Local Vibes
September 20, 2011
Sutherland for evening of classical dance music “Shall We Dance?”

Renowned Vincentian concert pianist Sean Sutherland will be the featured performer in an evening of classical dance music at Government House on Sunday, October 2.{{more}}

The show, called “Shall We Dance?” will showcase dance music written for the piano.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Sunday evening, Sutherland said the first half of the show will feature works of Paderewski, Liszt and Chopin and will explore three more traditional dance forms: the minuet, the waltz and the polonaise.

“The second half would start out with some excerpts from Pletnev’s transcription of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, as well as dance music from the Americas. In that regard, I will explore ragtime, tango, and some Afro-Cuban rhythms. It is a nice mix of familiar music with lesser known music, displays of virtuosity, and dance rhythms,” he said.

Before taking the stage at Government House, Sutherland will perform the programme at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, Trinidad, on Saturday, October 1.

The gifted Sutherland, who is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied both engineering and music as an undergraduate, and subsequently completed Master’s degree in Engineering, said he is hoping to take the programme to other Caribbean islands as well.

“I am hoping to take the programme to other Caribbean islands, but have not yet fleshed out a tour, as I have been a little busy!” Sutherland shared.

“However, Trinidad wanted a performance and so I figured I can do it in St. Vincent on the same trip. There may be a performance in Turks and Caicos at the end of October, but those details are being finalized,” he said.

Sutherland said patrons of the recital, which will be held under the patronage of His Excellency the Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, should expect a show which is “balanced and quite accessible”.

“I think of programs as a piece of art. I have been working with themes and choosing pieces that would fit and arranging it so that it has a flow and makes a statement. I have also tried to have a mix of familiar and less familiar works. Some works such as the Mephisto Waltz by Liszt is a warhorse of the piano repertoire. The Heroic Polonaise by Chopin is very popular and its melody is widely known. The Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, which follows, is featured in the movie “The Pianist”. Joplin’s rags are well known, and so are the excerpts from the Nutcracker. The recital would be, therefore, balanced and quite accessible to the audience”.

Sutherland began his musical studies with the late Lois Williams here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 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.

Proceeds from the October 2 recital will be in aid of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Children’s Welfare Fund. Tickets may be obtained from members. The show begins at 6:30 p.m.