Swiss-Danish duo perform works by Frederic Balazs in Tucson

Birgitte Schnakenburg and Monika Stauss JoensenBirgitte Schnakenburg and Monika Stauss JoensenDuring the week of January 14th, violinist Monika Stauss Joensen and pianist Birgitte Schnakenburg performed a series of concerts around Tucson, including music of composer Frederic Balazs (ACA member since 1946). The duo resides in the Faroe Islands, and has performed concerts including the works of Hungarian-born Balazs in many recitals in Europe. Balazs, who turned 93 last month, met the duo in 1998 at a summer music festival of American music in the Faroe Islands. Balazs composed his Partita for solo violin for Swiss-born Joensen. She premiered it in 2000 at the Bach Festival in Schaffhausen. The duo performed his Canticle of Brother Sun of Francis of Assisi, a 3-movement sonata for violin and piano. Joensen describes it as "stories, pictures in it--birds singing, thunder fumbles, the sun is rising...there are folk dances. A world of secrets, a fascinating piece..."