Anyone who has ever mourned the loss of a pet will feel a connection with the world premiere of “El Rey de Calabria,” a piano solo by composer Brian Ferneyhough.
Ferneyhough’s piece is a tribute to his dearly departed three-legged cat, Trifolio, who lived to be 17. The rhythms of the music are intended to mimic Trifolio’s uneven gait.
The premiere of the piece is a feature of the Calliope Duo’s performance at 7:30 p.m. March 30 in the Performing Arts Center’s Ruth Gant Recital Hall.
In addition to the premiere, the Calliope Duo, made up of flutist Elizabeth McNutt and pianist Shannon Wettstein Sadler, will perform strange and wonderful music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ferneyhough is a distinguished professor of composition at Stanford University. He is internationally-recognized as a leading avant-garde classical composter and the most significant composer in the “new complexity” style of composition.
Sadler, who was a doctoral student of Ferneyhough’s, is a music faculty member at St. Cloud State.
McNutt is a faculty member at the University of North Texas.
The pair has performed together since they were doctoral students together. They take the name of their duo from the Calliope, a 19th century American instrument that uses a piano keyboard to play metal pipes.
Both performers have a passion for both new and classical music. They have each performed as a soloist in recitals across the United States as well as in Europe and Asia.
Admission is free and open to the public.