Last Blues: Continuum Sax and Match Percussion.

Building upon a previous collaboration with Match Percussion, this concert features the world premiere of Brian Howard’s Last Blues, an ambitious and intriguing score for violin, saxophones and percussion inspired by a poem by Cesare Pavese. Match Percussion and Continuum Sax will be joined by the inspiring violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and conducted by Roland Peelman. This concert will be presented by the New Music Network in its 2010 concert series.

In Review:

'Brian Howard’s Last Blues for solo violin, saxophone quartet and percussion duo (2008) is a formidable, bracing and beautiful work... Last Blues stays with you like the recollection of a concerto, the instrument’s range is widely exploited, and when it sings and the tenor saxophone then soars with it and beyond, the work’s sense of interiority, of aloneness, but also of fragile togetherness is most felt.'. - Real Time Arts Oct/Nov 2010

Damien Ricketson: Length and Breath for saxophone quartet
Mary Finsterer: Ionia for saxophone quartet and percussion duo.
Brian Howard: Last Blues for solo violin, saxophone quartet and percussion duo

Continuum Sax
MATCH Percussion: Daryl Pratt and Alison Pratt
Violin: Natsuko Yoshimoto
Conductor: Roland Peelman

Stage Requirements:
Extensive Percussion Set Up
16 Music Stands

Premiere Performance: 24 August 2010.

Review: SMH 27 August 2010

Associate Artist Biographies:

Match Percussion

Daryl Pratt is a percussionist and Chair of the Percussion Unit at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 1991. He also teaches in the Composition and Jazz Units and conducts the Modern Music Ensemble.

Pratt’s broad musical background has an emphasis in contemporary ‘classical’ music and jazz. His most recent creative project involves compositions and performances with MATCH Percussion, a duet he founded with his wife Alison Pratt in 2001. Since formation they have embarked on tours in Australia and the USA and released the CD Water Settings (Tall Poppies, 2005). His career includes numerous solo, chamber and orchestral recordings on labels such as ABC, Lovely, Naxos, CRI, Rufus Records, EFA, VoxAustralis, Fleur de Son Classics, and Tall Poppies. His compositions for percussion are featured on the Tall Poppies CD Pratt’s Alchemy. Other compositions include works for chamber ensemble and voice.

Pratt was a member of Sonor, directed by Bernard Rands (1977-1984), co-founded Pipeline with Simone deHaan (1987-1995) was a member of The Australia Art Orchestra, director Paul Grabowsky, (1994-2001), AtmaSphere, with David Jones (1991-) and The Chad Wackerman Group (1997-). In the early 1990s he formed the electric Jazz group Sonic Fiction and released CDs between 1993 and 1997 on Tall Poppies and NAXOS.

Alison Pratt

Perth born and educated Alison Pratt (nee Eddington) has been working as a free-lance percussionist since 1990. With a BMUS in Performance from WA Conservatorium - Edith Cowan University, and a Graduate Diploma in Performance from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she was the first percussionist to win the ABC Young Performer of the Year in 1995. In 1996 Alison won the Arts category in Western Australia for the Young Australian of the Year. In 2000 she was awarded a Grant from the Australia Council and studied for six months at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with Anders Loguin, Artistic Director of the Kroumata percussion ensemble.

Alison performs with Australia’s leading orchestras and ensembles including The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Seymour Group, The Song Company and The Australian Art Orchestra. Alison has performed and toured in North America, Europe and Asia with Graham Murphy’s Sydney Dance Company since the creation of ‘Free Radicals’ in 1996, a work featuring three percussionists. She has been a member of Synergy Percussion since 1997 and is a founding member of MATCH Percussion with Daryl Pratt. Alison has appeared on television for the ABC and has recorded with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Song Company, Match and Synergy. In 2002 she was the featured soloist with the Western Australian Orchestra in the Australian premier of Michael Torke’s percussion concerto, ‘Rapture’.

Natsuko Yoshimoto

Natsuko has won many prizes in international competitions including the Wieniawski, the Yehudi Menuhin and the Tibor Varga and in 2007 she was presented with the Iwaki Award for outstanding achievement as a Japanese artist. In great demand as a soloist, she has appeared with many world renowned orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia (London), Halle Orchestra, Odense  Symphony (Denmark), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Natsuko has appeared frequently at major international festivals throughout Europe, U.S.A, Asia and Australia.

Natsuko is currently the concertmaster with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and has given many world premieres of works by Australia's most prominent composers and has recorded for Virgin Classics, ABC Classics, Melba Records and Tall Poppies.  In 2001 she became the leader of the Australian String Quartet and later the Grainger Quartet in 2006.

Roland Peelman

Acclaimed musician of great versatility, Roland Peelman was born in Flanders, Belgium and has been active in Australia over 20 years as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers and musicians alike. He has received numerous accolades for his long-standing commitment to The Song Company and the creative arts in Australia, receiving the NSW Award for “the most outstanding contribution to Australian Music by an individual’ in 2005. In 2006 he was named ‘musician of the year’ by music critic Fred Blanks in the Sydney Morning Herald and again featured as one of Sydney’s top twenty musicians at the end of 2007.

His overview and understanding of the music canon is unique with a repertoire that includes the major classical works and operas from Mozart to Gerswhin as well as the oeuvre by Lassus, Monteverdi, Schütz, Purcell and Bach and much of the new repertoire created overseas and in Australia.

He has worked with most orchestras in Australia and has conducted an abundance of new work with specialist ensembles such as Sydney Alpha, Libra and Ictus (Belgium-Germany) and most recently, Ensemble Offspring.