©2014 Neeraj Mehta

Solo Percussion Music of Denmark

Alarm (1983)                     Poul Ruders (b.1949)

42nd Street Rondo (1984)         Wayne Seigel (b.1953)

March-Cadenza (1993)             Gert Mortensen (b.1958)

Nemo Dynamo (1989)               Per Nørgård (b.1932)

Isternia (1979)                  Per Nørgård

Rejang (1986)                    Ole Buck (b.1945)

It is very poignant how influential artists and composers from the relatively small country of Denmark have contributed so much to the growth of contemporary European percussion music.  There is unique synergy between Danish composers and percussionists that continues to produce new and interesting works.  Living in Copenhagen, I felt this synergy to be palpable as I heard, saw and performed works by Per Nørgård and other Danish composers.  While the U.S. has a formidable contemporary percussion history from composers like John Cage to  Steve Reich, I find that in North America we don’t have the opportunity to hear and experience much of the new music coming out of Western Europe.  My hope is that through this program, I can help bridge that gap, and bring more exposure to this wonderful music from Denmark.

The Music of Per Nørgård

Waves (1969)

Isternia (1979)

I Ching (1982)

Nemo Dynamo (1989)

Easy Beats for Percussion Ensemble (1981/1997)

I find Per Nørgård’s music to contain a sense of humanity and compassion that is woven through the intricate complexities of his compositional techniques including his fractal-based infinity series.  Hailed as the mantle bearer of Danish nationalism after Carl Nielsen, the political and cultural changes that followed World War II motivated Nørgård to travel beyond European conventions for musical inspiration.  In a time when many mathematical approaches to composition were taking place, I believe that Nørgård discovered an approach to music that is distinctive and compellingly grounded in life experience and community. This program offers a glimpse into the compositional evolution of Per Nørgård through his works for percussion.

Afro-Cubanismo: Traditions & Innovations

Presentación (2012)                                                  Neeraj Mehta (b.1980)

El Rumbón de Havana (2011)                                           Neeraj Mehta

Mejunje del Fagbóngo (2006)                                          Alfonso Fuentes (b.1954)

Three Movements for Conga Soloist and Percussion Trio (2012)*        Jonathan Ovalle (b.1976)

Aichara for Body Percussion and Voices (2010)                        Trad. Arará (Arr. N.Mehta)

Yonofo Suite for Percussion Ensemble and Choir (2012)                Trad. Arará (Arr. N.Mehta)


I have been a performer of Afro-Cuban music for over ten years of my life, and have experienced some of the greatest joys of my life learning from and performing with musicians of this genre.  The music tells a story that we are all a part of through the the Pan-American history and experience.  This program is inspired by those experiences through repertoire that exists at the intersection between contemporary art music and traditional Afro-Cuban drumming.

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