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Tissa goes 'Off Track'



VERSATILE LITERARY PERSONA: Abeysekara addresses the invitees at the launch

BOOK LAUNCH: Versatile and outstanding film personality, creative writer and essayist, Tissa Abeysekara, launched his latest book to the Sinhala literary world titled Ayalegiya Sitaka Satahan (Off track thoughts) at the National Library Auditorium recently.

The book, a collection of memories of Tissa's pieced together with a kaleidoscope of articles on a diversity of topics, is embedded with words invented and coined to express a variety of ideas to its readers.

Rich idioms, indigenous expressions and unique language forms are used by the author to present a masterpiece that contributes to the enrichment of the Sinhala language.


PRESENTATION: Tissa Abeysekara presents the first copy of the book to the Ven. Nayake Thera of Bellanwilla Rajamaha Vilaraya

Prof. Sucharitha Gamlath who delivered the keynote address at the event stated that the book also traces back to the evolution of arts and culture during the period of post-independent Sri Lanka: the grand eras of the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kotte kingdoms.

He also stressed the fact that the Sinhala language is being vulgarised by some modern day lyricists.

Chief guest at the launch, Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara, stressed the fact that the book may be prescribed as a textbook and praised Abeysekara for his part in enhancing the world of Sinhala literature.

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French guitarist to strike a chord in Sri Lanka

MUSIC: A Classical guitar concert by Thibault Cauvin will be held at 'On Golden Pond' at Taj Samudra on the May 17. Pradeep Ratnayake and his musicians will perform the first part of the concert.


PROMISING GUITARIST: Thibault Cauvin

A second and third concert will be held at the 'Nupe Cultural Centre', Matara, on May 18 at 7 p.m. and the Children's Library, Kandy, on May 19 at 7 p.m. This event is organised by the Alliance Fran‡aise in collaboration with the Embassy of France and Hotel Taj Samudra.

At 20 years of age, Thibault is the only Frenchman to have won 11 international competitions. He captured first prize in the '2004 San Francisco International Classical Guitar Competition'.

The only guitar competition of its kind in the world, the San Francisco event invites only those players who have been placed first in one or more major international competitions during the past two years. A sold-out audience at the California Palace of the Legion of Honour watched on November 20, as all four finalists performed exquisitely.

Thibault Cauvin, the victor, returned to San Francisco during the 2005-2006 concert season as the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts Artist-In-Residence, performing in schools and businesses throughout the area. He was also awarded a recording contract with GSP Records. A cash prize of US $16,500 was distributed to the performers.

Born on July 16, 1984 in Bordeaux, Thibault Cauvin dedicated himself to the study of classical guitar from the age of six. His father was the guitarist and composer, Philippe Cauvin.

Thibault has long begun a career as a concert soloist. He has furthered this goal by continuing his studies under Olivier Chassain at the National Conservatory of Bordeaux.

There he earned the golden medal with the highest honours and he was awarded the Medal of Honour of the City of Bordeaux, with distinction. At the age of 17, he received the highest ranking in the entrance competition to the Superior National Conservatory in Paris where he is still studying.

In 2001, Cauvin played with the Orchestra of the conservatory of Bordeaux and in 2002 did a tour with the Bernard Thomas' Orchestra of Paris in Portugal, Antilles Island and France. In 2003 he received "le prix des arts" from the Rotary club of Bordeaux.

He won numerous prizes among which is the first prize at the prestigious Sotsenberg guitar competition in Los Angeles, first Prize at the "Concours International de guitare Alexandre Lagoya" and he also received the "Prize of the Dominica Island" during a concert in the Dominica which was telecast live by the Caribbean TV in the English Antilles.

In January 2004, he went to the United States for a concert tour. In February, he gave a concert in Radio France, Paris, played and recorded to produce a live CD in the "D‚clic" collection.

Cauvin had performed in many countries around the world and has a promising future ahead of him.

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Camerata Choir in Bach and Haydn concert

MUSIC: Camerata Musica Chamber Choir will present its fifth concert, performing two great choral works with orchestra and soloists - Bach's inspired Magnificat in D major, and Haydn's magnificent 'Mass in Time of War'- at St. Paul's Church, Kynsey Road on May 19 at 7 p.m.

This event is organised in collaboration with the Goethe-Institute Sri Lanka, German Cultural Centre and will be conducted by Asitha Tennekoon, making his debut in this role with Camerata.

Bach's Magnificat in D major is one of his very finest works, a concise masterpiece with joyous five part choruses and solo arias, and festive orchestral writing.

He originally set the Magnificat, the Virgin Mary's song of praise to God, for performance at the service of Vespers on Christmas Day 1723 at St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig soon after he became Cantor there.

However he revised it in the early 1730s condensing the work, brightening its key, and enriching its brilliance by adding flutes to the oboes and high, piccolo trumpets. This revised version in D is the one generally performed today.

After Haydn had completed all his symphonies he had a final flowering of his musical genius in the composition of his six late Masses and his oratorio 'The Creation', mature masterpieces and arguably his greatest works.

He was inspired in this by his profound Christian faith. And for the Masses his patron Prince Nikolaus II Esterhazy, who in Haydn's old age asked that his Capellmeister should compose only one work each year - a new Mass to celebrate the name day of his wife, the Princess Maria, prompted him.

The 'Mass in Time of War' in C is the second of the six masses that Haydn composed between 1796 and 1802 at Eisenstadt, near Vienna.

The slow introduction to the Kyrie and the cello obbligato in the 'Qui tollis' are especially beautiful.

Its name (given by Haydn) and the stirring kettledrum solo in the Agnus Dei are reminders of the European wars following the French Revolution and of Austria's fear of invasion by Napoleon in 1796 as Haydn was writing the Mass.

The two works feature many examples of truly inspired use of the soloists as a quartet or as a trio, in pairs, and in solo lines that combine and contrast with the larger forces of the choir.

Kumudini David, Eriko Perera, Peshali Yapa, Krishan Rodrigo and Laknath Seneviratne who are members of Camerata Musica will sing the demanding solo parts.

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Palitha's diverse canvas

PAINTINGS: The sixth solo art exhibition by Palitha Jayasekara will be held at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery from May 18 to 20.Palitha has done new creative paintings on canvas with acrylic colours for this exhibition.

Palitha Jayasekara has created various paintings and statues in Sri Lanka and abroad. The Mask Museum at Ambalangoda sponsored by the Republic of Germany in 1980 can be mentioned as the foundation of his career as an artist.

He created Mahayana statues and paintings for Myohoji Japanese peace pagoda constructed in Ampara and Rumassala. The peace monuments of Ampara, Kuruwita and Habarana junction were some of his masterpieces. This artist serves at the Ambalangoda Zonal Education Office.

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