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Introducing the theremin

By Maria Gregoriou

The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy in the framework of the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will present two concerts this week in which the peculiar electronic instrument the theremin will make its first appearance in Cyprus.

The theremin will make its first appearance in Limassol on Thursday and then again in Nicosia on Friday, under the name The Untouchable Instrument.

The orchestra will be accompanied by Dutch soloist Thοrwald Jørgensen, who is considered to be one of the most important exponents of classical music on the theremin. Both concerts will include performances of the Concerto for Theremin by the Cyprus-born composer Anis Fuleihan and Victor Herbiet’s Sirenum Scopuli. These two works will be framed by two of Leroy Anderson’s most entertaining short pieces, namely Plink Plank Plunk and Fiddle Faddle. The concerts will also present a selection of Antonín Dvorak’s exuberant Slavonic Dances. The Orchestra will be conducted by its Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Alkis Baltas.

The theremin – originally known as the etherophone – is the first electronic instrument and is played with the fingers of one hand and the palm of the other without any physical contact by the musician. The sound produced has both string and human voice qualities.

The theremin was invented by the Russian physicist Lev Termen in 1919 and consists of a cabinet filled with electronics and two antennas producing an electromagnetic field.

The Untouchable Instrument
Performance by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. January 14. Rialto theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €12/7/5/3. Tel: 77-777745

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