Composer 2022: George Barsoum “Treachery is Afoot”

George Barsoum is an Egyptian pianist, cellist and composer based in Melbourne, Australia. Having begun composition self-taught in high school, he now works frequently with community ensembles, in particular student ensembles within the University of Melbourne and RMIT. His works span a wide range of chamber ensembles, piano solos and electronic music, however his passion lies foremost in the orchestra. With his love for orchestration comes a focus on the power of simplicity and musical storytelling; the combination of these elements lead to the production of his orchestral album “Tales from the Concert Hall” in 2020. Soon after he completed “Dances of the Apocalypse,” a similarly dramatic but more musical complex amalgamation of his western romantic and Middle-eastern influences.

PROGRAM NOTES “Treachery is Afoot”

Brace for maximum raucousness in this relentless tonal adventure! What begins as a quirky oom-pah tune quickly spirals into an escalating game of musical one-upmanship across the entire ensemble. Saxophones growl, basses boom and winds soar until the piece erupts into a roaring climax. Soon enough the ensemble – led by the saxophones – reveals its more sensitive side with a distinct taste of jazz and a soaring trombone soli. The peace can only last so long however as opposing musical ideas fight for dominance, but it ultimately their whole-hearted unification that brings out their inner strength during the finale.

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