This was a concert for the inaugural ceremony of the new music ensemble Nexus, formed by five gentlemen and featuring a cello, a Shakuhachi, an acoustic piano, live electronics and erhu – amalgamating the distinctive colours of musical instruments from the East and the West.
The ensemble performed a medley with excerpts from masterpieces from music by Kreisler, Grieg, Debussy, Piazzolla and theme songs from notable movies.
Nexus’s artistic director Dr Anthony Cheng especially arranged the music for this occasion.
An entirely new experience to witness the variety of musicality these instruments can generate together. Interested readers can revisit the live performance via this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/3102IQ9FrAw.
A wonderful musical evening with a programme that included works from Mendelssohn, Mozart and Copland, spanning from classical to contemporary style. In particular, Elliot Leung, a Canada-based composer, was commissioned for a new piece, Quintet No. 2, “Gardiner Expressway”, to be world premiered for this concert. Being a film music composer, he wrote this piece by making use of the quarantine period while travelling around different countries. “Gardiner Expressway” was an exciting piece with perpetual momentum, as its title suggested – surely not something light for any performers but the chamber group executed it very well, leading to an enjoyable and captivating concert.
The audience who stayed behind after the end of the programme would certainly be thrilled with the opportunity to listen to the encore – a commission piece by composer and pianist Julie Kuok. An arrangement based on Chinese piece named “賽馬” (composer Huang Haihuai), she blended it with Rossini’s “William Tell”, together with some of her extended composition techniques, to create this invigorating piece. The strings and clarinet players needed to imitate the neighing of horses towards the end drew the concert to an amusing close.