piece was one of three on my program in a guest performance for
The Sydney Classical
Guitar Society on Nov 1, 2008 at The Performing
Arts Centre (Holtermann Street Crows Nest.)
The invitation was following my winning of the Sydney
Eisteddfod (McDonald’s Performing Arts Challenge) Classical Guitar
Open Age competition on August 31, 2008.
When I first heard Nikita
Koshkin's "The Fall of Birds", it was on June
13, 2004 in
a recital by classical guitarist Minh
Le Hoang. It was the 3rd
piece on his Honours performance program, just before the Interval.
The concert was presented by the International Guitar Series
at the ANU
School of Music in Canberra.
The concert hall was packed and we were lucky to find few seats in
the Dress Circle.
It was a great and thrilling performance that I still remember to this day.
a year later, Minh performed in Sydney on October 15, 2005 in a concert presented
by the Sydney Classical Guitar Society, and again, he performed The Fall of Birds,
just before the interval. This time I was sitting in the front row and I felt
how powerful the music was, and how exacting Minh delivered it.
It wasn’t until years later where I came across it again; this
time on May 18, 2007 in Heinsberg Germany.
I was sitting in the 2nd
row from the front, right behind a line of eleven Jury members and
directly behind Thomas Kirchhoff and Zoltan & Peter Katona (Katona Twins.)
Round Two of the Heinsberg
International Guitar Festival & Competition,
and the performer was Goran Krivokapic. I was eleven at the time.
the performance, I went to the 2nd level where Heiner
Viertmann were exhibiting
their huge range of music sheets, CD’s and other products. I asked the kind lady
behind the table if they have the score for The Fall of Birds. She looked and
looked, but no score.
In due course I realised that Koshkin’s scores are a bit difficult to come by,
especially that most are out of print. I tried ordering it through my regular
score supplier in Sydney, Doug de Kroo. Still no luck. Doug is a specialist in
the difficult to find pieces, but this one eluded even him. He found others,
but not this one. Doug and his brother Leo are known as “The deKroo Brothers”,
famous for their lively gigs and performances around Sydney.
While contemplating learning the piece by hearing, I suddenly remembered Minh
Le Hoang’s concert in Canberra few years ago. Perfect.
In a quick e-mail to him,
I explained the situation. He recommended checking with Guitar
Solo Publications in California. But even they didn’t have it.
But within few days, I received a
scanned pdf of Minh’s own copy, even with his
markings. A sigh of relief. Thanks a lot Minh.
Every now and then, I look on-line for an original score but
yet to find any.