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St Vincent pianist to thrill Queen’s Hall
Dance music lovers and fans of St Vincent’s concert pianist Sean Sutherland have something to look forward to next month. On October 1, Sutherland will grace the stage of Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s with a programme that promises to make patrons groove. Sutherland has performed as a soloist and accompanist throughout the Caribbean and North America, but this time he will cater to the local love of movement, with dance music exploring both traditional classical pieces and contemporary works with strong jazz, afro-Cuban and Spanish influences.
After beginning musical studies with Lois Williams at his home in St Vincent, Sutherland was offered a scholarship in the UK at age 15. He opted to complete high school instead, and was subsequently accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied both engineering and music as an undergraduate. He subsequently completed a Master’s degree in engineering. An Emerson Music Scholar and MIT Arts Scholar, he studied piano with Heng-Jin Park and Jerome Rose, then later with Patria Zander of the New England Conservatory, before returning to the Caribbean in 2004. Back home, he became musical director of Rhythmix Steel Orchestra, where he arranged the music for the all classical recital Ivory and Steel, and performed everywhere—from the Governor General’s residence, to New York, and back to St Vincent’s Blues Festival, Buccument on the Bay.
Without giving up his engineering interests, even while working the other type of keyboard for companies like Google, Sutherland’s musical talents could never be ignored. Some may remember his previous local engagements. He performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad in August 2009, and when he played here again earlier this year with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra, musical director Jessel Murray enthused, “This concert... will be a fabulous opportunity for young musicians to perform side-by-side with professionals like Sean... I’m delighted that he will join the orchestra for our performance of the concerto...”
This time around, Sean Sutherland will feature familiar waltz/dance repertoire from the romantic period, mixing tunefully melodic and dazzlingly virtuosic works from Liszt and Chopin, as well as Spanish dance music from Mompou, Afro Cuban Dances of Cuban composer Lecuona, and even a taste of tango, jazz and reggae from American composer William Bolcom.
• For further information call 627-8146.
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