A conversation betweeen cello and piano

(Handout)

Rosanna Butterfield and her cello have seen the world. She was most recently in Miami where she spent four years with the New World Symphony, an orchestral academy for young musicians led by world-renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. She has also played for Syrian refugees in a camp in Amman, Jordan, and coached in Colombia as part of an exchange.

She is now in Victoria with her very musical family (both parents and two uncles are professional musicians), and she is coming to Sidney with pianist Jannie Burdeti to perform music for cello and piano that she has called “Conversations.” It will be her first concert in the Victoria area, which she said will feature the “back-and-forth” between the two instruments.

“I hate the word accompanist, it’s a bit old fashioned, but it still gets used, so I said, let’s do a recital that really focuses on the partnership that’s involved with just one instrument with piano. A duo recital,” said Butterfield.

Butterfield first met Burdeti at a home recital. Butterfield volunteered as a page turner for Burdeti, who was collaborating with a singer she knew from Vancouver. Butterfield admired how Burdeti played the role of orchestra, providing “the other voice.” They got to chatting, and “as these things often go, it just fell into place, which was really nice.”

They are playing pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Barber and Boulanger, each of which require at least equal participation. The first half features better known compositions, whereas the latter half is designed to showcase pieces that are less often heard.

Butterfield described Beethoven’s earlier cello sonatas as having particularly difficult piano parts, but the third cello sonata in A Major, which they will perform, is “the first one where two instruments are completely equal voices and pass off the melodies to one another and really switch roles all the time which makes it really interesting to play.”

The Barber Cello Sonata has a special connection to Butterfield, because she first learned it when she was 16. Barber himself wrote it as a student (it is his sixth categorized composition), and “you can feel in the piece he was really exploring how to write for these two instruments,” and it gives equal voice to both. Butterfield looked back at her score and noticed that her old fingerings and bowings were “way more complicated than they needed to be. I think I was overthinking it a bit when I was younger!”

The Boulanger piece, which is not often heard, is comprised of three miniatures. Butterfield is particularly fond of the middle piece, a canon, where the piano imitates the cello part just one eighth note behind yet both parts mesh together.

Butterfield enjoys the variety that comes with being a professional musician. She is currently in rehearsal with the Victoria Symphony for their annual New Years concert, and recently played the cello for Rattenbury, a new opera by Tobin Stokes about the architect behind Victoria landmarks like the Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel.

”It keeps everything fresh and it keeps me aware of the kind of playing I’m doing…I’m never stuck playing in one style.”

Butterfield and Burdeti will perform at St. Paul’s United Church (2410 Malaview Ave.) on Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Ten per cent of the proceeds will go to St. Paul’s United Church.

Just Posted

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

New Stats Canada survey confirms cash value of master’s degree

Holders of master’s degrees earn up to $21,000 more than undergraduate degree holders

Santa, West Shore firefighters team up to fill the sleigh for the food bank

Santa makes annual visits Dec. 14, 15, 22 and 24 across the West Shore

Victoria harpist releases ‘old school’ jazz album, makes singing debut

Musician ‘blown away’ by reactions to her seventh album Songs From the Harp

WestShore Skatepark Coalition faces uphill battle as costs jump $166,000

‘It feels like a David and Goliath situation,’ says coalition member

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read