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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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'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.
Greetings from the road! Phil Chiu and I are currently in Halifax, having performed recitals this past weekend in Moncton, NB and Antigonish, NS. We were treated to really wonderful, attentive crowds with whom we really enjoyed visiting after the concerts (sometimes over a glass or two). Phil and I also have enjoyed some great cuisine, especially at the Tide and Boar in Moncton!
Our scheduled Sunday house concert had to be rescheduled (sadly, even presenters get the flu!); however, Phil and I, intent on playing, found ourselves another venue - a friendly house concert in Halifax with many Symphony Nova Scotia players in attendance. It was a great time, where we got to reacquaint with old friends and meet some new ones.
Our tour features a really strong educational component. Today, we performed for 400 great kids at Elmsdale elementary school, just outside of Halifax (seen above). The students there were truly great listeners, and asked some really insightful questions afterwards. We're slightly biased towards this school now, because they gave us each a great new mug!
We also participated in a really great educational venture through Newfoundland’s Department of Education’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) and Memorial University, where we performed a program over a live internet stream to hundreds of students in Newfoundland and across Canada. In the remaining few days of the tour, we will perform an additional three school concerts in New Ross and Yarmouth - we hear there's great lobster there - and then come back to Dalhousie University to coach the collaborative piano class in some duo and trio chamber music.
Greetings from China! We started by visiting Hong Kong (where we performed a joint concert with the Honk Kong Sinfonietta) - an amazing place that I would gladly revisit. Hong Kong is a very worldly, open city proud of its Chinese culture and heritage and of its appeal to the world at large.
Before our performance, we had three days to rest up and acclimatize to the new time zone. I sampled some delicious dim sum, investigated many different areas (by ferry) and went to The Peak - a high point with an unbeatable view. Here are some shots :
From there, we crossed into mainland China, to the city of Guangzhou. Mainland China is completely different from Hong Kong in every way, which led many of us to experience some culture shock. A few small groups went to see the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, which was a very beautiful, peaceful, and green space. The scent of incense was everywhere. The Great Hall within the temple was the highlight for me:
A friend and I investigated the neighbourhoods further, which was really interesting. We performed that night with the view of the Canton Tower in sight.
We are now in Chongqing, a rather large city at 33 million people which I had never heard of. This area is known for its Szechwan cuisine, and we have been sampling many of the finest regional specialties - the best of which is hot pot:
After spending a couple of days in Tianjin, a city known for its sections of European-style architecture, we moved on to Beijing. Most of the orchestra spent their free time in the Silk Market, buying scarves, pearls, and having specific items of clothing made for them. Another Beijing highlight was the roast duck (Peking Duck), which I got to sample two nights in a row.
We also visited the wall, which was a major highlight of the trip!
Our final few days in Beijing and Shanghai were quite amazing, with some really moving and inspiring performances. What an amazing trip!
This past June, I had the incredible opportunity to work with the much talked about Australian Chamber Orchestra. (If you aren't familiar with their work, check out their site and their many videos - you'll thank me!)
By some stroke of cosmic intervention, my Ukrainian band was approached to perform at the 65th Anniversary celebrations of Ukrainian Immigration to Australia celebrations the weekend preceding my work with the ACO. We were well hosted by the Aussie Ukes, and were fortunate enough to perform in the Sydney Town Hall, a truly marvellous venue:
After an incredible weekend, the rest of the band returned to Canada as I began rehearsing with the ACO2, a group comprised of members of the ACO as well as former and current participants of the ACO's Emerging Artists program.
We prepared a unique and well-compiled program of Rautavaara, Vivaldi, Stravinsky, Handel, and Bartok for a six-city National tour. I was fortunate enough to see nearly all major Australian cities, drank (too much) coffee, and worked with some truly creative and inspired musicians.
I look forward to working with the ACO again for three months in 2014.
The ACO rehearses inside the tall buildings on the right. What a view...
I'm very happy to announce the birth of a new project that I've been scheming about for a long while...
The Montreal Collective Orchestra is a conductor-less chamber orchestra in Montreal made up of young versatile and innovative musicians who have come together to experiment and bring new life to the performance of large-scale chamber music. Founded in 2012 by Andrea Stewart and Carissa Klopoushak, the members of the Montreal Collective Orchestra work together in an atmosphere that is conducive to creativity, excellence, and a good time, resulting in performances that are engaging, energetic and truly reﬂect the calibre of the musicians that partake in them. Without a conductor, the propelling force behind the artistic decision-making process one that is inclusive and democratic – that is to say, collective.
The group's first concert takes place on Saturday, March 9th at 4:30pm at Christ Church Cathedral, downtown Montreal.
On the March 9th program: Tchaikovsky's String Serenade, Op. 48 in C major, Beethoven's Quartetto Serioso, Op. 95 in f minor, arranged by Mahler for string orchestra, and bits by Dvorak.
Christ Church Cathedral is located at: 635 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3A 2B8 Station McGill
Hey Saskatoon friends! I'm very proud to announce that my festival, the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, has launched a Fall Series of Concerts. Look for upcoming shows at both Paddockwood's new The Woods Ale House (RITORNELLO ON TAP) and at The Bassment (RITORNELLO UNDERGROUND).
The first show takes place:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, The Bassment (8pm)
Ritornello Festival presents: Jacqueline Woods & Denise Fillion (Piano Duo), playing cosmic and revolutionary 20th century american music by Rzewski, Crumb, and Adams. This performance is guaranteed to knock your socks off while you sip on your beer.