Jia-Yi takes up the challenge

Virtuoso Jia-Yi He has taken up the challenge of premiering two of Naresh’s works for harmonica. Musician and composer met at Heathrow Airport this month (June 2010) as Jia-Yi was on an international stopover, where they discussed scores and, to the bemusement of passers-by in Terminal 3, Jia-Yi demonstrated some of the niceties of harmonica technique. The pair saw at once that they had the makings of a good working relationship. Jia-Yi is already programming ‘Reflection’ for harmonica and piano, and is busy learning Naresh’s concerto for harmonica, percussion and strings.

This work was written originally for Larry Adler, but never played by him. Naresh comments: ‘Harmonica technique has moved on apace in recent years. Larry had a gorgeous tone, and brought tremendous lyricism to whatever he played. But the technical starting point for young players now, is what earlier generations could only aspire to. I have complete faith in Jia-Yi to pull this off’. In the meantime, you can see Jia-Yi on You-Tube.

June 2010

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