Duo Col Legno
Yoshiko Tsuruta (marimba), Heleen du Plessis (cello)
Duo Col Legno was formed in 2014 to perform the NZ premiere of Peter Klatzow's "A Sense of place" at the Adam Concert Room, Te Kōkī: New Zealand School of Music. Heleen had commissioned It for her project “Cello for Africa” which explored the notion of music, people and place and a sense of belonging/place.
The matching warm sonorities of their instruments inspired both players to explore further repertoire, leading to the creation of this programme celebrating a huge variety of musical styles from all over the world (NZ, South Africa, Russia, France, Japan, Estonia, USA (Klezmer) and Australia(Balkan). Both players are popular soloists and chamber musicians and their individual strengths together form a dynamic, charismatic duo.
The programme will include a new commission by revered NZ composer Gareth Farr, as well as well-known works by Tchaikovsky and Fauré. This will be a thrilling and unusual performance – Heleen drawing a singing tone that weaves through the reverberations of Yoshiko on the largest marimba in New Zealand!
Yoshiko Tsuruta began playing the marimba as a primary school student growing up in Japan. After relocating to New Zealand she graduated from the New Zealand School of Music. Then she moved to Austria and has completed her Masters Degree (1st Class) at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz. There she studied marimba with Bogdan Bacanu and percussion with Leonhard Schmidinger. As a soloist, Yoshiko has performed concertos on marimba with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, Bay of Plenty Symphonia, Hutt Valley Orchestra, Kāpiti Concert Orchestra, NZSM Orchestra and Waikato University Orchestra. While establishing herself as a marimba specialist, Yoshiko also plays in the percussion section of orchestras regularly. She was the principal Percussion of the National Youth Orchestra in 2008 and currently she plays timpani for Opus Orchestra. Yoshiko has won numerous awards, notable among these are International Australian Marimba Competition (2016), reaching the semi-finals of International Marimba Competition in Salzburg (2012), Percussion Prize/Tiromoana Recital Prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition (2009) and first prize in the NZ National Concerto Competition (2008).
Qualified with four post-graduate degrees in performing arts from renowned institutions including the Conservatory of Geneva and Peabody Institute, Heleen du Plessis advanced her talent with esteemed masters, Peled, Grosgurin, Starker, Rostropovich, Litschauer and Aaron. Highlights of recent performances include an international concert and CD recording premiering Concerto for an African Cellist (Huyssen) and A sense of Place (Klatzow) in South Africa. The CD, nominated by The Violoncello Foundation for the International Listener’s Choice Awards (2014), was acclaimed as embodying “the highest standard of artistry”, and a “genuine attempt to build a meaningful cross-cultural dialogue”. Cellists Aotearoa, a multimedia production at the Arts Festival Dunedin (2016) in which Heleen was joined by cellists Andrew Joyce, Ken Ichinose and Ashley Brown, was acclaimed as a “superlative performance of a superlative programme and superlative players…” This formed part of projects supported by research grants investigating identity and a sense of place by commissioning and premiering works by South African and New Zealand composers.
She performs in diverse settings and genres with distinguished artists such as Terence Dennis, Matthew Marshall, Luca Manghi, the Peninsula Trio and the 12 most prominent cellists at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson (2017).
Click on the blue 'Home' link below to see videos of Yoshiko performing.
http://youtu.be/3Rc0Rf0O_ws - A Sense of Place
http://www.yoshikotsuruta.com/gallery/video/ - examples of Yoshiko playing
http://heleenduplessis.com/listen-to-heleen - examples of Heleen playing