On Resonance FM 104.4FM on Saturday 23 September, 12 noon! Ieva Dubova and Joe Howson perform live on DeXter Bentley's Hello Goodbye Show as part of the feature on Borough New Music. Tune in!Read More
It was my honour and pleasure to perform Michael Worboys piano composition Bone Memories at Blackheath Halls on 12th of September 2017 .
Michael Worboys is a composer and sound artist, having an interest in both instrumental and electroacoustic music. His instrumental music has been performed at the London Institute for Contemporary Arts, The National Maritime Museum, other venues around London and the St. Magnus Cathedral,Orkney. His piano work Bone Memories recently won first prize in the John Halford Competition for piano and composition. Mike works in the region between art and science, often using mathematical structures as frameworks upon which to build musical works.
It has been a wonderful collaboration and we also received first place at John Halford Competition with the same piece.
Please enjoy the video from Blackheath Halls of Bone Memories
Courtney Kenny Awards 2017
2nd Place for soprano Hope Lavelle accompanied by Ieva Dubova in Courtney Kenny Awards
This Spring It was my pleasure to play together with a dear friend and a fantastic soprano Hope Lavelle at the Courtney Kenny Awards.The repertoire of English was centered around American Exceptionalism mixed with Poems and songs. It was an amazing experience. I guess working with friends is great because it feels so natural and relaxed.
Also with great pleasure, i can say, that amongst the 5 finalists Hope won the 2nd place in the awards and that was clearly the cherry on the top to the collaborative experience.
The repertoire we performed was as follows:
An exploration of 20th Century American existentialism
I’m a person too - Bernstein Bernstein
I, too - Hughes
See how they love me - Moss Rorem
Next to of course God America - e.e.cummings
Howl (extract) - Ginsberg
Sure on this shining night - Agee Barber
There will come soft rains - Teasdale
Serenity - Greenleaf Whittier Ives
Life’s tragedy - Laurence Dunbar
Simple gifts - Brackett Copland
The final of the Courtney Kenny Award 2017 took place at Tonbridge School on Sunday, March 12th and the expectant audience was treated to some fine performances from the five finalists.
Why does someone decide to be in the arts?
Have you ever wondered? It surely isn’t an easy path. Either you chose to become a writer, painter, musician, actor etc. you will face countless issues and difficulties with little reward and guarantee. So why would one choose to do this from all the other things in the world?
I can’t speak for all so I will speak for myself. And hope others will relate. My guess is some people are just simply wired that way. Maybe it is some sort of a code in the brain that has gone wrong or right ( that is for you to decide).
The early days:
It all began for me at an early age. I loved stories and I used to imagine an alternative reality as a child and sometimes strongly believe it to be true. I was impressed by nature and sound more than people. Oh, I loved the sound of birds, of wind, rain, river, trees, animals and instruments. At home, I was surrounded by the sound of the piano from the time I was born. I guess that was it. I still remember I thought that the piano is magical. Nobody else apart from the piano and my cat understood me.
I think around the age of 6 ( maybe 7) I had this fabulous idea to take my cat and piano and move to the woods and live there. I think it is safe to say there were some issues with this genius plan. The fact that the piano was too heavy really was the main reason.
During my time at school, I also did not find a place or feel very relatable to most of my peers. I still loved the stories of history and art and music. The lives of composers fascinated me. The theater and the opera, those where the things that somehow in my heart made me feel a sense of belonging.
Today I am not a child. In fact, I am a mature student studying piano performance at a Conservatoire of Music. This involves countless hours of practice. Little or no security in finance and being exhausted full stop. It also comes with the added benefit of always feeling not good enough, fierce competition, isolation and someone telling you how you are not doing enough. The issue about being too old to study piano and more.
So the assumption to make is my parents forced me into this or I have just lost my mind, clearly. No sane person would do this.
Well, it is a surprise for me too. I did other things I spent years of trying to do the right thing. To have a normal profession and be happy about this. Honestly and this is just me I felt that life was passing by me and I was simply an observer. I had lost all the meaning of who I was. I stopped reading, listening to music and enjoying arts. I simply existed.
There came a day I felt so suffocated by life. I couldn’t understand what was the point of it? I always knew we had this one amazing chance of being in this world, I just felt that I am wasting mine. I tried explaining this to people. Everyone looked at me like I was mad. I had to acknowledge others didn’t feel the same way. And I also had to acknowledge that this is not the way for me. So here I was in my late 20s realizing what I knew from the beginning. Music was my life and I had to get it back. I understood more than ever the risks and downsides of this decision but I have never been that happy.