BYU professor of music showcases virtuosic composition

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Chelsy Kim
Husband and wife duo violinists Alex and Aubrey Woods perform Christian Asplund’s “Choreutics” at the Madsen Recital Hall Oct. 2. (Chelsy Kim)

Christian Asplund, a professor of music composition and theory at BYU, premiered his composition, “Choreutics,” on Oct. 2 at the Madsen Recital Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

The piece included several movements and was performed by Alex and Aubrey Woods, a husband and wife violin duo. Alex Woods is also an assistant professor teaching violin and piano performance at BYU.

“Alex and Aubrey have a special chemistry. This piece wouldn’t have worked if that connection didn’t exist,” Asplund said.

The piece was originally created to accompany a dance choreography. Kate Monson, a professor who teaches dance at BYU was inspired by choreutics — five platonic shapes the philosopher Plato believed the universe was made of. Monson approached Asplund and asked him to compose a customized piece for her dance choreography.

Aubrey Woods, a professional violinist who has been mastering the instrument for over 20 years, said the composition was complicated to play.

“It’s just non-stop. There are so many notes,” she said. “It’s like a tongue twister — a finger twister.”

Chelsy Kim
Alex Wood, a professor of music at BYU performs a solo at Madsen Recital Hall Oct. 2. (Chelsy Kim)

Asplund has composed hundreds of pieces with a variety of instruments painting diverse emotions.

“I wanted ‘Choreutics’ to maintain a feeling of climax throughout the entire piece” he said.

The piece required the performers to play a continuous stream of rapid and extremely high notes on the violin.

“They are really skilled musicians who know how to perform. Their intonation is amazing,” said Ellie Hancock, a cellist and freshman at BYU.

As the duo concluded their performance, clapping filled the recital hall as audience members rose to their feet.

“Choreutics” will be performed at the Saint Mary’s Church in Provo on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

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