In North America you
can order Christos Hatzis’s music
through Edition Peters
In the Fire of Conflict
Fabian Ziegler, marimba
Steven Henry, rap
Eliyah Reichen, video production
Felix Reyes, marimba
Four/Ten Media, video production
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.
February 9 & 10, 7:30:00 PM.The Isle is Full of Noises. Prague Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andrey Boreyko. Municipal House, Smetana Hall, Prague, Czech Republic.
March 17, 7:30 PM. String Quartet No. 3 (The Questioning). Afiara String Quartet. Ringe kirke, Kirkepladsen 4, 5750 Ringe, Denmark.
April 2 - May 27. North European premiere and performances of the ballet "One and Others" based on Hatzis's String Quartet No. 1 (The Awakening). Demis Volpi, choreography; Thomas Lempertz, costums; Claudia Sánchez, light design. Premiere and performances:
April 2 (premiere), 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 5, 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 8, 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 10 at 3:00 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 23, at 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 26, (audience discussion) at 7:30 PM, Theater Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
April 30, (premiere) at 7:30 PM, Theater Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
May 13, 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
May 18, 7:30 PM, Theater Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
May 26, 6:30 PM, Theater Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
May 27, 7:30 PM, Opera House Düsseldorf.
April 29. World premiere of Vernal Equinox. Theodore Milkov, marimba. Athens State Orchestra under the direction of Miltos Logiadis. Christos Lambrakis Hall, Megaron Moussikis, Athens, Greece.
February 21 & 28. Old Photographs. Trio Elan (Frederic-Alexandre Michaud, violin; Eliana Zimmerman, cello; Ylan Chu, piano). Les Dejeuners Croissant-Musicque. Arts et Spectacles de Laval. Maison des Arts de Laval. Laval, Quebec.
February 24, 8:00 PM. String Quartet No. 2 (The Gathering). "Nadir" (third movement). Dior Quartet (Noa Sarid, Tobias Elser, violins; Caleb Georges, viola; Joanne Yesol Choi, cello). Jacobs Virtual Performance Series, Auer Concert Hall, School of Music, Indiana University. Indiana.
March 5, 7:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Beñat López, marimba. Conservatorio Superior de Navarra. YouTube broadcast.
April 6 12:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Matthew Walton, marimba. Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin College and Conservatory, Obertlin OH.
March 27, 2:00 PM. Melisma. Peter Stoll, clarinet. Brandon University Clarinet Festival, School of MUsic Brandon, MB.
April 9, 7:00 PM. On-line broadcast of the video of Menorah. Marc Djokic, violin; Christina Quilico, piano; University of Toronto New Music Festival. Toronto, ON.
April 23 7:00 & 9:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Laura Trompetter, marimba. Songs in Wood, FFF series. Doelene Ensemble, Studio Rotterdam and online on YouTube. HBS Guilding, Studio 6, 's Gravendijkwal 58b, 3014 EE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
April 24. Light from the Cross.Siranous Tsalikian, soprano; Thessaloniki State Orchestra, under the direction of Miltos Logiadis. A virtual concert commemorating the Armenian genocide. Videotaped performance for Greek Natonal Television (ERT3) and YouTube.
May 4, 8:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Jasmine Tsui, marimba. Masters Recital (online). Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Toronto.
June 2, 2:00 PM. Haikus. Magdalena Kawęcka, soprano; Virginia Alcaria, marimba. Akademia Muzyczna w Gdańsku, ul. Łąkowa 1-2, Gdansk, Poland.
June 3, 2:00 PM. Broadcast of the entire balet score of GOING HOME STAR: Truth and Reconciliation. CKCU FM 93.1 Ottawa, ON.
June 5, 2:00 PM. Parlor Music. Jenny Arcelia López Infante, vibraphone; Faculty members of the Faculty of Music of the UNICACH; Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico.
July 4, 1:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Laura Trompetter, marimba. Songs in Wood. Lourdeskerk Scheveningen - Theater / Cultural Center / Spiritual Center. 108 2nd Messstraat, 2586 XG The Hague, Netherlands.
July 4, 2:00 PM. Hatzis Composer Profile. International Katarzyna Mycka Marimba Academy. Online meetings 2021. Under the umbrella of Marimba Festiva.
July 10, 5:30 PM. String Quartet No. 2 (The Gathering). "Nadir" (third movement). Dior Quartet (Noa Sarid, Tobias Elser, violins; Caleb Georges, viola; Joanne Yesol Choi, cello). Banff Centre, Banff, AB.
August 20, 5:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Wendy Palomeque, marimba. Embassy of the Free Mind. Keizersgracht 123 1015 CJ Amsterdam, NL
August 21, 5:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Marianna Bednarska, marimba. Davos Festival, Concert 23. Congress Center, Davos Platz, Davos, Switzerland.
October 19, 7:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Marimba meets Büchner: A chamber music evening in three acts. Prima Volta, Zurich, Switzerland.
October 23, 8:30 PM (UTC). Fertility Rites. Pei-Ching Wu, marimba. World Percussion Group 2021 Virtual Tour. https://youtu.be/FfqM_YXzWpI.
October 31, 6:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Natasa Hatziandreou, marimba. Wooden Sounds. Pallas Cinetheatre, Nicosia, Cyprus.
November 7, 3:00 PM. String Quartet No. 2 (The Gathering). "Nadir" (third movement). Dior Quartet (Noa Sarid, Tobias Elser, violins; Caleb Georges, viola; Joanne Yesol Choi, cello). Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival. St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, 335 Main Street, Picton, ON.
November 14, 3:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Maria Melo, marimba. Bogota Philharmonic hall. Bogota, Colombia.
November 19, 7:30 PM (UTC). Fertility Rites. Heyji Bak, marimba. Seoul Arts Center Recital Hall, Seoul, South Korea.
November 19. Old Photographs. The NZTrio (Amalia Hall, violin; Ashley Brown, cello; somi Kim, piano). WCMT: NZTrio - InterFusions. New Zealand.
November 22, 7:30 PM. String Quartet No. 2 (The Gathering). "Nadir" (third movement). Dior Quartet (Noa Sarid, Tobias Elser, violins; Caleb Georges, viola; Joanne Yesol Choi, cello). Livestream, Mondays in the Mishkan. The Centre for Arts & Culture, Holy Blossom Temple.Toronto.
November 25, 1:30 PM. Arctic Dreams. Susan Hoeppner, flute; Beverley Johnston, marimba. "Memories of the Danforth" from Vignettes. Mark Djokic, violin; Beverley Johsnton, marimba. "Beverley Johnston & Friends" concert. Music in the Afternoon. Livestream from Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.
January 14, 6:00 PM.Fertility Rites. Marek Czajka, marimba. Academy of Music (aMus), Gdansk. Poland.
January 15, 8:00 PM. Modulations 1. TorQ percussion quartet. The Jeffrey Concert Series. Wolf Performance Hall, 251 Dundas St., London, ON.
January 16, 7:30 PM. String Quartet No. 1 (The Awakening). Continum ensemble. Stegi Concert Hall, Onasis Foundation, Athens, Greece.
January 18, 5:00 PM. The Mega4 Meta4. Ryan Davis, viola. Temerty Theatre, Royal Conservatory of Music, 21C Festival. Toronto.ON.
January 19, 7:30 PM. String Quartet No. 4 (The Suffering). The Penderecki String Quartet. University of Toronto New Music Festival, Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
January 24. Official release of the "Sarah Slean CD" on Centrediscs (NAXOS). Sarah Slean, vocalist; Symphony Nova Scotia under the direction of Berhanrd Gueller. The CD consists of the song cycles Lamento (music & lyrics by Hatzis) and Ecstasy (music by Hatzis, lyrics by Slean). The CD climbed to No. 6 position on the Classical iTunes list.
February 7. Arctic Dreams. Hannah Donnely, flute; Sean Millman, vibraphone. Black Box Theatre, New York University, New York, NY.
February 13, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. Part of PULSE 2020. Konservatoriets koncertsal (Radioyset), Frederiksberg, Denmark.
February 15, 8:00 PM. Modulations. Torq Percussion Quartet. The Jeffery Concerts, Grand Theatre, London, ON.
March 4, 8:00 PM. Arctic Dreams. Jesse Guo, flute; Thomas Law, vibraphone. Roy Barnett Recital Hall, UBC Music Building, UBC, Vancouver, BC.
March 6, 6:00 PM.Fertility Rites. Marek Czajka, marimba. Akademia Muzyczna im. Stanisława Moniuszki w Gdańsku Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku, Gdansk, Poland.
March 7, 5:00 PM.Fertility Rites. Mio Fujimoto, marimba. Richard Ortner Studio Building, Boston Conservatory at Berkley. Boston MA.
March 7 to 22. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. (in concert with Nexus Wind Quintet).(Cancelled due to Covid-19.)
March 7, 8:00 PM. Postremise Churc, Chur, Switzerland.
March 8, 11:00 AM. Uri Theater, Altdorf, Altdorf, Switzerland.
March 19, 8:00 PM. Wasserkirche, Zurich, Switzerland.
March 21, 8:00 PM. Hunenberg, ref. Church, Hunenberg, Switzerland.+
March 22, 11:00 AM. Neubad Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland.
March 29, 5:00 PM. Dystopia. Olga Rykov, violin. Livestreem from Leith Ontario.
April 2, 1:30 PM. Arctic Dreams. Susan Hoeppner, flute; Beverley Johnston, marimba Vignettes. Marc Djokic, violin; Beverley Johnston, marimba. "Beverley Johnston & Friends." Music in the Afternoon. Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON. (Postponed due to Covid-19.)
April 5, 3:00 PM. Coming To. Marc Djokic, violin; Valerie Dueck, piano. Syrinx Concerts, Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. Toronto. (Cancelled due to Covid-19.)
April 5, 3:00 PM.Fertility Rites. Alex Quade, marimba. (Virtual online recital) Harper Hall, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin.May 28, 5:30 PM. Fertility Rites. Radim Večeřa, percussion. Besední dů. Komenského náměstí 534/8, Brno, Czech Republic.
May 29. Tongues of Fire. Zhengdao Lu, percussion. Changchun Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gao Song. Jilin Library Grand Hall. Changchun City, Jilin Province, China.
May 31, 3:00 PM. Odd World. Architek Percussion. Melodica concert. BCA Music Series St. John's United Church, 32 Park Street, Brockville, ON.
June 8, 7:30 PM. Old Photographs. The NZ Trio (Amalia Hall, violin; Ashley Brown, cello; somi Kim, piano). Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre, Wellington, New Zealand.
June 19, 8:30 PM. Old Photographs. The NZ Trio. Classical Expressions in association with Chamber Music New Zealand. Whirinaki Arts & entertainment Centre, Whirinaki, New Zealand.
June 8, 7:00 PM. String Quartet No. 2 (The Gathering). The Esposito Quartet. The Dundalk Gaol. Carrickmacross Road, Dundalk, CO. Louth, Ireland. (Cancelled due to Covid-19.)
July3, 7:00 PM. Face To Face. William Hobbs, piano. Epirous Chamber Music Festival 2020. Presented by Chamber Music Hellas. Church of Panaghia Parigoritissa, Arta, Greece. (Cancelled due to Covid-19.)
July 24, 7:00 PM.Fertility Rites. Hyeji Bak, marimba. Festival Jeunes Talents, Cathédrale Sainte-Croix-des-Arméniens 13 rue du Perche - 75003 Paris 3e, France.
September 10. Modulations. Jonas Krause, Bao Tin van Cong, Matthias Schurr, Nils Kochskämper. Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, Germany.
September 19, 7:30 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Katarzyna Mycka, marimba. XII Międzynarodowy Festiwal Muzyka u J.I Schnabla- Marimba rewolucyjnie. Nowogrodziec, Poland.
September 27 - October 11. Old Photographs. The NZ Trio. InterFusions tour, New Zealand.
September 27, 3:00 PM. St. Andrew's on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington.
October 1, 7:30 PM. Monarch Room, Princess Gate Hotel, 1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua.
October 3, 6:00 PM. The Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead, Hillsborough, Aukland.
October 4, 2:30 PM. Waikanae Memorial Hall, Pehi Kupa Street, Waikanae.
October 7, 7:30 PM. The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch.
October 8, 7:00 PM. St. Marks Church, Woburn Road, Lower Hutt..
October 10, 2:30 PM. Old Library Building, 7 Rust Avenue, Whangarei.
October 11, 4:00 PM. Warkworth Town Hall, 2 Alnwick Street, Warkworth.
October 18, 4:00 PM. The Town Hall, Concert Chamber, Auckland.
October 25, 5:30 PM. Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), Avelock North.
October 10, 7:00 PM & 9:00 PM. Nadir. Juho Myllylä, recorder; Hessel Moeselaar, viola. Splendor, Amsterdam, NL.
October 26, 7:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Bevis Ng, marimba. They Up:Strike Percussion concert. Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage Arts, Hong Kong.
October 31, 8:00 PM. World video premiere of Zeitgeist. The National Opera of Greece orchestra under the direction of Miltos Logiadis. Filming location The Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" Part of the Second Greek National Opera Online Festival "Counterpoints". Broadcast on nationalopera.gr/en, NGO's Facebook page and YouTube channe as well as the website of the Ministry of Culture and Sports digitalculture.gov.gr. The video will remain online unitl November 30.
Novmeber 5, 12:00 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Diana Malo, marimba. Culture Uniandes and Music Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.
Novmeber 16, 1:15 PM. In the Fire of Conflict. Fabian Ziegler, marimba. Semi-finals, TROMP International Percussion Competition 2020. Livestream.
November 21, 7:00 & 9:00 PM. Atonement. David Liam Roberts, cello; LaLa Lee, piano. Cecilia Concerts, Lilian Piercey Concert Hall, 6199 Chebucto Road, Halifax, NS.
November 21, 8:00 PM. String Quartet No. 1 (The Awakening). Quatuor St-Germain (Élise Lavoie and Hugues Laforte-Bouchard, violins; Steeve St-Pierre, viola; James Darling, cello). Salle des Jardins—TELUS, Rimouski, Quebec.
November 21, 7:30 PM. "Despair" from Lamento. Sarah Slean, vocalist; London Symphonia the direction of Scott Good. The program also includes an orchestral arrangement by Hatzis of Sarah Slean's "Parasol" for vocalist, solo violin and orchestra. Metropolitan United Church, London, ON.
November 24, 7:00 PM. Fertility Rites. Maho Ishida, marimba. Percussion masterclass of Percussions de Strasbourg. Conservatoire de Strasbourg. Strasbourg, France.
December 6, 2:00 PM. World premiere and video premiere of Menorah. Marc Djokic, violin; Christina Quilico, piano. Photography ("Last Folio") by Yuri Dojc. Adrian Thiessen & Fourgrounds Media Inc. producers. Jeff Herd, production manager Commissioned by Bravo Niagara, (Christine Mori, Artistic Director) with financial support from the Ontario Arts Council.
(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.