30 Nov 2020

Percussion takes centre stage in John Psathas' double concerto View From Olympus

From Upbeat, 12:30 pm on 30 November 2020
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Photo: Debbie Rawson

Jeremy Fitzsimons is something of a trailblazer in New Zealand percussion circles. He’s commissioned many New Zealand composers to write for percussion (particularly marimba), and was a founding member of the iconic ensemble Strike.

Although he can often be spotted in the percussion section in the NZSO, Jeremy is principal percussionist for Orchestra Wellington. On Saturday he’ll be taking on the challenging solo percussion part in John Psathas’ double concerto View From Olympus – and to mix mountain metaphors, you could say it’s the Everest of percussion works, with no fewer than seven percussion ‘stations’ on stage, and a host of different instruments at each.

This will be Jeremy Fitzsimons’ first concerto performance with a professional symphony orchestra.

John Psathas’ music is "absolutely fantastic", says Jeremy.
“He’s just a master of rhythm and texture. There’s so much there on the page to start with – it’s difficult, but it’s really worthwhile. You never regret putting the time in."

Orchestra Wellington presents Triumph
PSATHAS: View From Olympus - Michael Houstoun (piano), Jeremy Fitzsimons (percussion)
RACHMANINOV: Symphony No 2 in E minor Op 27
Orchestra Wellington, Marc Taddei (conductor)

7.30pm, Saturday 5 December
Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington

Pre-concert talk by composer John Psathas