The Passing of an Icon is for soprano, piano solo, string quartet and percussion and was written in 2014 in response to the passing of Nelson Mandela on 5 December 2013. Its duration is seven minutes.
The words, by the composer, reflect the greatness of Nelson Mandela’s (Madiba’s) vision of peace and reconciliation and the legacy that he left for us all to follow, not just in South Africa, but around the world.
The piece is in two major sections: the first is purely instrumental, expressing the shock at the moment of Madiba’s passing as well as a reflection on his character and life that were presented during the period of mourning that followed; and the second section is a setting of the words. It should be noted that the piano is treated more as a soloist rather than an integral part of the ensemble, for it is considered that the ensemble parts can be played by confident amateur players, whereas the piano part requires a more advanced performer.