A Heroic Violinist Died In An Italian Cruise Ship Wreck. This Music Tells His Story

April 13, 2018
Photo: Composer Jeffrey NytchPhoto courtesy of the artist
Composer Jeffrey Nytch 

The wreck of an Italian cruise ship that made international headlines in 2012 is the subject of a Colorado composer's new piece.

The Costa Concordia ran aground on an Italian island with more than 4,000 people aboard. Thirty-two people died in the wreck -- including a violinist named Sandor Feher. He helped other passengers to safety, but then went to retrieve his instrument and never made it off the ship.

Feher's story became the spark for a new violin concerto from Jeffrey Nytch, an instructor at the University of Colorado. He called the composition “Costa Concordia.”

Nytch says it's not a literal retelling of shipwreck and Feher's final moments. It's more of a meditation on the relationship between a violinist and a musician -- and the human connection that led Feher to help save the lives of strangers during a crisis.

Violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Boulder-based Takacs Quartet and Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra premiere the music in Denver on Friday and Boulder on Saturday. Click the audio link above for an interview with Nytch and clips of the new piece. 

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