Compositions of Leanne Bear – In memoriam Jean Sibelius and Béla Bartók

The students and a teacher of the Kodály Institute and two Hungarian guest performers gave a concert featuring the compositions of violinist and composer Leanne Bear (Australia) on the 13th of November, 2015. The concert was in memory of Jean Sibelius and Béla Bartók, so three of their compositions were performed as well, along with Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Epitaph for Béla Bartók.
Leanne Bear is an acclaimed violinist currently playing at the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. She graduated from the University of Queensland, and travelled on scholarship around Europe with her signature purple violin and her purple suit, performing her avant-garde violin works. She also established her career as a composer, her compositions have been performed in Australia and around the world, too.
Her recent pedagogical excursions to Finland, pioneering Géza Szilvay’s „International Minifiddlers” project has been the catalyst for a European connection. In 2014 she toured to London, Vienna, Budapest, Kecskemét (Kodály Institute), Norway, Finland. This year, she is on tour to Austria, France, Romania and Hungary. 

Our students performed a selection of her chamber music pieces: Sonata for violin and piano (2nd movement), Postcard #3forcello and piano, Impromptu 2forsolo piano, and it was the world premiere of her new composition for piano trio: Postcards to Hungary – Postcard from Hungary. The latter is an homage to Béla Bartók, commemorating the 70 year anniversary of his death. There were also two compositions by Sibelius, one by Bartók and one by Rautavaara.

It was a pleasant experience to listen to Bear’s compositions. She is talented in showing the lyrical, singing qualities of string instruments and it would be very interesting to hear more of this. The lengths of the postcards are varied, one can experience a short greeting and a long letter. It was a kind idea from her that the one from Hungary is the longest. It gave the impression that in this country there are a lot of stories and experiences to share. Bartók’s Pillow Dance and Sibelius’s Water Droplets brought moments of playfulness, which was delightful in the otherwise lyrical and serious programme. The Kodály Institute owes thanks to Leanne Bear, director László Norbert Nemes who invited her, professor Csaba Szilvay who helped in organizing the concert and the performers of course for this uplifting experience.
Performers: Judit Zámbó (Hungary) – violin; Marion Marzanasco (France), Morgane de Lafforest (France), Benjamin Horváth (Hungary) – cello; Yasmin Folini (Greece), Lazaros Melidis (Greece) – piano.