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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria PD will continue to patrol James Bay for wolf seen Saturday

But police also say they will return to regular duties

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Court rejects mistrial for accused Victoria drug dealer who fired his lawyer

Horst Schirmer filed a mistrial application on basis of receiving incompetent representation

Saanich seeks young residents to serve on 2020 advisory committees

Youth members must be between 16 and 24 years old

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read