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Chamber Music


Debut Atlantic Tour: Educational Outreach


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.



Debut Atlantic Tour: Moncton, Antigonish, Halifax

20131118-172556.jpg 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.



Carissa Klopoushak named new member of Montreal-based Ensemble ARTefact

Carissa Klopoushak has been asked to join pianist Louise Bessette, cellist Yegor Dyachkov, and clarinetist Simon Aldrich as a member of ARTefact. ARTefact is an ensemble comprised of four of Canada's most exciting musicians. Spirited and like-minded, ARTefact's four members view the ensemble not only as an opportunity to present pieces from the broad and vivid repertoire for clarinet, violin, 'cello and piano, but also as a fount of diverse and compelling repertoire for combinations within its instrumentation; piano trio, clarinet trio, instrumental sonatas, duos and solos. Passionate for the Classical and Romantic repertoire for the various instrumental combinations within ARTefact's configuration, these musicians are also distinct advocates of the music of our time. ARTefact builds on its commitment to new music by commissioning and premiering new works for this ensemble's unique and popular instrumentation, having commissioned pieces from Canadian luminaries such as Serge Arcuri, Michael Oesterle and Nicolas Gilbert.

Drawing from repertoire that traverses the centuries, ARTefact's performances are as riveting as they are engrossing, "of the highest intensity, absolutely searing in its emotional force in live performance". Dedicated to the music of today, devoted to the music of yesterday, ARTefact's imaginative and innovative programming, coupled with an unrivaled energy, make them the only group of its kind on the Canadian chamber music scene.



Myroslav Skoryk's Violin Concerto no. 6 - Live Performance

As discussed in my lecture-recital, here is the video of Andrij Bielov performing Skoryk's 6th concerto: 

М. Скорик. Концерт для скрипки з оркестром № 6 Скрипка - Андрій Бєлов Диригент - Мирослав Скорик Симфонічний оркестр Львівської філармонії. СОЛФ жовтень 2010

M. Skoryk. Concerto for Violin number 6 Soloist - Andrey Belov Conductor - Miroslav Skoryk Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra LPO October 2010

And  here is the video of the New Music Ensemble RICOCHET performing Sil'vestrov's Drama 1st Movement (Sonata for Violin and Piano):

Valentin Silvestrov

Drama for violin, cello and piano I. Sonata for violin and piano

New Music Ensemble Ricochet

Zoltan Almashi - cello Myhajlo Bilych - violin Dmytro Tavanets - piano

Sergiy Pilyutikov - artistic director



New Video: Warhol Dervish playing Nico Muhly

Here is a live video of Warhol Dervish (John Corban and Carissa Klopoushak; violins, Pemi Paul, viola; JC Lizotte, cello) playing Nico Muhly's Diacritical Marks at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, August 4th 2012.  It was part of a larger program of Works for Heart and Breath by Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire bassist), with a first half of  works by Muhly, Bryce Dessner (The National), and Terry Riley.   More videos to come...




This summer, I had the pleasure of playing some great chamber music with many great musicians and friends at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and the Columbia Valley Chamber Music Festival in B.C.

Pictured here is a scene from the dress rehearsal of Pierrot Lunaire in the sweltering St. Brigid's in Ottawa, Warhol Dervish performing some Nico Muhly at Ottawa Chamberfest (in the same sweltering place), Warhol Dervish with violist-composer Lev Zhurbin at Toronto Summer Music (well, actually at the Duke of York), and the beautiful artists at Columbia Valley Music Festival. And for good measure, one of the view in Invermere, BC.