My first concert of the year will be on the 25th January at St Anne’s College of University of Oxford. The concert will start at 6pm and it’s organised by the music society of the College.
I have performed in Oxford before, but this will be the first time for St Anne’s College. I look forward to returning and meeting new people and performing for a new audience. It will be quite exciting as well to meet Ash Madni, the composer whose work Toccata is one of the pieces I will be performing. I have been in touch with Ash in the last few months through the social media. He sent me the score of his Toccata (Jazz Variations) and I decided to perform it in this particular concert, partly because Ash lives in Oxford. Although we have never met in person, we will be guests (me by telephone) on a live programme on BBC Oxford, on the 9th of January at 3pm.
Ash Madni is a native of India but has lived in the Middle East and has only heard western classical music after moving to the UK in 1970. Ash says his music is a fusion of Western and Eastern Classical Music.
The motoric rhythm is an unmistakable feature which gives the character of the Toccata to this piece. When I think of a Toccata, Prokofiev and Khachaturian always come to mind, but Ash prefers to go back in time and draw inspiration from Bach, all the way to Indian, African, Arabic, Indonesian music and elements of jazz. The piece is written in 9/16 and occasional semiquaver (16th) rests gives this piece a particular charm.
The remainder of the programme will include Prokofiev’s Third Piano Sonata, the Dream by John Cage and Liszt’s Dante Sonata.