Composer Vincent Ho has been nominated for Classical “Composition Of The Year” in the Juno Awards for his piece, Supervillain Études on SANDMAN’S CASTLE from Navona Records. Congratulations to Vincent and pianist Vicky Chow on this exciting achievement! This is the composer’s third nomination in this specific Juno category, and his fifth nomination overall.
“This work is a product of my ongoing efforts in developing my own performance practice for solo piano – the tactile characteristics that define my pianistic language,” says Ho. “In each of these movements, various natural gestures of mine, all born out of the natural motor executions of my fingers as defined by my hands’ anatomical structure and technical skills, were the focuses of examination and development.”
While these etudes coincide with the traditional goal of the celebrated classical form, the other side of the coin offers insight into a cherished piece of the composer’s childhood memories. Modeled after the villain’s of the DC Comic Universe’s Batman series, each movement gives listeners an inside look into the psychiatric complexities of Gotham’s mischievous personalities, a dynamic presentation brought to life by pianist Vicky Chow.
“It’s sort of like an actor giving their interpretation of some of these characters,” Ho told the Calgary Herald. Ho met with pianists during the writing process to determine how each villain’s physical language can be recreated in pianistic form. His wife, socio-psychologist Tracy Eng, also assisted in writing some psychological profiles of the six characters: The Joker, The Riddler, the Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman and Poison Ivy.
Supervillain Etudes was released in October 2022 on SANDMAN’S CASTLE, a compendium of uniquely-orchestrated and masterfully executed solo and duo works from a roster of renowned performers: Vicky Chow, Susanne Ruberg-Gordon, Ben Reimer, Beth Root Sandvoss, and Evelyn Glennie. Between explorations of uncharted territories with tam-tam and music boxes and thoughtful juxtapositions of the drumset with mainstays in classical music, Ho pulls out all of the stops with the renowned featured performers, and his dexterous compositional tool-kit throughout.
Listen to the Juno-nominated piece here: