One of the composers celebrated during our last festival, the eminent Roger Smalley, passed away after a long illness. The performance of Strung Out for 13 solo strings on May 6 inside the Shine Dome may well have been one of the last performances of his work during his lifetime. Yet it is clear that the sheer quality of his output, a broad range of chamber music and orchestral works, including a celebrated first Piano Concerto will ensure that the name Smalley will continue to grace our concert stages.
Roger Smalley was born in England in 1943 but joined the staff of the University of Western Australia in the late sixties, eventually holding the Music Professorship in Perth for many years until his retirement. His work continues to be celebrated in England, but his greatest contribution to music he made in Western Australia. The festival is proud to have had this albeit late association with his work and mourn the passing of a truly great musician.