LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nexus Percussion Ensembles Marks 40th Anniversary Season

NEXUS: Night Ride

with special guest David Kent, timpani and percussion

Saturday, March 12th, 2011 at 7:30 PM / Glenn Gould Studio

Tickets $40.00, Seniors $20.00/Students $10.00

Call 416-872-4255 or online at

or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Toronto, ON. Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Any sound can be beautiful. It is only a matter of how you choose to hear it. This evocative idea coupled with an inspired desire to experiment with the varying dimensions of sound, gave birth to of one of the most important percussion ensembles of our time. Global musicians and percussion chamber group, NEXUS has earned world wide acclaim for their exhilarating, innovative and ravishing performances. Ensemble members Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Russell Hartenbergerand Garry Kvistad mark NEXUS’ 40th Anniversary season with another ground-breaking performance featuring special guest Toronto Symphony Orchestra timpanist David Kent in music by Cahn, Carter, Ichiyanagi, Philidor and Vivier. NEXUS: Night Ride takes place at 7:30PM on Saturday, March 12, 2011 in the acoustically dazzling Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

This evening of music will include the Canadian premiere of Bill Cahn’s “The Crystal Cabinet”, a piece which takes its title from the poem by William Blake. This composition explores the classic dilemma of reality versus imagination by pairing free, open and meterless music with the poet’s text. A new trio arrangement of renowned composer Claude Vivier’s “Cinq Chansons pour Percussion”, a piece created for guest artist David Kent before Vivier’s murder in Paris at the age of 34, marries the sounds of the South Pacific with that of Western music. The inclusion of the timpani pieces are particularly exciting in this setting with the Philidor “Marche de timbales” dating back to the court of Louis XIV, followed with “March” (from Eight Piece for Four Timpani), a very new version of a march by Elliott Carter, the oldest living composer. Bill Cahn’s “Raga No. 1” is an infectious composition that seamlessly blends the Indian music tradition with the dazzling power of the timpani. In addition, Mr. Kent will be featured in Cahn’s “Night Ride” for solo timpani and percussion quartet; as well as Toshi Ichiyanagi’s "Variations from the opera White Nights", a percussion suite based on an operatic tribute to Sempo Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese consul general in Kovno, Lithuania, who in July-August 1940 facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's life.

Widely regarded for having led the percussion revolution in modern music, NEXUS has been dubbed “the high priests of the percussion world” by the New York Times, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer, Steve Reich believes NEXUS is "probably the most acclaimed percussion group on earth”. Virtuoso performers, the ensemble are especially renowned for their improvisational skills. Their first performance in 1971 was entirely improvised, and sparked such enthusiasm, that immediately following the debut the ensemble moved their equipment to a nearby church where they continued to play throughout the night and most of the following day. Their insatiable passion to unearth new and excitng sound concepts, collectively and individually, has led them to every corner of the globe, and their experimental interpretations with ethnic music traditions now form the core repertoire for percussion ensembles the world over. They have gone on to create a legacy of musical excellencewhich includes an impressive history of collaborations and commissions, a revival of 1920's novelty ragtime xylophone music, an ongoing commitment to music education, and a discography of 22 remarkable CDs including the Juno-nominated Drumtalker.

NEXUS' music, with its widespread appeal, has taken the group on tours of Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Brazil, Scandinavia, Europe, and regularly to theUnited States and Canada. NEXUS is notably the first Western percussion group to perform in the People's Republic of China. They have performed at countless international music festivals such as the Budapest Spring, Singapore Arts, Tanglewood, Ravinia and Blossom Music Festivals, as well as the BBC Proms in London, Music Today & Music Joy festivals in Tokyo. NEXUS is the recipient of the Banff Centre for the Arts National Award and a Toronto Arts Award. They were inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999. More recently, the ensemble kicked off their 40th Anniversary season with sold out performances at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center near Osaka, Japan, the Minnesota Beethoven Festival and at Koerner Hall, Toronto.

For more information please visit: www.


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