The big news for Gary Kulesha this year is the premiere of his new Oboe Concerto written for oboist Bede Hanley who performed it with his orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand, on October 22, 2020 at Auckland Town Hall, conducted by their music director, Giordano Bellincampi. The concert was broadcast on Radio New Zealand. It was well performed and well received by the live and present audience–New Zealand has done a good job of taming COVID.
The composer was to go to New Zealand for this performance, however due to the COVID situation, he was unable to go. Through technology he was able to attend rehearsals and was interviewed with the soloist by Radio New Zealand.
William Dart, writing in The New Zealand Herald, said: The strength of Gary Kulesha’s new Oboe Concerto must come from it having been written for fellow Canadian Bede Hanley, who relinquished his principal’s desk to undertake soloist duties brilliantly. My ear was immediately wooed and won over by the Middle Eastern tang of the opening melody, an exotic touch subtly extended by the use of microtones. There was a wealth of characterful detail in this highly approachable score, and its thematic voyage was clear and able to be navigated. Its scherzo’s infectiously shifting rhythms were another winning point, along with a coruscating cadenza from the unfazed Hanley.
The Canadian premiere will be given by Bede Hanley with the the Victoria & Sasktoon Orchestras at a future date yet to be determined.
18.104.22.168./22.214.171.124./ timp 2 perc harp strings 25 minutes
Listen to Bede Hanley talk about this piece and hear some excerpts