SÓNic Interventions continue with works for solo violin in this exploration of music close to Richter’s heart, J S Bach, alongside music employing styles and techniques used often in his own artistic output – notably reuse and recomposition, repetition, and elements of the aleatoric, or chance.

Centred around the mighty Chaconne by Bach, virtuoso soloist Anca Campanie (SÓN Associate Director) leads the audience around the gallery spaces from room to room. The evening includes the premiere performance of Contemplations of Curiosity, a new modular work written specifically for this event by University of Southampton composer Andrew Fowler. It will be performed in multiple versions, each time utilising different options embedded within the work, all at the choice of the performer. Embracing both aleatoric  and abstract, the work is designed to guide the listener around the gallery, culminating in the final iteration in the cathedral-like acoustic surrounded by Richter’s 4900 Colours (just as in the photos on this page).

Anca juxtaposes various pieces by Bach with works by great violinist Eugene Ysaÿe, notably Solo Sonata No 2  which itself takes Bach as the starting point for a new “re-composition”. Not only is this technique utilised brilliantly by Richter (for example, witness the four tapestries on display on the ground floor), but crops up again later in the SÓNic Interventions series as we perform music by his namesake, Max Richter, famous for his own “Vivaldi Recomposed” which does exactly as it sounds: take something pre-existing and rework, reformat and reuse.

Repertoire, artist & event details

Friday 13 July – 6pm
Bach & The Abstract
Anca Campanie – solo violin
Works by J S Bach, Eugene Ysaÿe, Andrew Fowler
Join the performers and SÓN conductor Robin Browning for an informal post-performance Q&A in the foyer

Tonight’s performers & composers

Anca Campanie was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where she completed her Masters Degree in violin performance in 2011. She studied with Yuri Zhislin, and took part in masterclasses and performances with Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski and Gordan Nikolitch. Anca’s study at the RCM was supported by the Ratiu Foundation, UK.

Before coming to London, Anca studied at the National University of Music, Bucharest and the Salzburg Mozarteum. She was subsequently invited to the International Menuhin Academy, Switzerland, for intensive study with Alberto Lysy and Liviu Prunaru (concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam). During this time she appeared as a soloist in Europe with Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana and Camerata Lysy.

Anca has won many violin competitions in Italy and her home country of Romania, and throughout her career has been mentored by internationally renowned Romanian violinist Eugene Sarbu. Critics have commented on her musical sensitivity, elegant performances and maturity.

Anca is Associate Director of SÓN, and is ideally placed to combine her skills as a performer with her passionate commitment to music education, development & training.

Andrew Fowler is a composer and pianist from Aberdeen. His performances feed directly into current compositional considerations establishing an often audible link between the two. As a result, the influence of Bach, Bartok, Messiaen, Ravel, Webern can be detected within particular aspects of his work. Coming from a family of visual artists, Andrew welcomed the challenge of writing a piece inspired by the Gerhard Richter exhibition in John Hansard Gallery, particularly as his interests can be seen to run somewhat parallel to the oeuvre of Richter; themes of obscurity and clarity dominate Andrew’s output. In 2016 he was a finalist for the Carlaw/Ogston composition award and in the same year was commissioned by Scottish Opera in conjunction with the Leverhulme Trust to write a short opera which was staged by a combination of amateur and professional performers. He attained his undergraduate degree with first class honours in music from the University of Aberdeen where he studied with Philip Cooke and Paul Mealor. He is presently completing his Masters qualification at University of Southampton under the tuition of Michael Finnissy, Ben Oliver and Matthew Shlomowitz.

Gerhard Richter and the SÓNic Interventions at John Hansard Gallery

SÓNic Interventions is a summer series of musical responses to ARTIST ROOMS: Gerhard Richter, curated by Robin Browning, Artistic Director of SÓN. Responding directly either to specific works, or general artistic techniques, Browning has forged a fascinating quartet of sonic events to offset the visual aspect of the works. Each Intervention includes a world premiere, commissioned by SÓN and written specifically for this exhibition, three of which are composed by University of Southampton composers, celebrating not only the Gallery’s crucial role in the culture of the city, but also its role as part of the university.

SÓNic Interventions are fortnightly on Friday’s at 6pm, starting 29 June and running until 10 August. Entry is free.