iKostina (2003)

for solo piano

Commissioned by Associated Board for ‘Spectrum 4’

Publisher: Bardic Edition

Published in:

  • Afrikosmos Volume 3 – www.afrikosmos.michaelblake.co.za
  • Spectrum 4 (2005) – Associated Board 9781860963766
  • Collected Shorter Piano Pieces Vol 1 (2008) – Bardic Edition BDE 917

Duration: 1 minute


Recorded by Thalia Myers on ‘Spectrum 4’ (USK1227CDD)


First performance: Sunday 19 February 2006; Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom; Thalia Myers piano.

Further performances:
15 October 2016; Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3; Michael Finnissy (First broadcast)
12 November 2016; CoMA Maastricht Weekend Course (Dutch premiere); Michael Finnissy
9 March 2018; Woordfees, Stellenbosch, South Africa; Michael Blake (South African premiere).
3 September 2019; Beethoven Room, Rhodes University, South Africa; Michael Blake

Programme note

“iKostina” was a request from Thalia Myers for Spectrum 4, commissioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. The Spectrum series is devoted to miniatures which are technically approachable while remaining musically engaging. In the fourth book Thalia Myers focused on music for beginners, and distilling the essence of my musical language in this way was an enormous challenge. “iKostina” (’concertina’ in Xhosa, an indigenous South African language) is one of the many instruments imported and adapted for local use, often played by rural musicians walking along the roadside, or in bands together with guitars and other instruments. The great uhadi bow player Nofinishi Dywili undoubtedly inspired this music. It was first published by the Associated Board in 2005.


Piano music