▼ upcoming performances
The Art of the Piano: Alejandro Vela
Beethoven and Bach
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Tickets: $25 / $10 for students
"Vela plays with great emotion, sentiment, exceptional technique and elegance [Wandererfantasie Schubert]. The delicacy of Sposalizio [Liszt] is reflected with a sublime interpretation. Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnets and Après une lecture de Dante sounded with great virtuosity and a profound musicality." — Mundo Clásico, Berlin
L. v. Beethoven
Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato
Arietta. Adagio molto semplice
Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 “Moonlight”
J. S. Bach
Overture in the French Style in B minor, BWV 831
Alejandro Vela, piano
Praised for his power to carry an audience away through his ability to create an atmosphere of mystery and sensuous beauty, Alejandro Vela is a pianist of Northern Mexican origin now performing in concert halls worldwide. Recent solo recitals have brought him to prestigious venues in Finland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.
Alejandro Vela has performed as soloist with most of the Mexican orchestras including the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, the Filarmónica del Estado de Querétaro, the Orquesta Sinfónica Carlos Chávez, the Camerata de Coahuila and with many American ones, including the Chicago Symphony and the Houston Symphony led by Christoph Eschenbach, as well as orchestras in Israel, Canada, Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic. He has appeared at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Mexico’s National Arts Center and in most of the major cities and concert halls throughout Taiwan.
Recently, Vela presented concerts at the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo, Nago City Hall in Okinawa, The Concert Hall in Nagoya, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center, Kaohsiung’s Cultural Center, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Sibelius Academy Concert Hall in Helsinki, Sibelius Museum in Turku, Estonia’s Mederi Hall, Mihail Jora Concert Hall in Bucharest, Óbudai Társaskör in Budapest, Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin, Kiev ́s House of Teachers, Instituto Italo-Latino Americano of Rome, Canadian Opera Company Piano Virtuoso Series in Toronto, Sala de Festivales Antonio Paoli in San Juan, Mexico City's Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Festival de México, En blanco y negro festival and Coahuila’s Julio Torri International Arts festival. Other recent highlights include television appearances for NHK TV Japan, Canal 22 México and live webcasts for Canada's Classical 96.3FM, Radio Praga, Radio Romania, Radio Sweden, Ucranian National Radio and Radio Vaticano.
Born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Alejandro Vela received his first piano lessons from his mother Hortensia Vela Mante, and later from Robert Avalon. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. He recently became a Canadian permanent resident. Please visit www.alejandrovela.com for more information.
The Art of the Piano: Sheng Cai
Saturday April 1, 2017 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Student (cash at the door)
Sonata in E major K.162 - Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D minor K.141 - Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in F major K.332 - W. A. Mozart
Humoresque Op.20 - Robert Schumann
Barcarolle Op.60 - Frederic Chopin
Rudepoema - Villa Lobos
Award-winning pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition of the great romantic virtuosos. His performances have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on three continents. "Young Pianist Impresses at Debut" and "...a young man with real talent... from a clear, singing tone to a subtle sense of rubato to a judicious choice of tempi... some of the same qualities embodied in Pollini's approach." [Toronto Star, Chopin Piano Concerto #1]. Honored with a number of prizes and awards, Sheng Cai has been described as a pianist "...with great confidence... lucidity, breath, color and power". [Birmingham News].
Sheng Cai made his debut with the Toronto Symphony when he was fifteen years old and has been invited as guest soloist with numerous orchestras including the Toronto, Quebec, Windsor and Shanghai Symphonies, the Calgary and Ontario Philharmonics, Jalisco Philharmonic of Mexico, Fort Collins and New Bedford Symphonies in the US. In Canada, Sheng Cai has also been invited to perform with numerous other regional orchestras such as the Sudbury, Oakville, Kingston and Kamloops Symphonies, Sinfonia Toronto and with the members of the Winnipeg Symphony.
As a recitalist, Sheng Cai has performed at Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and in distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montréal and Winnipeg. He made a tour in China as a teenager. As a chamber musician Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists and ensembles, including the Enso Quartet and Atlantic symphony chamber players.
Many of Sheng Cai’s performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio and he has recorded a CD for the Canadian Broadcast Company. He has recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio and for Concertino Praga International Competition in the Czech Republic. These recordings were released under the CBC label. In addition, he was invited to take part in the filming of Ophra Yerushalmi’s Franz Liszt DVD.
Sheng Cai was top-prize winner at competitions throughout his teenage years, including First Prize at the Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition, youngest finalist and special prize winner at the USASU Bosendorfer International Piano Competition, and finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition in the US .
Sheng Cai earned his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers included Anton Kuerti, Russell Sherman and Hungkuan Chen.
Judith Owen in Concert
Sunday April 2, 2017 at 4 pm
$30 (cash at the door); $25 on-line at Eventbrite.ca
Judith Owen, whose latest album Somebody’s Child has received rave reviews across Europe and her native U.K., will perform at Gallery 345 in Toronto’s west end on Sunday April 2, 2017. Owen’s live band includes a string ensemble and legendary bassist Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins), who also played on Somebody’s Child along with fellow L.A. session stars, drummer Russ Kunkel and guitarist Waddy Wachtel.
“Top 100 Records of the Year” Sunday Times (UK)
“Stepping into the dark, glimmering lounge at Dublin’s Avenue already seems to take you back in time to a jazz-club era, making it the perfect venue for Judith Owen and her band. They play Owen’s newest album, Somebody’s Child, straight through in its entirety. Though it’s a unique way to approach a performance of new music, you have to wonder why more artists don’t present a new album this way.” Hot Press (Dublin, Ireland)
“Judith Owen and her band invited us, that evening, to discover a musical odyssey with languid and shimmering eclecticism. The instrumental synergy, skillfully combined alchemy, choralistic whispers and the sweet pleasure of Judith’s vocal range... these were the successful ingredients of this rare, delightfully elegant show.” Songazine (Paris, France)
“Some concert moments remain a special memory. This includes the performance of the Welsh- born songwriter Judith Owen on the Darmstadt Jagdhofkeller on Sunday.” Echo (Frankfurt, Germany)
“On the whole it is flawless and effortless music of a kind that sounds classic at first listening. Despite all the accumulated veteran status, it actually feels like the beginning of something.” Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm, Sweden)
An artist whose work updates the classic Laurel Canyon vibes of Joni Mitchell and Carole King with elements of jazz and R&B, Owen’s songs also fearlessly touch on contemporary social issues. At the same time, it’s hard for her to hide her sense of humour, as it would for anyone if they were married to Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, This Is Spinal Tap), who also contributes bass to one of the album’s tracks.
“By nature, I am a diverse musician,” Owen says. “It’s who I am because of all the music I grew up being exposed to, from opera to Sinatra, Joni to Stevie Wonder, and everything in between. It’s a very British thing where you love mixing all those styles. It’s classical. It’s pop. There’s jazz. There’s rhythm and blues. Then there’s rock thrown in there too.”
A songwriter since her teens, Owen paid her dues performing in London clubs during the late 1980s and early ‘90s. Her future husband caught one of these shows and the pair immediately fell in love. Upon relocating to L.A. in 1993, Owen began collaborating with an array of notable names, including producer Glen Ballard, singer/songwriter Richard Thompson, and her friend, actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
In 2000, Owen and Shearer moved to New Orleans where she made a string of albums with John Fischbach, the engineer on Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life. During this period, she and her husband also developed their Christmas variety show, which now tours annually to raise money for a host of charities, from mental health organizations to World AIDS Day. In 2006, she and Shearer created a live theatre production entitled “This Is So Not About The Simpsons,” and Owen also had the honour of performing live with Spinal Tap under the guise of back-up singer “Arnica.” In fall 2016, she appeared on The Simpsons’ 600th episode, singing the “theme” to the James Bond-esque storyline.
Jazz at Gallery 345: CD Release “Root Structure”
Mike Downes, bass; Ted Quinlan, guitar; Robi Botos, piano; Larnell Lewis, drums
Sunday April 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm
$25 adults; $10 students
One of Canada’s finest jazz quartets will perform music from a new CD titled “Root Structure.” The music is composed by Mike Downes who writes: "In music and life, I’ve always been interested in what lies beneath the surface: the underlying structures that hold everything together, the strength that resides deep down. The music in this recording was composed and performed in this spirit."
Mike Downes - Bassist, composer, producer and educator Mike Downes is one of the most sought-after musicians in the country, having performed with a veritable who’s who of Canadian and international jazz artists, including Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, John Abercrombie, Jack Dejohnette, Don Thompson, Pat LaBarbera, Molly Johnson and many others. His musicality, emotional depth and melodic approach to the bass have thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, the United States and Canada. Mike is the Bass Department Head at Humber College in Toronto. He has also been featured as a Yamaha artist/clinician throughout Canada, at the Paekche Institute in Seoul, South Korea and the infamous Conservatoire de Paris. His large discography includes numerous Juno winning and nominated CDs including his recordings as a leader - Forces, Then, The Winds of Change and In the Current. His recording Ripple Effect won a Juno Award for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year in 2014. www.mikedownes.com
Ted Quinlan is regarded as one of the most versatile guitar players in Canada. His skills are highly in demand as a jazz player, session musician, writer and educator. As a busy sideman Ted has performed with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider and Dave Liebman. His debut CD " As If" received a Juno nomination for Contemporary Jazz. “Streetscape” was released in October of 2009 on Addo Records and features him in a trio setting. “Around the Bend”, also on Addo Records, was released in 2010 and is a duo collaboration between Ted and Canadian piano great Brian Dickinson. His other numerous recording credits include his performances on Mike Downes’ Juno-winning CD “Ripple Effect”, Doug Riley's "Con Alma", Radioland Records' " Tribute to Wes Montgomery", Phil Dwyer's " Road Stories", Dave Restivo's " Prayer for Humankindness" and many more. Ted is the Head of the Guitar Department at Humber College's Music Program in Toronto. www.facebook.com/ted.quinlan
Larnell Lewis is a Toronto born musician, composer, producer, educator and clinician. Often referred to as one of Canada’s most promising up and coming drummers, Lewis has been featured on the cover of Drums Etc, a national drumming magazine. Larnell has performed with various artists ranging from Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, and Lisa Fischer, to Kellylee Evans, Molly Johnson, and Snarky Puppy, with whom he won a Grammy in 2016. In addition to his work as a stage musician, Larnell is currently a part-time professor at Humber College in the Faculty of Music. www.larnelllewismusic.com
Robi Botos is a pianist multi-instrumentalist of Hungarian descent who has quickly joined the ranks of Canada’s elite musicians. Having been mentored by the great Oscar Peterson, Robi Botos has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career including a 2007 National Jazz Award for “Keyboardist of the Year”, 2007 NOW Award for “Best Jazz Artist” and first place and public prizes at the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition and 2008 Great American Jazz Piano Competition and the International Montreal Jazz Festival's 2012 TD Grand Jazz award. His last release, Place to Place (A440 Entertainment/Universal Music Canada) won a Juno award in 2016. www.robibotos.com
The Art of the Flute: Shelley Brown and Camille Watts
Friday April 21, 2017 at 8 pm
$25; $10 Student
The Piccolo Mafia Presents
Camille and Shelley, as the solo piccolo players in the TSO, COC and NBC, have been co-conspirators on the shrieking twig for more than twenty years, but rarely get to perform together. This concert presents flute music that they champion, including pieces by James Shields, Andrew Staniland, Takemitsu, Saariaho, Hindemith, Feld and Richard Rodney Bennett. They will be joined by friends and colleagues Erin Cooper-Gay, Aaron Schwebel, Keith Hamm and Britt Riley.
Camille Watts has been a member of the Toronto Symphony since 1990, and prior to that held positions in the Atlanta and Denver Symphonies. She has played all kinds of flutes and all kinds of music, but has the most affection for repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries, some of it represented here tonight. Camille serves as faculty at the University of Toronto and at The National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and as a musician and former massage therapist, one of the founders of the Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital.
Shelley Brown holds the position of flute and piccolo in both the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. She has performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra and at the Sunriver Summer Music Festival in Oregon and was a member of the faculty for the 2013 Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy. In addition to her orchestral work, Shelley is active as a chamber musician and has performed most recently on the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre series and with Chatter in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shelley studied under Nora Shulman and Jeanne Baxtresser and is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
What Is Freedom? (Resistance is Fertile!)
Bill Gilliam Art Ensemble
Saturday April 22nd, 2017 at 8pm
$20 / $10 students
A performance of spoken word with composed and improvised new music inspired by texts and poems about freedom and resistance across time and cultures.
The poems in this performance are examples of how different international poets responded and gave courage to people resisting the types of autocratic forces similar to what we are currently witnessing.
The spontaneous music we perform in response to these poems is our creative way to energize and support the continuation of freedoms we currently enjoy. In the words of a banner from the January 2017 Women's March, "Resistance Is Fertile!".
Bill is a Toronto based composer / pianist who creates and improvises new music compositions blending contemporary harmony and jazz idioms with his unique style of piano and prepared piano playing. Bill is from London, England and after studying jazz and film composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston moved to Toronto where he studied composition. He has composed for film, dance and theatre and produced contemporary jazz CDs with assistance from the Canada Council and FACTOR. His compositions have been performed by Canadian new music ensembles with assistance from the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Bill's ongoing music projects include collaborations and performances with the Toronto Improvisers Orchestra, Glen Hall, Joe Sorbara, Cheryl O, David Story, Kayla Milmine, Ambrose Pottie, Eugene Martynec, Penn Kemp and other artists.(www.bill-gilliam.com)
Glenda is enjoying a mini resurgence of her 30 year old acting career. She played Alice in Stacey Iseman's Stuck for Alumnae theatre's New Ideas Festival last month and Emma Jung in Katherine Frid's Burying Toni for Alumnae Theatre's 2014 Fireworks Festival. After graduating from York University's MFA acting program Glenda performed for various professional companies before entering the teaching profession. As a teacher and founding member of Ursula Franklin Academy, Glenda created and headed its drama department where she produced and directed many student productions. "Glenda played a lead role in the Bill Gilliam Art Ensemble's 2016 performance art show "What Is Future? at Gallery 345 and at Silence in Guelph.
Cellist cheryl o has been improvising ever since a sudden breeze blew her music away while busking in Spain. She got a classical music degree, and used to play respectable, serious stuff. Now she can be seen picking up litter and attaching it to her cello. cheryl has been part of Toronto’s improvising scene for many years. When she’s not deep in a music theatre pit somewhere in the city, she can be found in various states of cello (un)dress. She has played with Mark Feldman (NY) Taylor Ho Bynum, Eric St.Laurent, Lina Allemano, Barry Prophet, Rick Sacks, Octopus, Dj D-Sisive, Satoko Fujii and KAZE, and many others. cheryl is a dedicated multi-media collaborator and has blended her improvisations with live theatre, dance, film, text, poetry, painting and electronica.
Glen Hall has an international reputation as a composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist. Hall has been an agent provocateur on the Canadian creative music scene for decades. He was the first Canadian jazz musician to independently record and release a free jazz album (“The Book of the Heart” with Joanne Brackeen, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart). He is one the very few musicians besides Miles Davis to collaborate and record with legendary composer/arranger Gil Evans (“The Mother of the Book”). His “Hallucinations: Music and Words for William S. Burroughs” featured one of the founding fathers of free jazz, trombonist Roswell Rudd. Hall played the Guelph Jazz Festival with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo. He’s studied jazz at Berklee College of Music and composition with Gyorgy Ligeti and Mauricio Kagel in Germany, did artistic residencies in live electronics at STEIM in Amsterdam and Kyma Symbolic Sound at the Electronic Music Foundation in New York, and was a featured artist at the Siberian Jazz Games festival in Novosibirsk, Russia. Hall is also the founder and artistic director of the 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival.
David's resume includes a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, USA as well as ARCT in piano education, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, where he won a number of scholarships. He is currently working with Terry Clarke on the fine art of jazz drumming. David completed Free Jazz studies with Victor Bateman in Toronto which lead to performances with Glen Hall and redShift, a creative free jazz performing unit in Toronto, and other free jazz and improv performances in Toronto with Rick Sacks, Eugene Martynec, Cheryl O, Bill Gilliam, Bruce Cassidy, Jason Hammer, Michael Morse, Alan Molnar, and many members of AIMT. David is retired from a colourful three-decade career journeyman in the entertainment industry as a jazz pianist, rock/pop musician, composer, band leader, producer, copyist, and agent with local, national, and international acts in three countries. David`s music is published by Mayfair Music. www.musiciandavidstory.com
A Musical Aviary
Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 8 pm
Tickets $25/$10 (cash at the door) or
on-line at ticketscene.ca/events/17655/
Sibylle Marquardt, flute, alto flute and piccolo
Fraser Jackson, bassoon and contra bassoon
Paul Pulford, cello
Monique de Margerie, piano
Michael Donovan, baritone
Jan Novak - Preludio e Fuga (super cuculi cantum) in La for flute solo
Maurice Ravel - Chansons Madécasses for baritone, flute/piccolo and piano
Olivier Messiaen - Le Merle Noir for flute and piano
Henri Dutilleux - Sonatine for flute and piano
Guillaume Connesson - Toccata nocturne for flute and violoncello
Michael Donovan - Ode to a Nightingale
for baritone, flute/alto flute, bassoon/contra bassoon, piano
A native of Germany, Sibylle Marquardt moved to Canada in 1997. Her orchestral career began at the early age of 23, when she was regularly hired as 2nd flute/piccolo with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Munich under Sir Colin Davis, touring to Italy and Japan. She went on to join the orchestral program of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and held a solo flute/solo piccolo position at the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Donald Runnicles. She was a substitute player with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Gärtnerplatz Theater Munich, Bern and Biel Symphony Orchestras. She has also played with the Windsor Symphony, the Toronto Philharmonia and the Oshawa Durham Symphony amongst others, as well as in the productions of the Phantom of the Opera and the Beauty and the Beast in Toronto.
She is a member of Trio D'Argento with whom she performs regularly all over Canada. www.triodargento.ca
Sibylle’s teachers include Hermann Klemeyer, Jean-Claude Gérard and she had lessons with Wolfgang Schulz, Trevor Wye, Geoffrey Gilbert, and Aurèle Nicolet. She has performed in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Italy, former Czechoslovakia and France, as well as for Radio Canada, the BR Munich and TV and movie productions.
Sibylle started the Baroque flute 1994 when she was living in Switzerland, taking lessons with Oskar Peters at the School Cantorum Basiliensis, and later with Alison Melville in Toronto and Claire Guimond in Montréal. She is a member of the Camerata Basel.
Since 1998 she is on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a member of the College of Examiners. She is also the visiting artist at the Etobicoke School for the Arts.
Sibylle has recorded the CD “From The New Village” with guitarist Wilma van Berkel featuring 20th century music and the CD “Piano Centric” with Trio D’Argento and members of the Canadian Brass. www.silverflute.ca
Fraser Jackson joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1990. He has also performed and toured with such groups as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has founded two chamber groups, The Caliban Quartet and Musica Franca, whose recordings on the BIS, ATMA, and MSR Classics labels are well-known for their inventive programming, virtuosity, and stylistic variety. In great demand as a bassoonist, he is a regular member of Toronto’s premier new music ensemble, New Music Concerts, and was a long-time guest of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Jackson currently teaches bassoon and chamber music at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music. He has taught at several festivals including Domaine Forget, Canada’s National Youth Orchestra, and Ontario’s Interprovincial Music Camp. He has also given masterclasses on bassoon and contrabassoon across Canada, Brazil, Cambodia, and the USA, including classes at Ohio State University, Michigan State University, and Indiana University.
Originally from Ottawa, Fraser Jackson holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, where he was one of the last students to graduate from the studio of Norman Herzberg.
Paul Pulford has pursued a career in chamber music, conducting and as a soloist. He currently holds the position of Professor of Cello and Director of Orchestral Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, where he is the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Music.
As a conductor, Pulford has worked with Symphony New Brunswick and has appeared as a guest with the KW Symphony, Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Mississauga Symphony, Stratford Symphony Orchestra and has been Resident Conductor of the NUMUS Ensemble. He conducted the premier performances of Tim Brady’s opera The Salome Dancer, and the premiere of Glenn Buhr’s Piano Concert (2015). The Laurier Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1994, has recorded for the Eclectra Label with soloists Darren Lowe and Suzanne Beaubien.
Pulford maintains a passionate commitment to New Music through his involvement with Blue Rider Ensemble (he was a founding member in 1989). Blue Rider specializes in 20th and 21st century works for Instrumental Theatre and has recorded a highly acclaimed CD of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Over a period of 25 years, he was a member of the Penderecki, Orford and Brunswick String Quartets and the Galliard Ensemble.
Pulford has recorded over 30 CDs, including the complete works for Cello and Fortepiano by Beethoven (ebs label) and Brahms (DoReMi label) with fortepianist Boyd McDonald and the first three Bach Suites for Solo Cello (iTunes).
As a chamber musician Monique de Margerie has enjoyed a busy career on three continents, including performances last season with members of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and a performance with pianist Jamie Parker at UofT’s Walter Hall. Recent recital tours include Cambodia with her husband, bassoonist Fraser Jackson, and Japan with violinist Hibiki Kobayashi. In 2012 she toured Canada as a judge for the Canadian Music Competition. In November 2011 she was feature as a soloist with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec in four performances of Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. After graduating from Germany’s Hochschule fur Musik in Munich with a graduate degree in performance, she began her European career touring throughout Germany with maestro Helmut Rilling and the Gachinger Kantorei. Since then she has worked as a collaborative pianist and teacher at the Conservatoire American Konig in Paris, at the Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and was most recently a member of the faculty at Laval University in Quebec City.
Michael Donovan’s experience as a musician encompasses a wide range of musical styles and forms of expression. As a boy, he studied piano and pursued extensive studies in classical and jazz saxophone at the Conservatoire du Québec. As a teenager, he composed original music for the avant-garde bands with which he performed. He then went on to pursue vocal studies at McGill University, followed by graduate studies in Opera at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany, with legendary mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender. Donovan was also a student of renowned Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who is acknowledged as the 20th century’s greatest master of lieder. As Fischer-Dieskau’s hand-picked private student at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Donovan was immersed in the historic continuum of Romantic art song interpretation. Donovan has enjoyed a successful career as a performer of opera, oratorio, art song, chamber music, jazz, new music and improvisational music in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and the U.S. He has appeared in leading roles with the Bern State Opera, Stuttgart State Opera, Munich State Opera, Opera Vancouver and the Edmonton Opera. He has been a soloist with the Quebec Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony and Symphony Nova-Scotia as well as with many concert and new music presenters, including Numus (Waterloo), Queen of Puddings (Toronto), BradyWorks (Montreal), Array Music (Toronto), New Music Concerts (Toronto) and, most recently, the Nouvel Ensemble Modern in Montreal.
Donovan is also in demand as an educator, teaching as part of the voice faculties at Wilfrid- Laurier University and York University. He has given master classes at York University, Brandon University, the Glenn Gould School, Chadron State College (Nebraska) and Concordia University. He is also an active adjudicator and consultant for music schools and festivals.
As a composer, Donovan has written numerous settings of poems by living Canadian, German, French and Japanese poets. He has also written chamber music and film music. Donovan’s PhD in musicology, which was nominated for the York University Thesis Award, is an inquiry into the deep-ecological significance of the poetic settings of Franz Schubert.
Donovan is also co-founder, co-artistic director and music director of Long Reach Opera Workshop, a Toronto-based opera training program for singer-actors.
In 2016 Donovan premiered his project Schubertnow: The Journey Outward, a re-visitation of Franz Schubert’s seminal song cycle Die Winterreise.
ROMANTIKA, Three Countries, One Language
Saturday May 6, 2017 at 7 pm
$20 (cash at the door)
Paulina Derbez, Violinist; Dobrachna Zubek, Cellist; Radka Hanáková, Pianist
Three internationally acclaimed artists merge their talent to pay homage to Romantic Era composers from their home countries of Mexico, Poland and Czech Republic
With: ANNETTE GAFFNEY, VISUAL ARTIST
Special Solo Exhibition: “THE COLOUR OF MUSIC”
Original Art Inspired by the Joy of Music & Vintage French Poster Art
“Dumky” Trio, Op.90
Lento Maestuoso-Allegro quasi doppio movimento-Lento Maestuoso-Allegro-Poco Adagio-Vivace non troppo
Pieces from On an Overgrown Path
Manuel de Elías
2 movement from Sonatina
Reflections of the Moon for violin and voice
Manuel M. Ponce
Trio in G Minor Op. 8
Allegro con Fuoco
PAULINA DERBEZ, Violin:
“One of the 50 celebrities that are transforming Mexico 2013”
– Magazine Quién, CNN Expansión
“One of the Top ten most successful Mexicans in Canada”
– The Globe and Mail.
Paulina Derbez studied in Lugano, Switzerland at the Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana, under the tutelage of Carlo Chiarappa, and at the D’Archi Vivaldi Academy under the tutelage of Susan Holm. She received scholarships on three occasions from the FONCA (Mexico’s National Fund for Arts and Culture).
She has performed concerts in countries around the world, including Japan, Colombia, France, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada and Mexico, as a soloist and with chamber and symphony orchestras.
Paulina’s book The Conscious Musician, was published in June 2014 by Editorial Ink. The Spanish version El Músico Consciente is available in printed version at the main bookstores in Mexico and several institutions in the world are already applying the methodology of her book in their curriculum. She was selected as a speaker, to talk about her book, at the TEDx Paseo Santa Lucía in Monterrey 2016.
Paulina is currently working with the dancer Lucy Rupert on the multidisciplinary show “Mirrors” for which they have received a grant from Ontario Arts Council and also was selected to perform at Culture Days at Koerner Hall in Toronto, October 2016.
With her duo, Luna-Derbez Salazar Paulina toured in North America last fall 2016 including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and in 2017 they will perform in Mexico, Switzerland and USA. In spring 2017 she will give masterclasses at the Cultural Institute in Campeche, Mexico and also, she has been invited to be part of the faculty at the music festival in Austria Music in the Alps. Paulina is also member of the Ontario Philharmonic and the Artistic Director of México Contemporáneo Foundation.
For more information about Paulina, visit www.paulinaderbez.com
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DR. DOBRACHNA ZUBEK, Cello: In an evolving, multi-faceted career Dr. Dobrochna Zubek has worked as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and orchestra cellist in Europe at England’s Dartington International Summer School, the Fontainebleau Music Festival in France, in North America for the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra and currently is also a member of the Canadian New Music Ensemble; The Thin Edge Music Collective. Highlighting Ms. Zubek's numerous competition awards are: first place award of the Peggy Friedman Gordon Music Competition (2002), the Sidney Liebermann Music Competition (2004), the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Competition (2007) and the YoYo-Ma Fellowship. Currently, Ms. Zubek is on Faculty of Music at University of Toronto, where she completed her Doctoral degree in Cello Performance. Dobrochna’s recent international performances include a concert tour and series of masterclasses in China as a part of University of Toronto Faculty of Music New Music Festival. Just recently, Dobrochna has recorded her first solo CD entitled: ”Mexico-Voyage.
RADKA HANAKOVA, Piano: A first prize winner of the International Schubert Competition in Jeseník Radka Hanáková is an accomplished and versatile solo pianist and chamber musician. She has performed at festivals throughout Austria, Poland, Canada and Czech Republic, where she has also appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras. Among her significant experience includes a collaboration with The National Theatre in Prague. In masterclasses she had the honour to play for such artists as Leon Fleisher, Anton Kuerti, Richard Good, Julian Martin, Marc Durand, Andrzej Jasinski, Avedis Kouyoumdjian and Ronan O ́Hora, among others.
Ms. Hanáková has attended and became a stipendist of prestigious summer performance festivals, such as Summer Academy “Prague, Wien, Budapest” in Sommering (Austria) and "Banff Summer Music Festival" in Banff (Canada), in addition to numerous festivals in the Czech Republic.
Currently pursuing a DMA degree at the University of Toronto under professor Jamie Parker, Radka already graduated from The Glenn Gould School in Toronto where she studied in the studio of John Perry and David Louie. Back in her homeland, in the Czech Republic, she achieved a Master of Music from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She also attended
a year study intership at the Karol Szymannowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland.
Besides her extensive piano performance activities, Radka is an enthusiastic music educator as well. With more than 18 years of teaching experience in both, Canada and Europe, she represents a combination of skills and experience needed for the best teaching performance. Some of her students won awards in national competitions. For last 4 years she is very happy to have been at home as a piano instructor at Branksome Hall in Toronto, Canada.
ANNETTE GAFFNEY, Visual Artist: Born in Birmingham, England to Irish parents, Gaffney came to Canada when she was 9 years' old, always knowing that she would be an artist one day. Many years later, she is still making art. Gaffney believes there is no rule that says art must have a deep and profound meaning or message, but that it does have an effect on us and has the ability to affect our mood. Gaffney wants her art to have a positive effect on the people who view it. “A smile is what I look for when people view my work of high-colour acrylic canvases of stylized landscapes, scenes and themes”. Gaffney’s work is representational and detailed in many ways, yet the perspective is quirky, emphasized by vibrant hues and pureness of pigment. It is a visual medley of her lifetime of influences. She approaches her favourite subjects in two different ways: Outlined and theme-based of the things that interest her and whimsical landscapes taken from photos on her many travels. Though these two approaches may be different, what unifies her work is the primary palette. Gaffney has worked with school children and those with special needs and strongly believes in the therapeutic value of creativity. This belief has inspired her to pursue her psychology degree toward becoming an art therapist. She hopes that viewers feel the joy of life and humour her work is meant to convey.
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The Art of the Piano: Ali Berkok
Never Get Lost for Long
Thursday May 11, 2017 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Student
Pianist Ali Berkok makes his Gallery 345 debut as solo pianist, bringing with him a mix of original pieces and re-imagined jazz standards.
Ali Berkok is a pianist, improviser and composer in Toronto. His electro-acoustic quartet Aurochs (with Pete Johnston - bass, Jake Oelrichs - drums, Mike Smith - electronics) can be witnessed monthly at the Tranzac club. Their second album “Another Helpful Medicine” is on the All-Set! imprint. Berkok’s solo piano music, is a diverse array of re-imagined jazz standards, original compositions and purely improvised pieces, all of which seek to explore fully the inner workings of the piano.
Ali Berkok’s compositions include a score for Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin, for which he assembled a twelve-piece chamber ensemble at Toronto’s Beit Zeitoun, where over two sold-out nights they performed the score live with a screening of the film. Arkana, a quintet consisting of Berkok (piano), Mark Laver (saxophone), Tom Richards (trombone), Gord Mowat (bass) and Jake Oelrichs (drums) have released two albums: Hyprovisation and Kaleidoscope, which feature music for improvising jazz quintet. Arkana’s third album, featuring a brand new quartet of Berkok, Andrew Miller (drums), Karen Ng (saxophone) and Erika Nielsen (cello), is workshopping towards a recording in Spring 2017.
In addition to his projects as a creative leader, Ali maintains longstanding collaborations with those in his immediate musical family: Mike Smith Company (formerly Muskox, who released six albums and were voted best jazz band of the year by NOW Magazine), and Tova Kardonne.
Ali is a multi-grant winning artist (Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council) and is a recipient of the Canada Graduate Scholarship SSHRC for his Master’s research. He is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto, where he researches multidimensional musical time, or, music with overt or implied periods of two or more simultaneous tempos – like when your radio and windshield wipers are in and out of sync with each other.
When he is not writing a dissertation or creating music for public consumption, Berkok teaches private piano lessons at The Music Studio in Etobicoke.
Finally, Ali finds it strange to refer to himself in the third-person: it was he who wrote this bio.
Gravity Wing: a science fiction story
Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 8 pm
Tickets $20 / $10 for students
An unusual blend of narrative storytelling, Canadiana folk, electronica, and classical music, Gravity Wing (clio-em.com/gravity-wing) is a novel and soundtrack by Clio Em. Her live performance of these compositions for voice, piano, guitar and electronics is complemented by Rezan Onen-Lapointe's folk violin artistry. Films by visual artist Hali Rey tumble the audience into an unsettled and otherworldly atmosphere.
Isabel is offered an artistic residency on the planet of New Canada, but beginning again on a new world proves difficult. Unexpectedly invited to a lavish society event by the taciturn Serge, she is swept off her feet under an unfamiliar sky. As Isabel and Serge dance in a sci-fi minuet around their feelings, they face the full force of the young planet's rigid social expectations.
Clio Em - composer, writer, performance
Clio Em builds musical and narrative worlds that blur the borders between folk, classical, electronica, and science fiction.
An alumna of McGill’s Schulich School of Music, the University “Musik und Kunst” in Vienna (formerly Konservatorium Wien) and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, she has received numerous awards for her creative work, including four competitive composition grants from the Federal Chancellery of Austria. As a mezzo-soprano, she premiered a number of solo vocal works and sang in Vienna’s renowned Arnold Schönberg Choir.
Clio’s commissioned compositions have been heard on four continents, in such venues as the Vienna Musikverein, Austrian National Library, Rathaus Vienna, The Wulf in LA, Spectrum NYC, and Metro Arts Australia. Her works have been broadcast in Australia, on CBC radio, and the national radio stations of Austria and Germany. She founded and runs Fleurs rejetées (fleursrejetees.com), a contemporary musical take on the Salon des refusés.
Hali Rey - films and illustrations
Hali Rey is a visual artist and professional engineer. She earned master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland and University of Calgary, Canada. She also did postgraduate studies in biomechanics and human anatomy in the faculties of Engineering and Medicine at the University of Calgary, where she performed research involving mathematical modeling of the human body. This experience started her gradual transition to fine arts by engaging in life drawing sessions, which have since constituted the backbone of her art practice.
Hali Rey has created life drawings, paintings, conceptual pieces in two and three dimensions, poetic texts, and narrative painting series. She furthered her knowledge of fine arts by studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and The Visual Arts Centre in Montreal.
Hali Rey has participated in many juried exhibitions in North America and Europe. Her work is in collections on both continents.
She also creates as Halina Montrey.
Rezan Onen-Lapointe - violin
Violinist Rezan Onen-Lapointe plays regularly with Aradia Ensemble, with whom she has recorded two albums for Naxos, including the JUNO-nominated “Vivaldi’s Sacred Music, vol. 4.” She holds a Masters degree in Baroque violin from McGill University where she studied with Hélène Plouffe, and completed further studies at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague (Netherlands) with Ryo Terakado. She has performed with the Talisker Players, Musicians in Ordinary, Elixir Baroque Ensemble, and more, and is looking forward to upcoming performances with the Nota Bene Baroque Players and Choral. Rezan is a passionate teacher, in demand at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music. She is a founding member and Artistic Director of Rezonance Baroque Ensemble.
More 2017 Performances coming soon.
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