CMC participates in the 5th Contemporary Keyboard Weekend at the Conservatoire Frederic Chopin, Paris

Peter Moran

The 5th Contemporary Keyboard Weekend takes place from 3-5 February 2012 and features workshops led by composer Peter Moran, as well as a concert of piano music by Piers Hellawell, Alan Mills, and Ian Wilson.

The workshops and concert came about as a result of a visit to the Conservatoire Frederic Chopin, Paris in late 2011 by Peter Moran who, on the invitation of the Conservatoire, gave a series of workshops for piano students. Peter describes his experience so far and his plans for the upcoming weekend:

Peter Moran giving a workshop to students last DecemberLast Autumn I was invited by the Frédéric Chopin Conservatoire in Paris to feature as a guest composer in their upcoming Contemporary Piano Weekend. Through the support of the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin and the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris I flew over in December for a week of composition workshops with the students of the conservatoire in advance of the festival.

I really enjoyed working with the students. Some of the younger children showed a remarkable capacity and enthusiasm for techniques and ideas that would usually be taught at a university level! I was also particularly impressed by some of the older students who had never composed their own music before. I was really struck by the imagination and maturity of their ideas. Rather than basing their first compositions on any familiar models, they produced quite original material, surprisingly distinctive and clearly thought out.

I will return to Paris for the Contemporary Piano Weekend on 1st February, coincidentally enough travelling on the very same day as fellow Irish composer Judith Ring, who is leaving to begin her three-month residency at the Irish Cultural Centre. This neatly brings to

gether plans to premiere a new composition of mine, For Hands, which I have written especially for the festival. Judith and I will play together to give the first performance of the piece, which is written for piano four hands. Meanwhile the students of the conservatoire will also premiere my set of piano miniatures, Beageens. The Beageens are an ongoing project of mine to which I have added three new pieces, on a theme by Erik Satie, especially for the Piano Weekend.

So I’m really looking forward to going back again for the festival. I enjoyed working with everyone at the conservatoire and the Cultural Centre is a lovely quiet space to stay in, and of course Paris is a just a fantastic city for a working trip or a relaxing visit. With three days of contemporary music to listen to, four new compositions of mine being premiered and plenty of composition workshops to do, I suspect I won’t be getting in much sight-seeing …

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