On Sunday, Virtuosi Concerts returns with their first concert of the new year: Serpentine Paths. 




Featuring Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Robert Uchida and principal cellist Rafael Hoekman, the program brings together two exceedingly popular instruments that are — rather shockingly — seldom heard as a duo. 

“Where you have those great, genius composers writing is in the string quartet, the string trio and the piano trio,” says Rafael Hoekman, pointing out the lack of duo repertoire by Mozart, Beethoven and the like. 

This may be due to any number of factors, suggests Hoekman, including the development of the instrument or the enticing harmonic and colour possibilities presented by adding one or two more instruments. 

“The string quartet form is pretty attractive to composers,” he says. “When they have the opportunity to write some string music… it may seem like just the violin and cello may be a bit limiting compared to that.” 

The “crown jewel” in the repertoire for violin and cello is the duo by 20th century Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, first tackled by Uchida and Hoekman a few years back. 

“Since then we’ve developed a rapport and a larger repertoire and branched out into arrangements and different styles and also are working on commissions and new works as well,” says Hoekman. 

Indeed, a bit of the above features in the Virtuosi concert this weekend: the Kodaly duo, music by contemporary Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock, arrangements of Fritz Kreisler, and more. 

2:30 pm Sunday, March 13 at St. Andrew’s United Church - 255 Oak Street. 

For tickets and concert protocols, visit: www.virtuosiconcerts.ca 

Listen to a sampling of the Kodaly duo performed by Uchida and Hoekman below!