Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge runs weekly Sunday Promenade concerts and I performed there for the first time last Sunday. Cambridge was particularly beautiful on a sunny but cold autumn day and I am already looking forward to going back again next month for a recital at the Clare College.

Works from the Balkans

I try to include works from Kosovo and the nearby region on my recitals and have had the pleasure of introducing many audience members to those works that they would have not heard otherwise. Tokkata by Cesk Zadeja, Elegy by Mark Kacinari and Arbereshe Bells by Rafet Rudi are some of the works that I have performed in the past and they all represent the stem of the Albanian musical nationalism with Zadeja and Kaqinari using late-romantic tone and Rudi a more sophisticated 20th century musical language.

Yllka Istrefi at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Yllka Istrefi at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Trimor Dhomi’s Meditation

At the Fitzwilliam Museum last Sunday I performed for the first time the piece Meditation by the Kosovan composer Trimor Dhomi. The piece depicts a set of emotions within a very short journey time. The original title in Albanian is Walking in solitude and composer himself said that the three opening notes are like first raindrops when you’re not still sure if it’s raining or if the wind is touching your hair. It would have been difficult to guess the subtlety of this opening without the composer describing it to me (on a text message!) and makes me wonder how many moments like that are in the rest of the music repertoire when a text message from the composer would have been very useful!

Your say

Have you ever had a chance to listen to the music from Kosovan composers? And if you hava a chance to speak to a composer, what would you ask them?