A Monday with Mark and Manuel

By Jeremy Hunt, Music Undergraduate Student

On Monday 9th May, London-based pianist Mark Knoop and Italian flautist Manuel Zurria performed an exciting, modern programme of works by Laurence Crane, Conlon Nancarrow, Howard Skempton, Beat Furrer, and the University of Southampton’s very own composition lecturer, Matthew Shlomowitz. All of the pieces showcased different, contemporary approaches for writing for the flute and piano, with Matthew’s piece (Left, Right, Up, Down, Pogo) exploring the theatricality of flute-playing.

Manuel Zurria (flute) and Mark Knoop (piano), with Matthew Shlomowitz (standing), and Jeremy Hunt
Manuel Zurria (flute), Mark Knoop (piano), with Matthew Shlomowitz (standing),  Jeremy Hunt.  photo: Christian Drew


The lunchtime concert was followed by a workshop with composers in the Turner Sims, featuring five new pieces by undergraduate and postgraduate composers. The pieces explored a variety of styles, ranging from minimalism to the exploration of contemporary flute and piano techniques, but Mark and Manuel were equally impressive in all of them. My piece, Happy New Year, set them the challenge of performing with a click-track, so that they could play perfectly in time along to a speech by David Cameron.

The workshop was an extremely valuable experience for all of the composers, as we managed to have our pieces critiqued and played live by a couple of professional musicians.

Jeremy Hunt