Cecilia van Berkum’s final examination concert

Cecilia van Berkum

Cecilia van Berkum’s final examination concert

Picture: Allard Willemse

The work

Musical colours are key in my final examination concert.

This is reflected in the evening’s main – the Sonata for Violin and Piano by French composer Gabriel Fauré. I’ll perform this sonata with pianist Sophia Thoma, also an HKU graduate.

One of the reasons why I’m so keen to play this piece is that I have a violin on loan, made in 1893 by Paul Bailly, a pupil of Vuillaume. The composer Fauré was a contemporary of these violin makers and he wrote the sonata specifically for the sound that these violins produce. It’s great that I can perform it on this instrument! Inspiring images will be projected in the background to support the musical story.

I’ll also play Bach’s Chaconne, a masterpiece for violin. Johann Sebastian Bach, himself a violinist, uses variations, which allow me to show many different aspects of the violin. Also, this piece goes right to my heart, and to the hearts of the listeners too, I hope.

Finally, I will play a piece that was written fairly recently, ‘Dance’ by Theo Loevendie (1986).

I wanted to play a modern piece in this concert, preferably one by a Dutch composer. I’m delighted to have found one! What’s special about this piece is that you have to play three strings at once for several minutes, which makes it sound as though three violins are being played at the same time. It’s a very challenging technique.

In addition, I’ll play percussion with my foot and use ankle bells.

The maker

Cecilia van Berkum
Classical Music