In announcing my 2011/12 season and the arrival of four new concertos into my repertoire, by Askell Masson, Sally Beamish, Kalevi Aho and Joseph Pereira, I'd like to say a few words about each of these works. Firstly, I do not recall a more diverse list of premieres in any season past, nor one with such great volume of music. The Masson and Aho are both complete and have taken on symphonic structures and proportions. The Masson develops many of his techniques and percussion tricks from over the years (I recently played his double concerto "Crossings" in Iceland") and followers of his idiomatic percussion style are in for a big thrill with a four movement work each with an ingenious set-up, culminating in a ferocious four-mallet percussion cadenza. The Aho will see me begin on hand drums - djembe and darbuka - then begin a steady journey from stage left, to stage right (where a tam-tam awaits for a brief solo-cadenza!) and back again over the course of a 30 minute work which will use the orchestra in his typically expansive way. Prominent roles for two orchestral percussion and timpanist promise a fine collaboration with my dear friends in the London Philharmonic - very exciting! The Beamish and Pereira concentrate on a more intimate sonority, each a concertante work with chamber orchestra. The Beamish promises a set of "dance variations" and we have spoken at length about the charm of this idea and how we can have me integrate within the ensemble to greatest effect. As always, it will be a great honour to perform with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra while the US Premire at Stanford Arts represents a debut for me including educational and recital events alongside. The Pereira will be a fantastic new piece for me with a long future ahead of it - Joseph is a greatly imaginative writer and I'm certain the work will be ambitious, fastidious, fun and full-on. And I get to collaborate with Gustavo Dudamel!!
Otherwise, I look forward to various debuts - Zurich, Aspen, Houston, Madrid and my Balkan debut in Estonia with HK Gruber. The tweets and facebook fanpage posts will be thick and fast, so clock on there for a more complete stream of how the season unfolds!
Many thanks for reading,