Tue | Jan 26, 2021

J’can composers join int’l salute to Beethoven - 250th birthday of German maestro

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2020 | 12:09 AM
Executive director of Music Unites Jamaica Foundation, Rosina Christina Moder.
Executive director of Music Unites Jamaica Foundation, Rosina Christina Moder.

Powered by virtual reality, persons in Jamaica and around the globe will be able to experience the music of several Jamaican composers being performed as a salute to German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers who ever lived.

The aim of this concert is to join the worldwide celebration of the ‘International Beethoven Year’, in memory of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, as well as to showcase music by Jamaican composers, especially those who live and create outside of Jamaica. In their tribute to him, there will be recollections both in music and words, as they share how Beethoven has positively impacted their musical journey.

Music Unites Jamaica Foundation (MUJF), led by Executive Director Rosina Christina Moder, in collaboration with the German Embassy, will stage this classical showcase described as “an ode to joy”. Moder notes that Music Unites Jamaica has always celebrated the anniversaries of both local and international composers.

It features several Jamaican instrumentalists, vocalists and A-List composers, including Sharon Calcraft, who left Jamaica in 1969 for Australia, and became famous as an international composer of film music from as early as her twenties. She still resides in Sydney and dedicates her life to composing music. Another Jamaican, Eleanor Alberga, established herself as a world-renowned contemporary composer, and continues to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Peter Ashbourne, whose achievements in the fields of classical music, jazz, and popular forms have greatly assisted the advancement of musical excellence in Jamaica, will also be a part of the showcase, as well as Jamaican composer and conductor Ted Runcie, who now resides in Taiwan.

Other performances will include works by pianist Paul Shaw, who resides in the United States, presenting his own work, as well as a sonata by Beethoven; tenor Michael Sean Harris; head of the piano department at the School of Music/Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Stephen Shaw Naar, and soprano Carline Waugh. Also performing is Jamaica’s violinist extraordinaire Steven Woodham, who will open the concert with a solo fantasy. One of the special highlights of the event will be the curtain-raiser for the virtual concert, in the form of a special performance by young Jamaican pianist Alain Barrant, of Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous Fur Elise.

Some of the performances will be filmed at historical locations such as King’s House and the Chinese Pavilion at the Hope Botanical Gardens.

This virtual concert will be live-streamed worldwide on many social media platforms such as Canute Ellis’ Culture Shock, and on PBCJ on Sunday, December 13, at 4:00 p.m.