In an increasingly conservative music landscape, pianist Zubin Kanga is a champion of the modern.
It takes a particular kind of musician to specialise in modern music. Analytical, precise, technically robust yet willing to experiment and stretch the boundaries of conventional music-making, and perhaps most importantly, excited by tackling the unknown. It’s a rare combination, but all these qualities can be found in plentiful supply in Australian pianist and contemporary music champion Zubin Kanga.
Going where many other pianists fear to tread, Kanga has cemented a reputation as the country’s preeminent exponent of contemporary repertoire, and as a highly in-demand international artist, he has made it his mission to be an ambassador for Australian composers overseas. “It’s really important to me to promote Australian music as much as possible, wherever I play. But I’m also keen to explore the links that foreign composers have with Australia. [British composer] Michael Finnissy has written some terrific pieces about the Australian landscape for example,” Kanga says. “I was working with Thomas Adès in Australia in 2013, and I was able to share with him some Australian works, so there’s also lots of opportunity for cultural exchange in the opposite direction too.”