IN TERMS OF AGE it’ll be a case of extremes when Larry Sitsky joins one of his most brilliant piano students, Adam Cook, in a duo piano concert called “Four Hands.”There’s no need to introduce Sitsky, the composer, pianist, writer, broadcaster and teacher extraordinaire who believes that composers should perform, arguing that “without this communion with a live audience, music-making all too easily becomes over-intellectualised, sterile and arid”.
As for Cook, co-winner of last year’s Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship that will soon take him to France, he is EVERYWHERE this season, performing across the classical and jazz repertoire, often with his own ensemble, The Monotremes. He studied composition at the University of Western Australia under Roger Smalley, later moving to Canberra to study piano performance. In 2007, he was invited to participate in one year of private study in France with Jean-Paul Sevilla, with whom he completed a Diplôme d’Excellence en Musique.
Returning, Cook completed his Bachelor of Music in piano and French, and is currently enrolled at the ANU in an Honours degree in piano. As part of his ANU degree, he premiered Sitsky’s “Sonata No. 2 for piano”, composed for Cook in 2010. At Cook’s marriage earlier this year to chanteuse Chanel Cole, Sitsky performed a work composed especially for the occasion.
Sitsky and Cook have long discussed doing a concert together and have finally collaborated in creating a program of music including the world premiere of Larry’s augmentation of Busoni’s “Fantasia Contrappuntistica”.
Busoni spent 20 years composing and revising this large-scale work composed entirely polyphonically. It is both a celebration of the gradual liberation of tonality and a testament to J.S. Bach.
Other work on the program includes: Franz LISZT: “Les Préludes, after Lamartine”, transcribed by the composer; W. A. MOZART trans. BUSONI: “Fantasie für eine Orgelwalze”, KV608; Francis POULENC: “Sonate pour piano a quatre mains”, FP8.
“Four Hands,” Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music, 7pm, October 11, bookings to fourhands.eventbrite.com