This is the world premiere live performance of Canadian composer John Burke’s La Despedida. Inspired by Catherine Wilson and Ensemble Vivant’s interpretations of the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, as well as works by other Latin composers, John Burke wrote La Despedida, an Art Tango for solo piano, which he gifted to pianist Catherine Wilson.
John was present in the audience at this premiere, and following the concert the video crew captured him speaking about Catherine’s performance. John Burke and Catherine Wilson enjoyed a long musical collaboration and friendship, and John had planned to write many more works for Catherine.
This was the last concert John Burke attended and the last opportunity he had to hear one of his works performed live in concert. He tragically passed away a few weeks later at the age of 68.
Significantly, La Despedida means The Farewell.