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Pathways to the Soul The Cello and Piano Sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms (1640 x 861 px).p

Complete Sonatas for Piano and Cello by Beethoven and Brahms

Join internationally renowned pianist Dr. Michael Tsalka and cellist Elgee Leung in their soul-searching quest to perform the complete cycle of the seven sonatas for piano and cello by Beethoven and Brahms. Composed between 1796 and 1815, Beethoven’s five sonatas for piano and cello were not only the pioneers in the medium where the two instruments play as a duo with equal significance, but also a concise journey through the composer’s three compositional periods. The baton of continuing the German music traditions with this genre in the Romantic Period was then passed to Brahms, who composed two sonatas for piano and cello in 1862-65 and 1886 respectively. From the young Beethoven to the pinnacle of the Late Romantic Period, the cycle spans the first 90 years of development in one of the most exquisite chamber music genres.

Dr. Michael Tsalka is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the School of Music, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. He is also a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), Salzburg, Austria; the Chairman of the Board (and faculty) of the European Fortepiano Museum and Academy (EFM) in Germany, and a visiting Professor at Celaya Conservatory of Music in Guanajuato, Mexico. As a pianist and early keyboard performer, he has won numerous prizes in Europe, Asia, North America, and Latin America. He has also recorded 30 critically acclaimed CDs for various renowned recording companies such as NAXOS and Paladino. Circa 65 contemporary compositions (which he premiered) were dedicated to him by composers from all over the world. Pamela Hickman described his CD of the Seven Viktor Ullmann’s Piano Sonatas on Concert Critique Blog, “Tsalka’s articulate and sensitive reading gives each sonata palpable musical life, the works coming across as ‘contemporary’ and as relevant to current musical thought today as when they were written.”

Originally from Hong Kong, where he has served as an orchestral cellist in Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Pan Asia Orchestra, and Hong Kong Bach Choir Orchestra, Elgee Leung has enjoyed a diverse musical career, performing extensively for over two decades also as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor in Asia, Europe, and New Zealand. In addition to performing a wide range of standard recital, chamber music and solo concerto repertoire, Leung has participated in various premieres of modern works, including the world premiere of David Urrows’ The Martyrdom of St Cecilia as the assistant cello principal, and the Asian premiere of Nikolai Kapustin’s Elegy and Nearly Waltz as the soloist.


Programme I (27th, 29th, & 31st July)

Beethoven Sonata for Piano & Cello No. 1 in F major, No. 2 in G minor (Op.5), & No. 4 in C major (Op. 102, No. 1) Brahms Sonata for Piano & Cello No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38

Programme II (28th July, 1st & 5th August)

Beethoven Sonata for Piano & Cello No. 3 in A major (Op.69), & No. 5 in D major (Op. 102, No. 2) Brahms Sonata for Piano & Cello No. 1 in F major, Op. 99


Nelson | Nelson Centre of Musical Arts | 27 Jul (Sat) 7:00pm & 28 Jul (Sun) 3:00pm

Christchurch | The Piano - The Chamber | 31 Jul (Wed) 7:30pm & 1 Aug (Thu) 7:30pm

Blenheim | Fidelio Cafe & Wine Bar | 29 Jul (Mon) 7:00pm & 5 Aug (Mon) 7:00pm

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