Premiere in Albania, Spring 2013

May 6, 2013

Canadian composer Elizabeth Knudson is back home again in Vancouver after a recent trip to Albania with Oliver de Clercq (principal horn, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra). Mr. de Clercq gave the European premiere of Ms. Knudson's horn concerto, 'Mosaic', as guest soloist with the Orkestra Simfonike e RTSH (Albanian Radio-Television Orchestra) in Tirana, Albania, with guest Maestro Bujar Llapaj, conducting. The RTSH also gave the world premiere of Ms. Knudson's most recent work, 'Tides' for orchestra, composed especially for this event-- a piece which was inspired by a tour through Albania and the Balkans last summer (2012). The concert took place at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania on March 21, 2013, and was recorded for broadcast on Albanian radio and television.

During their week-long stay in Tirana, Mr. de Clercq gave a horn masterclass to students at the Academy of Arts, and Ms. Knudson gave a masterclass to the composition students at the Academy, with a special focus on exposing them to new Canadian music. Due to political circumstances, Albania was closed off to much of the outside world for a large part of the 20th century, so they are now just becoming aware of the many diverse musical developments from the past few decades. Ms. Knudson was only the second Canadian composer to have a work performed in Albania (the first being Patrick Carrabré, in the early 2000s). It was a great honour and pleasure to be part of this unique experience.

The orchestral scores/parts for both 'Mosaic' and 'Tides' are available through the Canadian Music Centre. A horn and piano reduction of 'Mosaic' is also available for purchase through the International Horn Society.

To read a full account of the trip and performance in Albania, please see Elizabeth's personal travel blog here: