Carissa Klopoushak and Julia MacLaine perform at the first Ottawa Chamberfest City Series concert, playing Bartok, Honegger, Schulhoff, and folk music in the lobby of Ottawa City Hall.
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Well, friends, big news:
I'm so pleased and excited to announce that I've finished recording my first full-length album, partnering once more with my good friend Philip Chiu!
The recording, which features music by Debussy, Janacek, and Canadian composers Vivier, Carrabré, and Willan, was finished over a three-day period in Montreal at Concordia University's Oscar Peterson Hall. The magnificent Jeremy Tusz (of Diapason Mobile) was at the helm, assisted by Paul Scriver. The four of us are pictured above, just after the final session ended. (Phew!)
I'll be posting updates as this project develops - I'm very excited to share this with you all! Wishing you all a very restful and fulfilling holiday stretch. May you eat great food surrounded by friends and family!
Grand announcement time!
I'm thrilled to let you all know that I'll be recording an album with Philip Chiu, performing sonatas by Leos Janacek, Claude Debussy, and Healey Willan, and shorter pieces by Pat Carrabré and Claude Vivier.
Aside from the obvious reasons for recording (it's so much fun!), I'm nearing the end of my tenure with the Canada Council Instrument Bank's 1869 Vuillaume violin and Vuillaume workshop bow - and there's no better way to celebrate than to record! The pieces we're recording are things that the Phil and I have performed together a great many times, starting as early as the 2009 Eckhardt-Grammatté competition winner's tour (Carrabré's Chaconne was the commissioned piece that year), and more recently on our 2013 Debut Atlantic Tour.
We've just finished a couple of private house concerts in Montreal and Gatineau, QC, and are excited to bring the show to Toronto on Tuesday, December 9th, at Gallery 345. Please come! Bring friends!
I uploaded a small excerpt of the folk-inspired concert at Toronto Summer Music Festival, July 24, 2014, Heliconian Hall, Toronto. More to come later... Гуцульська Фантазія - Hutsul Fantasy (trad. Hutsul/Carpathian Ukrainian)
Carissa Klopoushak - violin Alexandru Sura - cimbalom JC Lizotte - cello
I'm very pleased to be performing as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival's Shuffle Concert series next week. The Shuffle series, inspired by the mix of music you'd typically find on an iPod, are informal, eclectic one-hour performances by Festival Artists, special guests, and next-generation emerging artists. I'll be joined by my friends Alexandru Sura (cimbalom) and JC Lizotte (cello), playing Eastern European Folk Music (mostly Ukrainian). We'll finish the program with a new arrangement of Ravel's Tzigane. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave
Pay What You Can
Directly after Ritornello Fest, I flew to Montreal to participate in a series of concerts with my friends and fellow laureates of the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank competition. The laureates took turns performing on the noon-hour series called "Bach's Lunch." Kerry DuWors and I took the opportunity to play together, performing Bach's 2-part Inventions for violin and viola, solo Bach movements, and other violin duos by Leclair and Bartok. You can read all about the noon hour concerts, reviewed by All Things Strings, here.
In addition the lunch-time concerts, we had the marvellous privilege to perform the orchestral parts to Martin Beaver's Four Seasons and to Mozart's 5 violin concerti, performed so generously by Cho-Liang Lin.
This past weekend, the 6th Annual Ritornello Chamber Music Festival took place in Saskatoon. Ritornello Fest is the annual festival that my co-director Jacqueline Woods and I founded, which showcases exciting, Canadian musicians who are currently pursuing professional careers across the country and around the globe. This year's Fest featured the Cecilia String Quartet, pianist Philip Chiu, and cellist Scott McKnight performing alongside the two directors. Saturday's concert also featured a Saskatoon poet, Brendan Flaherty. Here are a few photos of the festival, taken by Michael Morien. To see all the high-res photos, check out our Flickr.com Slideshow.
I've landed once again in Sydney to work for a time with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. I've taken a few days to myself to get reacquainted with the city, the weather (a change of 50 degrees - not easy for the violin!), and the time zone. Rehearsals begin tomorrow; we're working with American soprano Dawn Upshaw.
JOHN ADAMS Selections from John's Book of Alleged Dances
GRIEG Holberg Suite
GRIEG Solveig's Song
EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA Die Liebenden: Liebes Lied
MARIA SCHNEIDER Winter Morning Walks [AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE]
ELGAR Introduction and Allegro
You may have read about Maria Schneider's work recently - the album (recorded with the ACO last year) won awards for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Best Contemporary Composition and the award for Best Engineered Album, Classical.
If you're in Australia, you can find all the concert dates here.
Looking forward to getting started!
As I explained in the last blog post, a major focus of this Debut Atlantic tour is education - and good thing - as some of these experiences are becoming the most memorable for me. For example, Phil and I drove from Halifax to New Ross, NS, to play for a group of about 100 students between the ages of 4 and 14, where much to our surprise, we were greeted by name in the parking lot by a group of students! Their teachers had prepared them well with the educational materials provided by Debut Atlantic. In addition, they listened to the tracks on my website where Phil and I play together - and they even listened to some music by my Ukrainian band Тут і Там. Phil and I performed our program which included music of Prokofiev, Janacek, Debussy, and Brahms. We spoke to them about these pieces, and took questions from the audience. We also asked for their impressions of the pieces, and were pleased at the insightfulness of their comments. We then got to sign a couple autographs, which always feels nice/strange, and took a picture together with the older kids (the "littles," as they are called, had to go eat lunch):
After that great experience, Phil and I experienced one of the touring life's greatest treasures: traveling through scenic landscapes... and enjoying food. To get to Yarmouth, our next destination, we had to drive past the exit to Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site. So we stopped in for lunch! We had heard that there was a great place to eat there called the Salt Shaker Deli. We (once again) had an exorbitant amount of seafood, this time featuring muscles, chowder, and lobster mac & cheese:
We then saw some of the sites of Lunenburg (see top photo), grabbed a coffee, and continued on our way to Yarmouth. In Yarmouth (where it is generally very, very windy, we performed for two groups of school children. Again, great questions and emotional responses to our music and questions!
Yarmouth boasts a lovely Main Street and very cleverly named free wifi (pictured below):
From Yarmouth, we drove back to Halifax, where we would share in some real Haligonian hospitality and eat lobster. They were delicious!!!
Our last tour duty was to coach the students of Dalhousie Univeristy's collaborative piano class. We listened to some very talented and hard-working students perform, and did our best to help their already impressive performances develop further. We capped off the end of the class by performing a couple movements of the Prokofiev sonata we had been performing on tour. It was a lovely way to finish the week.
I'd like to thank everyone at Debut Atlantic, all of the concert presenters, the students and our audience members across the maritimes for such a wonderful experience. It was lovely to perform and to get acquainted with so many wonderful people, and I hope to visit and perform in the region again soon.