News Release

UU Welcomes Back Former Lecturer for Concert Performance

10th November 2005

Photo of Stephen Spackman
Stephen Spackman

As part of its Lunchtime Concert Series the University welcomes back a former colleague, Stephen Spackman.

Stephen taught in the New University of Ulster’s History Department during the 1970s, he is now an accomplished viola player and will perform in  concert with Croatian born pianist Vesna Podrug.

In retirement Stephen decided to focus on his viola playing. He studied with Michael Kugel, and has performed across Europe and the United States. Notable premieres include Hayg Boyadjian’s Sonata for Solo Viola, which was specifically written for him.

Joining Stephen for these concerts will be the pianist Vesna Podrug, an Ivo Pogolorelich scholarship-holder and a student of Paul Badura-Skoda at the Vienna University of Music and the Performing Arts.  Since 1998 she has been a repetiteur with the Ballet Company of the Vienna State Opera, and has also performed with them and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. 

The programmes for the lunchtime concerts will include music by Glinka, Schumann and Roger. 

Stephen explains that there is also an interesting local connection with the music: “The widow of one of the composers, Kurt Roger, still lives in Belfast.  Her name is Joy Roger Hammerschlag and she was an accomplished viola player.  She met Kurt Roger at the time he was writing the viola sonata near Waterford, while he was waiting for his American visa and she gave the first performance of the work.  They got married soon after the war. We are delighted that she hopes to attend the concert.”

Stephen Spackman and Vesna Podrug will perform in the Octagon at the Coleraine campus on Monday 21 November and in the Great Hall at the Magee campus on Tuesday 22 November.  Both concerts begin at 1.15pm and will end at a 2.00pm.

For further information on the University’s Lunchtime Concert Series contact the Cultural Development Office, Coleraine campus on 028 7032 4683 or Magee campus on 028 7137 5658.

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