Ensemble excites at Hawick Music Live

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Last month saw New Focus kick-start the new season of seven concerts stretching through to April 2015.

This exciting nine-piece ensemble comprised jazz quartet, string quartet and harp, and brought a programme of accessible but entirely new 21st-century compositions. All the music was written by Glasgow-based saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski and fellow Scottish compatriot pianist/arranger Euan Stevenson.

The audience was treated to an evening of professional playing of a high calibre, jazz-based, and blended with Scottish folk and classical influences as diverse as Bartok and Morricone. There were also some dazzling solos from drummer Alyn Cosker and an interlude from harpist Alina Bzhezhinska mid-concert.

The Glasgow string quartet were clearly players at the top of their profession and the only small criticism is that the balance would have worked better had the strings played electric instruments for this collaboration. Having said this, it must be conceded that Wiszniewski achieved a great balance using all the players in ‘Nicola’s Piece’, a brilliant finale to a wonderful concert.

This special concert was dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Aitken, former president and honorary life member, who passed away recently.