Sudbury pianist Yoko Hirota will be launching her new CD, “Voces Boreales” (Northern Voices), in the next concert in the 5-Penny New Music Concerts. The concert is on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at St. Peter’s United Church at 8 pm. General admission is $20 and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at Black Cat (96 Durham Street, Sudbury) or at the door.
“Voces Boreales” brings together the piano music of five distinguished Canadian composers: Brian Cherney, Brian Current, Robert Lemay, François Morel, and Laurie Radford. Three of the pieces on the program, Morel’s “Trinôme”, Cherney’s “Nachtstücke” (Night Pieces) and Lemay’s “Hiroshima mon amour” were written especially for her.
Since her arrival in Sudbury in 2000, the Laurentian University piano professor has appeared in-concert locally on numerous occasions as soloist with the Sudbury Symphony, recitalist, chamber musician, and accompanist. She also has appeared across Ontario, toured nationally, and abroad. She is highly regarded for her finely-honed technique as well as for her bold and imaginative interpretations.
Hirota comments that “Voces Boreales” was inspired by two ideas: “Northern Ontario, which has been my residence of the past decade, and Canada, which in the eyes of many Europeans is a northern country.”
She calls attention to the wide emotional compass of the music on the album. Current’s “Sungods” is a demanding tour de force, she says. “The brilliant piano timbres created by the composer are a delight to perform and to communicate to the audience.”
In contrast, “Hiroshima mon amour,” by Robert Lemay, depicts his trip to Hiroshima, in particular the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the A-Bomb Dome. “The impact of the trip is apparent in Robert’s acute sensitivity to colour in this piece.”
“Voces Boreales” is Hirota’s third CD. Her previous albums have won wide acclaim. “Small is Beautiful,” an album of piano miniatures, was praised for its “pinpoint precision” in the American Record Guide, while her first album, “Schoenberg Piano Music,” was cited as an “essential track” by the music critic of the Globe and Mail.
This concert is presented by the 5-Penny New Music Concerts in partnership with Laurentian University. It is also made possible with the financial support of the Socan Foundation, The City of Greater Sudbury, Laurentian University and the Ontario Arts Council.