Young musicians to honour Sitsky

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CANBERRA Youth Orchestra is lashing out on October 31 with a big 80th birthday concert for its patron, Larry Sitsky, one of our most eminent composers.

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Artistic director of the orchestra, Rowan Harvey Martin, will be conducting Sitsky’s “Concerto for Orchestra”, written in 1984 for the Sydney Symphony.

In fact the concerto is a completion and realisation of “Fantasia Contrappuntistica, by Ferruccio Busoni, the subject of Sitsky’s research and practice for many years.

The “Fantasia Contrappuntistica” in turn was various versions of Busoni’s realisation of a fragment of the last fugue from “The Art of Fugue” left unfinished by JS Bach.

Busoni and he completed a number of versions of his reconstruction of Bach’s fugue using ‘Bachian’ techniques, with the idea of combining all, but he did not live to complete this work.

Sitsky took on the task of combining various editions, excerpts and hints given by Busoni for orchestral colour; occasionally departing from Busoni. This is the perfect work to showcase the skills of CYO’s young artists.

Also on the program will be Australian pianist and champion of Sitsky’s music (and the brother of the conductor) Michael Kieran Harvey, who will perform excerpts from “Dimensions of Night,” written for him by Sitsky; Nigel Westlake’s “Antarctica” Suite for Guitar and Orchestra with soloist Ciaran Edwards-McKeown; and compositions by two of Sitsky’s students.

Sitsky will be attending this concert and as we can’t resist saying in this birthday year, is very likely to be “Happy as Larry,”

Canberra Youth Orchestra, the ANU Chamber Orchestra and guest soloists present an 80th Birthday Concert for Larry Sitsky, at Llewellyn Hall, 7.30pm, Friday 31 October, bookings to ticketek.com.au or 6247 4714 or cymoffice@canberrayouthmusic.asn.au

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