|Z.o.o. Guitar Duo|
Peter Constant &
Described by Classical Guitar magazine (UK) as "premier league quality", this truly international duo combines the virtuoso talents of Peter Constant (Australian) and Marion Schaap (Dutch). They met whilst completing their Masters degrees at Yale University (Benjamin Verdery) and subsequently forged a reputation at the forefront of Australia's music scene whilst heading the guitar departments at the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne University. They are currently based in The Netherlands where they primarily concentrate on their 'first love': playing together.
Marion was a distinguished graduate of Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam before going to Yale. Her performance credits include appearances at the Concertgebouw and the Ijsbreker as well as several major festivals. Soundboard magazine described her playing as "truly exciting, very moving and sincere... displaying a great dynamic range with no fear of taking risks". Marion's special collaboration with Shakuhachi Master Andrew Macgregor, featuring Marion's own arrangements of Japanese koto music for the guitar, will shortly yield a second CD which promises to repeat the success of the first.
Peter was 'most outstanding graduate' of the Canberra School of Music (Timothy Kain), is a recipient of the prestigious Harkness Fellowship, a Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London and a multiple winner in the Australian Guitar Competition. His diverse musical activities include having been a founding member of Guitar Trek with whom he performed in many major venues in Australia, Asia and America (including the D'addario Foundation Series). Peter has worked with an array of leading composers and performers and recently conducted the European Youth Guitar Ensemble for their highly successful 2001 season. His solo CD A Sympathetic Resonance was reviewed by the American Soundboard magazine as "totally in command of the material, displaying a comprehensive palette of expression and colour".
The duo Z.o.o.'s repertoire includes their own transcriptions of J.S. Bach, Schumann, Poulenc, Milhaud and others, as well as a body of specially written works demonstrating Australia's fresh and eclectic cultural landscape. They have worked in film, television, radio and between them appear on some thirteen commercial CD recordings. Their collaborative CD Light on the Edge (music of Phillip Houghton) was a finalist in the `97 ABC Record of the Year Awards. Peter and Marion's relaxed presentation and on-stage repartee adds a unique flavour to the live 'Z.o.o.' experience and has helped make them one of the most popular guitar ensembles on the Dutch chamber music circuit. Recent festival appearances have included the Darwin International Guitar Festival, The International Guitar Festival of Great Britain and the Staunton Music Festival in Virginia. They play on 'new generation' guitars made by renowned Australian luthiers Greg Smallman and Paul Sheridan.
"…one was aware of a complete togetherness and accuracy; often desired but rarely achieved…It has been a long time since I have heard a duo so technically proficient and yet so musical. PC and MS deserve to be household names wherever they go. Here's hoping that it happens soon. Outstanding!" - Classical Guitar
The programme for Z.o.o. guitar duo's 2002 Australian tour will be an attractive blend of old and new, opening and closing in the Spanish vein with beloved music by Granados and spicy settings of ancient flamenco melodies by Rafael Andia. The couple also bring new life to the humorous and theatrical 'Le Avventure di Amore' by the 19th Century guitar master Mauro Giuliani. To be heard for the first time in Australia is a striking 'pop-minimalist' work by the Canadian composer Steve Wingfield. Further, the fruits of Peter and Marion's ongoing collaboration with Ross Edwards will also be on display along with exciting works by fellow Australians Nigel Westlake and Stephen Cronin.
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