckhardt-Grammatte Competition. Lorne Watson Recital Hall, Brandon University, Brandon, MB.
May 6, 5:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Stifung / Fondation Ehiebaud-Frey. Centre culturel La Prairie, Elizabeth Aellen, Mariweb 11, Bellmund, Bern, Switzerland
May 14, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. MISE_EN_PLACE Bushwick, Brooklyn NY.
May 15, 8:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. St. Lukes Church (Auditorium), Brentwood NY.
May 16, 8:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY.
May 16, 6:00 PM. World premiere of Vignettes for Violin and Marimba. Marc Djokic, violin; Beverley Johnston, marimba. Concerts Noncerto. Recontres-Marimba&Violon; Maison des Jeunesses musicales, Salle Joseph-Rouleau. Monreal, Quebec.
May 17, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Riverside Church (Christ Chapel), Manhattan, NY.
May 19, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Kaplan Playhouse, Lincoln Center, Manhattan, NY.
May 22, 4:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Marimba One Factory, Arcata, CA.
May 24, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Lynn Vartan, marimba. "Shared Spaces"--SOU Percussion Ensembles Spring Concert. South Oregon University Music Recital Hall, Ashland, OR.
May 27, 8:00 PM, Fertility Rites. Pau Montané, marimba. Percussion and Electronics program, Eduard Toldrà Auditorium, Vilanova i la Geltrú,
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
May 31, 7:00 PM."The sound of the Other." Lecture/Presentation by Christos Hatzis of his recent music. Lilia Voudouris Music Library, Megaron (Athens Concert Hall), Athens, Greece.
June 1, 9:00 PM. Winter Solstice. Kostas Siskos, French horn; Athens State Orchestra under the direction of Myron Michailidis. Concert "Attitudes Towards Light" presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in Greece. Christos Lambrakis Hall, Megaron (Athens Concert Hall), Athens, Greece.
June 6, 4:30 PM. "The sound of the Other." Lecture/Presentation by Christos Hatzis of his recent music. Jerusalem Academy of Music. Jerusalem.
June 11. Arctic Dreams 1. FlowStick (Kalina Majewska, flute; Magdalena Myrczik, vibraphone). Auditorio de la Diputacion de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.
June 13, 8:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Marta Rodriquez, marimba. Escola de Altos Estudos Musicais (EAEM). Auditorim. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
June 16, 2:00 PM. Nadir. Veronica Salinas Lopez, viola; Elizabeth Janzen, flute. Lecture/recital at the 2018 American Viola Society Festival. Mayman Hall, The Colburn School; Los Angeles, CA.
June 17. Old Photographs. Bellas Hristova, violin; Dimitri Atapine, cello; Lowell Lieberman, piano. Thessaly Chamber Music Festival 2018. Ancient Theater of Larissa, Larissa, Greece.
June 27, 1:30 PM. Paper presentation by Kristi Hardman (City University of New York): "Moving Beyond Cultural Appropriation: Reconciliation in the Finale of Christos Hatzis' Going Home Star (2014)." AAWM Conference, School of Music Studies, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
June 28 Three Songs on Poems by Sappho. Alison Bolshoi, mezzo; Yoonah Kim, clarinet; Bellas Hristova, violin; Dimitri Murrath, viola; Dimitri Atapine, cello; William Hobbs, piano. Thessaly Chamber Music Festival 2018. Ancient Theater of Demetrias, Volos, Greece.
June 28, 2:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Mika Takehara, marimba. 14 Katajjak recital. Apelrydsladan. Båstad Chamber Music Festival, Båstad , Sweden.
July 4, 4:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Konrad AngerHofer, marimba. Telegraph, Dittrichring 18-20, Hochschule fur Music Und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn," Leipzig, Germany.
July 6, 7:30 PM. Vignettes. Marc Djokic, violin; Beverley Johnston, marimba. Marc & Bev duo concert. Music and Beyond Festival. Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Ottawa, ON.
August 3, 9:00 PM. Old Photographs. Konstantinos Destounis, piano; Olga Holdorff-Myriagou, violin; Maria Anisegou, viola. "Old Photographs" concert; Chios Intarnational Music Festival. Chios, Greece.
August 3. Fertility Rites. Keung Hoi Tong, marimba.Recital Hall, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong, China.
August 5, 11:00 AM. Vignettes. Marc Djokic, violin; Beverley Johnston, marimba. CAMMAC Music Centre, 85 Chemin Cammac, Harrington, Quebec.
September 27, 7:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Chen,Yen-Chen, marimba. Eslite Performance Hall, Taipei, Taiwan.
October 5, 8:00 PM. World Premiere of String Quartet No. 4 (The Suffering). The Penderecki String Quartet (Jeremy Bell, violin; Jerzy Kaplanek, violin; Christine Vlajk, viola; Katie Schlaikjer, cello). Numus Concerts. Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Waterloo, ON
October 6, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. Kreuzkirche Stuttgart - Hedelfingen, Germany.
October 12, 7:30 PM. Old Photographs. Jonathan Crow, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello; Philip Chiu, piano. T.S.O. Chamber Soloists concert. Brockville Arts Centre, 235 King Street West, Brockville, ON.
October 13, 14. Thunder Drum. Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Rose Thomson.
October 13, 7:00 PM. The Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Ellis St, Kelowna BC.
October 14, 7:30 PM. Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, 3800 - 33rd Street, Vernon, BC.
October 19. String Quartet No. 4 (The Suffering). The Penderecki String Quartet (Jeremy Bell, violin; Jerzy Kaplanek, violin; Christine Vlajk, viola; Katie Schlaikjer, cello). Quartetti festival of string quartets. Annex, 823 Seymour Street, 2nd floor. Vancouver, BC.
October 21, 2:00 PM. Nadir. Susan Hoeppner, flute; Steven Dann, viola. Mazoleni Concert Hall, The Royal Conservatory, Toronto, ON.
November 1 & 2, 7:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Luanne Warner Katz, marimba. Studio 2 @N.W.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon.
November 3, 8:00 PM. The Isle is Full of Noises. Edmonton Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jayce Ogren. Winspear Centre, Edmonton, AB.
November 4, 11:30 AM. Fertility Rites. Laura Trompetter, marimba. Pakhuizen of the muZEEum, Vlissingen, The Netherlands.
November 8, 7:30 PM. Thunder Drum. Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Berhard Gueller. Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Halifax, NS.
November 9, 7:30 PM. Thunder Drum. Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Berhard Gueller. Trinity-St. Stephen's United Church, Amherst, NS.
November 11. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. Thailand Marimba Festival II. Sala Sudasiri Sobha, Bangkok, Thailand.
November 13, 6:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Rodrigo Oliveira, marimba. Auditório do Colégio Mateus d’Aranda. Escola de Artes da Universidade de Évora. Évora, Portugal.
November 14 - 23. Old Photographs. Kapten Trio (Kristi Kapten, piano, Rachel Spencer, violin, Duncan Strachan, cello) tour of Scotland.
November 14. Fingal Centre, Portree, Isle of Skye.
November 17. Ardrishaig Public Hall, Ardrishaig.
November 18. St. John's Cathedral. Oban.
November 22. Inverness Town House, Inverness
November 23. Deeside Theatre, Aboyne.
November 23 & 24, 7:30 PM. Ecstasy. Sarah Slean, alto. Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Berhard Gueller. The program also includes Hatzis's arrangement of "Nothing But the Light" by Sarah Slean (combined with excerpts from "Das Lied Von der Erde" by Gustav Mahler.) Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Halifax, NS.
November 24, 8:00 PM. World Premiere of Haikus set to poetry in Basque by Tzaro Etxebarria Clemente. Nora Franco Madariaga, soprano; Conrado Moya Sanchez, marimba. Atrium of the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain.
November 27, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Quinchen Wang, marimba. University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble concert. Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Toronto.
November 30, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Eri Isomura, marimba. "10th Wave: Transcending Conflict" concert. Roosevelt High School 4029 28th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN.
December 3, 8:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Maddy Dethloff, marimba. Steve and Judy Turner Recital hall. 2400 Blakemore Avenue. Vanderbilt University. Hashville, TN.
December 5, 7:30 PM. Serenity from Departures. Susan Hoeppner, flute; Manitoba Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Scott Yoo. Westminster United Church, Winnipeg, MB.
December 6, 7:00 PM, Solem, choreographed by Yamila Guillermo and Gaston Exequiel Sanchez. Partly danced on Hatzis's String Quartet No. 1 (The Awakening). Centro Cultural Paco Urondo, 25 de Mayo 201, C1002ABE CABA, Argentina.
December 22 & 23, 7:30 PM. Old Photographs. Anita Duzevic Oliva, violin; Olena Kilchyk, cello; Charles Foreman, piano. Vanishing Empires. Mountain View International Festival of Song & Chamber Music. Southern Aleberta Pioneers Memorial Building, 3625—4 Street SW, Calbary, AB.
December 22, 6:00 PM. Christos Hatzis lecture on "Music and Spirituality" at the Royal Theatre. Part of the 4-guest lecture series "Greeks in the World" hosted by the National Theatre of Northern Greece. Thessaloniki, Greece.
December 23. Christos Hatzis Masterclass "Convergence: The Zeitgeist of 21st Century Music." Venue TBA. Thessaloniki, Greece.
(for more reviews, write-ups and comments click HERE or on COMMENTS on the left-hand-side menu).
Christos Hatzis (born in 1953) is moving from his status as "one of Canada's leading composers" toward broad international recognition. If Constantinople (2000), for mezzo-soprano, Arabic vocalist, string trio, and digital audio, becomes widely distributed and known, it should be an important landmark bringing him attention on the international scene. Hatzis is an eclectic, who effortlessly draws on the resources of contemporary compositional techniques; the music of his native Greece, especially that of the Orthodox Church; popular music; and a variety of folk traditions, in what he describes as "cultural counterpoint." In the diversity of traditions he commingles or juxtaposes, the composer he most closely resembles is Osvaldo Golijov (whose Pasión Según San Marcos was premiered the same year as Constantinople). Constantinople, the city that was defined by the convergence of a variety of cultures, is an apt topic for a composition characterized by the sometimes abrasive, sometimes harmonious convergence of musical styles. The piece is complex in its psychology -- there are no simple, predictable resolutions -- and in its multilayered structures (what Hatzis calls its "semantic density"), but it's not aurally difficult. Its sumptuous abundance of ideas, and the ingenious and inspired ways in which they are related, overlay its depth with a brilliant, attractive surface. Hatzis constantly astonishes his listeners by confounding expectations with rhythmic, melodic, and textural surprises, but there are plenty of anchors to keep the listener engaged: repetition of melodies or patterns, familiar harmonic languages, and folk-like dance structures. And he writes gorgeous, sensual vocal lines and idiomatic, dramatically charged instrumental parts. The Gryphon Trio and vocalists Patricia O'Callaghan and Maryem Hassan Tollar deliver gripping, urgent, and beautifully nuanced performances. Hatzis conceived of the pieces as chamber music to be staged, with surround sound audio, and the extensive use of videos, lighting effects, and chorography. The audio component captured on the CD offers a limited picture of the piece, and the listener can only imagine its impact when performed with all of the elements it was created to incorporate. Analekta's sound is clean, spacious, and realistic. AllMusic review by Stephen Eddins. http://www.allmusic.com/album/christos-hatzis-constantinople-mw0001853902
A modern Canadian composer attends the première of a work to hear its last performance.” This bon mot by the distinguished Calgary musician Quenten Doolittle has become proverbial. Yet there are exceptions to the rule — and Toronto’s Christos Hatzis is one of them. To say that Hatzis is a successful composer would be a grave understatement. The “contemporary Canadian master,” as The New Yorker described him, was born in Greece, spent some years in the U.S. where he received his academic training, and then became Canadian by choice. Beginning in the late 1970s, Hatzis has slowly but surely built a tremendous career. With a string of recordings on EMI, Sony, Naxos, CBC Records and other first-rate labels, often successfully competing in sales with pop albums, his presence on the international classical stage is now comparable to that of Philip Glass, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki, or Steve Reich. The man already is a Canadian icon and an international cultural institution. Despite his success, the composer oozes modesty and restraint. “I call myself an imitator,” he is quick to confess, “but not in the conventional sense of the word. When I say I’m an imitator, I refer to Him who guides me and maps out creative decisions for me.... As a musician and a human being, I feel that I must follow my conductor’s cue. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but what I think much art lacks most these days is spirituality.” Spirituality permeates practically every one of Hatzis’ compositions, including his groundbreaking multimedia masterpiece, Constantinople, for which he received a Juno. The newest one, Mirage? for percussion and chamber orchestra, which has its Edmonton première on Sept. 20, follows the same path. Hatzis explains its origins: “The piece, a percussion concerto, was commissioned by CBC for the Scottish virtuosa Dame Evelyn Glennie — also known in the pop world for her collaborations with Björk and Bobby McFerrin — and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra led by the truly fantastic Anne Manson, for their Western Canadian tour, which is now in progress. The music deals with the modern societies’ blatantly materialistic obsessions and temptations. I see a connection between the years preceding the present crisis and the ‘Roaring ’20s’ leading to Black Tuesday [Oct. 29, 1929] and the subsequent Great Depression. It is a sad piece, perhaps even a cry of despair, but for the modern world to survive, it is imperative to turn away from the seductive mirages of the exorbitant lifestyle.” Maestra Anne Manson speaks about Hatzis in almost poetic terms. “His sounds breathe space,” she says. “The opening build-up, with more and more light let in, is enchanting. At times, the music feels incredibly free, perhaps because it is so imbued with jazz. The piece is marvelous, and rarely have I seen a modern composition so successful with audiences. It is a veritable tour de force!” Hatzis means business. He’s currently hard at work on another big project which promises to cause a stir — a chamber opera centring on the last days of another Canadian legend, the 19th-century First Nations poet and writer Pauline Johnson. His co-writer? Some unknown author named Margaret Atwood.
Piotr Grella-Mozejko Music Feature, See Magazine (Edmonton, Canada) September 17, 2009.
As far as I was concerned, this 40-minute piece [Everlasting Light] was the whole program and it's surprising we haven't heard more about this masterpiece...there was nothing to lead one to expect a piece of music that turned out to be so ravishingly beautiful...Its movement is slow, some of the harmonies are very close and the feeling of ambience is indescribable...I personally found Everlasting Light very heartening because until now I've felt like a heathen listening to the music of Henryk Górecki and the so-called "holy minimalists" and even Arvo Pärt to an extent. This was far more beautiful than anything I've heard from any of them. The music has, in fact, a potent sense of otherworldliness and an immense quiet dignity. It has (grave) melody where the others supply only monastic medieval-sounding monody - frankly, monotony - and there isn't a moment in it that feels calculated or anything less than sincerely felt. Echoes of it followed me all the way home. The Cantata Singers under conductor Eric Hannan rose magnificently to its demands, as did its subtle percussionist, Anne-Julie Caron. She was the special guest on the program and performed with a talent reminiscent of Evelyn Glennie. It was amazing how she managed five minutes, or it could have been 10, of very soft thrumming as she held down a minor third. As already said, it could have been the whole concert...But everything was forgivable for the the unforgettable Everlasting Light.
Lloyd Dykk, The Vancouver Sun (Canada) October 21, 2008 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dame Evelyn rocks! No stranger to VSO programming, this phenomenon of the concert stage -- a deaf percussionist who has made percussion a solo instrument in serious music -- always has something musically new to say, bringing a work specially commissioned for her mega-talent. This concert, no exception to her regular visits, had the packed-out audience -- at least metaphorically speaking --both gasping for breath and bopping in the aisles during Greek composer Christos Hatzis' sprawling, deeply emotional Tongues of Fire for Percussion and Orchestra. The work's title sets its moment and concern: the flames that descended upon the Apostles on Pentecost, but rather than being celebratory, the work explores anguish and crisis, and in an intense second movement inner tranquility. That proves unsustainable but goes deep, as large-scale effects give way to almost unbearable lyrical intensity. Dame Evelyn was, as ever, on the top of her game, from the rapid-fire explosions of sound of primal character to coaxing out the infinitely small nuances of the vibraphone to goose-bump raising effect. Visceral and cerebral by turns, the work set up almost relentless challenges for soloist and orchestra. A self-conscious tour de force, Hatzis' composition could have been mere gimmickry but turned out to be profoundly moving both in its inventiveness and ideas. Maesto Tovey urged out a committed and thrilling reading of this piece not for the faint-of-heart, with the VSO delivering every bit as impassioned a performance as that delivered by its soloist-phenomenon. J. H. Stape, REVIEWVANCOUVER.COM (Canada).
There's something ariel-like about watching the Scottish percussionist extraordinaire Evelyn Glennie fly around her battery of drums on the stage barefoot in front of an orchestra....On Saturday she premiered a concerto by a Canadian composer and a very good one, Toronto's Christos Hatzis, whose work I've admired before. Called Tongues of Fire, it's mainly for marimba and orchestra but involves far more than marimba, only some of the other instruments being the vibraphone and cloud gongs. Cloud - that lovely word - describes an atmospheric work of moods that range from the dynamically thunderous and sharp to the seductively impressionistic and vague. The work is sensationally beautiful, all four movements, but especially the second, which begins with a sensuous, mysterious pop song sung by a soprano to a piano before it becomes the basis for the movement proper. It was as interesting to watch as to hear. When did you last hear a duel between a solo violin (the excellent Joan Blackman) and a bass drum in which every note was clear? This admirably approachable concerto is subtly crafted, fully integrating the percussion part with the orchestral part and the rhythms are fascinating with all the sexy ostinatos, the bones of rhythm. Even by Vancouver Symphony standards, the playing was exceptional and the house looked full. Lloyd Dykk, CANADA.COM, May 25, 2008; THE VANCOUVER SUN, May 28, 2008.
Glennie has played in Calgary and never fails to impress. Not only she is gifted technically, but her playing is exceptionally musical, encompassing the most amazing nuances of tone and rhythm. She had a full workout in the solo part of the concerto [Tongues of Fire], a virtuoso work in four titled movements that together make up a reflection on the idea of Pentecost, especially the sense of turbulence that surrounded the period just before Christ ascended to heavens. The music itself is unfailingly colourful in an idiom that broadly speaking might be called "neo-tonal". More specifically, the harmonic palate and melodic style resembled a cross between Anton Bruckner and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the short, fragmentary melodies having a churchy sound, but presented with all the subtlety and refinement associated with Phantom of the Opera and other works of that ilk. The immediacy of the effect was unmistakable, especially given the compelling performance by Glennie, and there was much to admire in the clever handling of mixed rhythms, largely assigned to the orchestra. As a virtuoso vehicle for Glennie or another virtuoso percussionist, the work is likely to have many performances. Hatzis was on hand for the performance, graciously acknowledging the obvious effort that has gone into the preparation and delivery of the work. Kenneth DeLong, THE CALGARY HERALD (Canada), May 31, 2008.
To provide a present-day climax to the program, Tafelmusik commissioned a new choral work - From the Song of Songs - by the Greek-Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, which had its premiere Thursday, and which the composer calls "an offering and prayer for peace in the Middle East."...The main solo singers were equally splendid...Tenor Muller's handsome and perfectly used voice transformed itself effortlessly for the several styles it had to adopt, quite astonishingly in the melismatic Eastern idiom it needed in the Hatzis. His duet with the wonderful Maryem Tollar in the middle movement of that work was a highlight of the evening. Tollar's singing was extraordinarily strange and poignant in the context of the Tafelmusik forces, and flawlessly modest and haunting...The Hatzis cantata must be counted a triumph, easily the best thing of his I've heard, with a vivid opening movement, a slow movement (My Beloved Is Mine) straight out of the elevated manner of Bach (with a theme perhaps too close to that of the closing chorus of the St. Matthew Passion) and a final movement that starts rather scattily but pulls itself together for a splendid finish. And what a lucky composer Hatzis was to have a first performance of this calibre. Ken Winters, THE GLOBE AND MAIL (Canada), March 8, 2008.