- O Cambodia: NZSM Friday Lunchtime Concert
- 25 March 2011 12:00 PM
Direct from the Auckland Festival, this Friday lunchtime concert features NZTrio and Tray So Ensemble from Cambodia.
Cambodia’s tragic recent history provides the inspiration for this programme of new works by Chinary Ung (Cambodia/US), Him Sophy (Cambodia), Dame Gillian Whitehead (NZ), and Jack Body (NZ). Their compositions will be performed by the acclaimed NZTrio and a trio of outstanding traditional Cambodian musicians.
Cambodia’s long, chequered history spans the vibrant, ancient Khmer culture to the country’s hopeful, modern aspect, but is overshadowed by the devastation of the Pol Pot regime. More than 1.7 million people perished through starvation, disease, overwork and execution, including most of the country’s artists and intellectuals. Now a widespread effort has been made to preserve the country’s 1,000-year-old arts, which were on the brink of extinction.
Conceiver and producer of the project, Jack Body, and composer Gillian Whitehead, both have attachments with Cambodia. They are joined by Him Sophy, a Cambodian composer who spent four years in a Khmer Rouge labour camp, and Chinary Ung, the first American-based winner of the highly coveted Grawemeyer Award, considered the “Nobel Prize” for music composition.
The project patron is Dame Silvia Cartwright, one of the two international judges for the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders.