Upcoming Performances

Kupka’s Piano at Crossbows II: Solos, Duos, Trios

Kupka’s Piano perform in a double bill event with Clocked Out as part of the second Crossbows Festival at the Queensland Conservatorium.

6:30pm, Thursday 16 October, 2014.
Ian Hanger Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium
Ticket prices TBA. Free for Conservatorium students.


Musicians tread a careful path between the interpreter’s authentic reproduction of a score and the opportunity in every performance for individual expression. Kupka’s Piano presents a program that explores the nexus between these two ideas, performing works that survey the space between the personal expression of both composer and performer.

Page 183 from Cornelius Cardew's 'Treatise'

Page 183 from Cornelius Cardew’s ‘Treatise’

In 1961, inspired by the Big Bang theory, Peter Eötvös wrote a work entitled Kosmos. 32 years later Psychokosmos (for orchestra) was the inversion of this original idea. What was boundless became focused inward. Psy takes this inversion a step further. With material taken from a fragment of the larger work Psychokosmos, Psy is a window into a glimmering and intricate inner world – the Cosmos within.

In Cornelius Cardew’s famous graphic score Treatise the performer is both encouraged to reveal something of themselves in the music, and conversely challenged to come up with new ideas in response to what is visually presented. Following on from this will be two short improvisation based works by American composer Gust Burns, Wood Thrush and Lark Sparrow.

Young Danish composer Rune Glerup writes about his short work La Rose Pulverisée for Violin and Flute:

I was also interested in some contradictions, or a certain kind of inertia: The lyrical and violent in the image of a rose that gets pulverised, and the predominantly violent style of the writing, but for two very classical instruments that cannot produce that much sound. Always something violent with something fragile. You can find these oppositions in many aspects of the piece.

Finally, Kupka’s Piano pays its respects to one of the giants of Australian contemporary music, Peter Sculthorpe. This program will feature movements from his Requiem for Cello Alone. Commissioned in 1979 and premiered on his 50th Birthday, the Requiem is deeply personal. In the composers own words: “The work … alternates between the coolness and objectivity of plainchant, and the warmth, even passion at times, of my own kind of music, which here is concerned with imploring, with the wanting of forgiveness, and the wanting of eternal life”


Peter Eötvös (b. 1944) // Psy // 1996
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) // Treatise // 1963-1967
Rune Glerup (b. 1981) // La Rose Pulverisée // 2007
Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014) // Requiem for Cello Alone // 1979


Absent/Almost Absent

Kupka’s Piano perform the last concert in their 2014 series at the Judy, presenting a cutting-edge program of works dwelling on the edges of existence…

7:30pm, Friday 28 November, 2014
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, 420 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Tickets: $22/14. Make a booking.


“Traditionally, a veil is a device that acts as a mediating force between viewer and object – it creates a ritual space around the object, giving potency to the mystery of its forbidden presence.” So writes Australian composer Liza Lim of her 1999 work Veil, and begs the question of what could be a music of absences, a music of near absences and absent presences, of things hidden to be heard. Alongside enchanting, vanishing works by composers Peter Ablinger, Chikako Morishita, Luke Paulding & Morton Feldman, this concert features Lim’s Veil and a new octet by Ben Marks (ELISION Ensemble).


Liza Lim (b. 1966)  // Veil // 1999
Benjamin Marks (b. 1970) // New work // 2014 (WP)
Peter Ablinger (b. 1959) // Weiss/Weisslich no. 4 // 1992 (AP)
Luke Paulding (b. 1987) // Jupiter Dreaming // 2013
Morton Feldman (1926-1987) // Durations One // 1960
Chikako Morishita (b. 1981) // Lizard (shadow) // 2011 (AP)


Il faut être

Kupka’s Piano 2014 concert series at JWCOCA

Arthur Rimbaud by Ernest Pignon-Ernest (source: http://www.i-voix.net/)

Arthur Rimbaud by Ernest Pignon-Ernest (source: i-voix)

In his 1873 poem A Season in Hell, then 18-year-old Arthur Rimbaud wrote “Il faut être absolument moderne.

Today, we claim, it remains necessary to be absolutely modern – to push the limits of human experience and uncover new modes of expression, to throw off the shackles of outmoded musical forms and unearth the new. While there is no one musical aesthetic that represents the way forward, composers of the older and younger generations all around the world are today undertaking fascinating experiments, each of them offering hints at what music could be.

In our four-concert series ‘Il faut être’, Kupka’s Piano will venture into the possible paths of the musically modern. Through virtuosic and energetic performance, we will explore the complex and the deceptively simple, the helter-skelter and the tranquil, the silent, the near silent, the hidden and the heard.

Our year kicks off with an exciting joint project:

‘The Machine and the Rank Weeds’
March 21, 2014
A collaboration with Sydney’s Ensemble Offspring, this concert plays with the relation between the mechanic and the organic, necessity and freedom. The title for the concert comes from the subtitle of Gerard Grisey’s visionary 1986 composition Talea, featured in the program alongside Andriessen’s music from the factory floor – Worker’s Union – and a new work by Kupka’s resident composer Michael Mathieson-Sandars.

‘Modern Music in Exile’
May 23, 2014
This concert presents leading Australian composer Brett Dean’s dark and romantic work ‘Old Kings in Exile’ with other exiles, young and old, from Australia and around the world.

‘Tempi Espressivi’
July 18, 2014
Capturing multiple contrasting speeds occurring simultaneously, works like Beat Furrer’s ‘Presto con fuoco’ and Georges Aperghis’s ‘Quatre pièces fèbriles’ present the disorientating tempos of modern life.

‘Absent, almost absent’
November 28, 2014
Alongside enchanting, vanishing works by composers Peter Ablinger and Chikako Morishita, this concert performs Liza Lim’s Veil and a new work by ELISION trombonist Ben Marks.


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