River Oaks CO achieves liftoff with premiere of celestial erhu concerto Mon Feb 10, 2020 at 11:42 am By Steven Brown When the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra commissioned Kevin Lau to write a concerto for erhu, the two-stringed Chinese instrument, he sidestepped the obvious approach. Rather than seek inspiration in the music or culture of…
This Saturday, we’re so excited to welcome back a returning collaborator for ROCO’s 90th world premiere commission – composer Kevin Lau! In this edition of ROCOInsider, we chatted with Kevin to learn more about the out-of-this-world inspiration for his newest work, “Between the Earth and Forever,” and what it’s like writing for the exotic instrument it features, the Chinese erhu. It all started with an iconic image from space – read on to hear how it captured his imagination, sparking a musical fusion of east and west!
In Kevin Lau’s work, the smallest details are examined with microscopic precision. The Canadian pianist delicately shapes each musical phrase, each moment of harmonic color, while dedicating equal attention to establishing a cohesive sound that ties the piece into a whole.
The numbers are in: 76 world premieres (33 for the full chamber orchestra and 43 for its flexible chamber ensembles), 36 composers commissioned—these are astounding numbers from the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), now in its perpetually forward-looking 13th season.