Carissa Klopoushak to co-compose, co-arrange, perform, and record ballet score for Ancestors & Elders, a one-act production by the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and a team of Indigenous artists.
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CARISSA KLOPOUSHAK & PHILIP CHIU
Carissa Klopoushak and Philip Chiu have performed extensively together. Their musical partnership has taken them across the country, beginning with a 17-city Canadian tour for the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition Winner’s Tour in 2009. Since that time, they have performed together in many recitals and chamber music collaborations across Canada, appearing at Ottawa Chamberfest, Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, and touring the Maritime provinces for Debut Atlantic. Their 2016 recording SOUNDWORLDS presents some of their favourite works from their many tours together, capturing their explorations of many different characters and soundworlds.
The album features three sonatas for violin and piano by Leoš Janáček, Claude Debussy, and Healey Willan. Completing the album are two shorter works by Claude Vivier and T. Patrick Carrabré (world premiere recording). Janacek, Debussy, and Willan composed their sonatas within three years of one another, each offering a unique perspective on the First World War. It was said that Janacek couldn't get the sound of weapons clashing out of his head, and his sonata reflects this inner turmoil, also offering moments of absolute beauty. Debussy wasn't able to fight for his country due to terminal illness; instead, he wrote six works dedicated to the cause. The last of the six, the Violin Sonata, was the final work he composed. Fun-loving and rhapsodic, this work takes the listener through the entire human experience. Healey Willan's sonata offers the Canadian perspective, with a particularly touching middle movement and a flourish of an ending.
Complementing the sonatas are the single-movement works of Claude Vivier and T. Patrick Carrabré. Vivier's Pièce is emotionally charged and very dramatic. Carrabré's Chaconne, which we premiered on the E-Gré tour, is a charming work in which the pianist has to also play the harmonica!
Soundworlds has been chosen as CBC Radio 2 In Concert Disc of the Week. Host Paolo Pietropaolo had some lovely things to say in the broadcast on Sunday, January 15th:
"She's put together a really compelling and fascinating collection of works for violin and piano, and she should be commended for this. It's a debut album, and it's an independant release - and it's not just another recording of Bach, or Beethoven, or Brahms - not that those aren't lovely - but there are lots of those, and there aren't that many recordings like this one. Carissa has brought together three sonatas all composed during WWI: the Healey Willan..., the violin sonata by the French composer Claude Debussy, and the violin sonata by the Czech composer Leos Janacek... And she's also included two more recent works by Canadian composers, a piece by Claude Vivier, composed in 1975, and a Chaconne, written by T. Patrick Carrabré in 2009."
“This is an intelligent program - it’s thoughtful, it’s well thought-out, it’s well put-together - and it’s beautifully performed. ”
— Paolo Pietropaolo, CBC Radio In Concert broadcast (January 15, 2017)
Inaugural recipient of the Prix Goyer (2015), one of Canada’s largest classical music prizes, pianist Philip Chiu has become one of Canada’s leading musicians through his infectious love of music and his passion for communication and collaboration. Lauded for the brilliance, colour and sensitivity of his playing, he is particularly noted for his ability to connect with audiences on and offstage. An exceedingly sociable artist, Philip concertizes extensively as one of Canada's most sought after chamber musicians. He has appeared in recitals with leading musicians of the world stage, including Regis Pasquier, James Ehnes, Raphael Wallfisch, Patrice Fontanarosa, Matt Haimovitz, and Radovan Vlatkovic. Philip would like to recognize the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts for their support.
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Ironwood is Jessica Linnebach and Carissa Klopoushak (violins), Julia MacLaine (cello), and David Marks (viola), a quartet of curious musicians who spend most (but not all) of their musical time playing with the NAC orchestra.
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!