An Irish musician of Romanian origin, Alex is quickly establishing himself both nationally and internationally as a percussionist of the finest calibre. Winner of the first prize at the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year and as a semi-finalist at the Tromp International Percussion Competition, he was the National Concert Hall Rising Star for 2015, culminating in a recital that was described by The Irish Times as "...memorable no less for the breadth of technique than for the comparable range of emotion, expression and mood."
The repertoire on his debut CD Alex Petcu: In Time features both original music for percussion and transcriptions from the classical repertoire. He is remarkably expressive in his performances of tuned percussion works like the Courante from Bach’s Cello Suite No 6 in D major and his own arrangement of Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1, the track that opens this CD. At the same time, he shows a mastery of the technical demands of such compositions as Evelyn Glennie’s meditative A Little Prayer or the premiere recording of Cork-born Sam Perkin’s Fugue. On the Steve Reich’s Nagoya Marimbas, normally played by a percussion duo, Petcu multi-tracks the parts to stunning effect while an eclectic mix of bottles, beer-kegs and scrap metal form their own instrument in the rhythmically mind-blowing Paddy by Donnacha Dennehy.
Pianist Michael McHale joins him on Piazonare, a work inspired by Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango and composed by Alexej Gerassimez. Petcu’s sister Ioana, who plays first violin with the Ulster orchestra, joins him on the beautiful lullaby-like Yerkinkn Ampel A, based on a traditional melody collected by the Armenian composer Komitas.
Altogether, Alex Petcu: In Time is a CD that is sure to cross musical boundaries on a label that has been critically acclaimed nationally and internationally from Australia to Germany and the United States of America.