Roots and Wings
Roots and Wings by Fiona and Nika, Sat, 13th August 2022 with all proceeds going to Ukraine Ireland (irelandforukraine.ie)
You are cordially invited to “Roots & Wings” by Fiona & Nika, featuring a programme of Brahms, Elgar and Andre Previn. Music to Celebrate our origins and our journeys in life inspired by nature and drawing on past influences to create an intimate experience.
Fiona O’Sullivan (Violin) is an emerging artist hailing from Dublin with country heritage and Veronika Shoot (Piano) is an artist and composer from London with Russian/Ukrainian heritage.
Tickets are €10 book through the link below - proceeds will go to Ukraine Ireland (irelandforukraine.ie)
About this event:
During Lockdown I was thinking about journeys, mine, my parents and my grandparents. I thought I’d like to write a book perhaps but then things started back up again and the idea was put away.
This could be linked with the idea behind this concert...Whilst undertaking extra violin lessons to improve violin technique I noticed a picture I had from my parents. An Asian picture of two birds flying with an orange sun in the background and some trees that looked like bamboo. It made me think about when playing well and immersed in the music it can feel like flying like the birds. Then I came across some old music that I had from my old violin teacher, Brahms and some music by Andre Previn which served as the basis of the programme for this recital, followed by some music by Elgar. Following Covid I felt having talked to friends that it had been a bit like going through some sort of war, something we had never experienced but generations before us had. Elgar’s music touches on this.
Coming to the present time, I have been spending some time in Clare for the past few summers and have felt inspired by the natural beauty here. Whilst working on the preparations for this recital I stayed in Corofin near a wood and found myself observing the trees and the birds flying between them, hence fitting in with the title of the recital ‘Roots and Wings’ I felt in awe of them as they played between the trees with the sun setting in the background of which I took a picture which has served as the poster for the recital! I read then that Brahms had been inspired by rain when he wrote his sonata that is on the programme and had felt nostalgia for this youth whereas Elgar spent some time near a wood which helped fuel his creativity when writing his music.
Linking back to me, I guess the music that I have chosen was influenced by my old violin teacher, and some of the last music that he had picked for me as a student was Brahms and Andre Previn. I knew he was a fan of Itzhak Perlman also who I since discovered recorded the Brahms piece and was a friend of Andre Previn who dedicated his piece ‘Noah’ to him to celebrate the birth of his child Noah.
I am grateful to have the fantastic pianist Veronika Shoot on board as a collaborator and to have recently availed of some mentoring from the English violinist Callum Smart, who himself has covered Elgar and Brahms. Like any event I enjoy bringing people together and I hope that they feel inspired by the music and can perhaps celebrate their own journeys in life.
Biography - Veronika Shoot
Russian-born concert pianist and chamber musician with Ukrainian roots Veronika Shoot moved to England when her father Vladislav Shoot was invited to Dartinton Hall as composer-in-residence and gave her first piano recital at the age of 7.
Graduating with distinction from both Royal Academy of Music and Royal Scottish Conservatoire she has been performing in UK and worldwide.
Veronika is a laureate of international competitions a recipient of many prizes and awards, performing with orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bogota Philharmonic, Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra, Hertford Symphony Orchestra and others under the baton of Diego Masson, Christian Kluxen , Richard Gonski and Tom Hammond.
She released her debut album 'Journey through Childhood' with Ulysses Arts in 2019, l featuring an array of miniature gems, bringing unknown pieces to light such as Korngold’s 4 musical caricatures and Vladislav Shoot’s Children’s album interweaving with well-known masterpieces by Debussy and Schumann in a soundscape of a musical journey.
Her passion to expand the horizons of musical sharing in a way that stimulates personal connection and bold expression in both performance and education led her to develop numerous collaborative projects , currently recording commissioned Nocturnes by contemporary composers that interweave storytelling through visuals, and live performance.
She is also a certified yoga teacher with classes devised specifically for Musicians.
Biography - Fiona O’ Sullivan
I started to play piano at age 6 followed by violin at the age of 8. I completed my grades for violin with the ABRSM and studied piano up to Grade V ABRSM. Having started violin lessons in school initially, I then went to the Young European Strings School of Music where I had lessons from Maria Keleman followed by Ronald Masin. During that time I performed with the Young European Strings Orchestra as well as solo performances in venues such as the Pepper Canister Church and the Mansion House.
Following school I achieved a BA in International Business and Languages (DIT) and later on a MSc in International Business Management (Griffith College). Throughout my time at college and following it I did a lot of travel and learned a lot about different cultures, I spent time living in France and Australia as well as travelling frequently to the US. I found these experiences helped me grow as a person and broadened my understanding of the world.
Having worked for international and Irish organisations for a number of years I have come back to playing music and am now teaching violin at Rachel’s Music Centre, Dublin. The valuable experience that I have gained in organisation, marketing and relationship building I feel has benefited me as well as my commitment to continuous learning as I have completed extra training on the violin in the past few years between mentorship by my colleague Victor Perez Vigas as well as through Gwendolyn Masin’s Exhale network of international musicians and more recently on a Diploma in Community Music Teaching with the RIAM. I have helped stage concerts for students which I have performed at and hope to develop these further and have been involved in a community music group the Offbeat Ensemble which has aided my growth from semi professional towards professional musician through regular rehearsals and concerts.
Presently I am working on pieces by Brahms, Elgar and Andre Previn under the mentorship of Callum Smart and collaborating with pianist Veronika Shoot towards staging two recitals in August, one in the Courthouse Art Gallery, Ennistymon, Clare and the other in Burtown House, Athy, Kildare. I hope to demonstrate my growth as a performer and as a musician.