String Quartet : Opus Zero : string quartet
by Don Kay (1961)
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String Quartet : Opus Zero was composed in 1961 during a few years of fairly exclusive use of the 12-tone technique advised and guided by Malcom Williamson, my private and only teacher of composition, in London from 1959-1964. It was never performed, although my friend, John Cale, then a music student at Goldsmith College and later co-founder of the famous Velvet Underground rock band in New York, couldn't find a second violinist to make up a quartet to try it out. It is only now being premiered because of the enterprise of Dominic Flynn (assisted by Nathan Meurant) in putting the pencilled score together and typesetting it 59 years later. I very recently sub-titled it "Opus Zero" to distinguish it from the six later numbered string quartets starting in 1971. It is in four movements and applied 12-tone serial techniques, although not as strictly as in later works of that London period.
Instrumentation: String quartet.
Duration: 15 min.
First performance: by Tasmanian New Music Ensemble at Lost and Found: Music from Don Kay and Russell Gilmour (Hobart Town Hall) on 20 Nov 2020
String Quartet : Opus Zero
Performances of this work
20 Nov 2020: at Lost and Found: Music from Don Kay and Russell Gilmour (Hobart Town Hall). Featuring Tasmanian New Music Ensemble.
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