Munro Piano Quintet a talking point

The Goldner String Quartet and Ian Munro perform in Coffs Harbour tonight as part of Musica Viva’s CountryWide series. This is the sixth concert in their tour so far, with concerts in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth still to come.

Ian Munro’s Piano Quintet no 2 has generated much discussion so far. A reworking of his single-movement piano concerto Dreams and his orchestral tone poem Drought & Night Rain, it is inspired by the poetry of Judith Wright, although not programmatic. Munro happily acknowledges his influences, both musical and otherwise, however this work also explores a musical language all Ian’s own.

Piano technician Ara Vartoukian servicing a piano at the Huntington Estate Music Festival

Ian’s new work explores some unusual techniques for a piano quintet. The string players at time branch out into percussion, while Ian at one point reaches inside the piano to strum the strings. This created a talking point even before the tour began! Many venues have restrictions around touching piano strings – while a piano may look large and sturdy, natural oils from human fingers can tarnish the materials inside. Fortunately, in some cases after lengthy discussions, consensus was reached and Ian has not had to modify the composition!

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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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