|Joan Blackman, Artistic Director, Violin|
Joan Blackman, Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, enjoys a vibrant musical life in our community. Besides playing in the orchestra, she is sought after as a first class chamber musician in North America. She is also an active teacher, giving master classes throughout B.C. Joan has performed and recorded as soloist with Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, and the Banff Festival Orchestra.
"Shapelier phrases and sweeter tone would be hard to imagine", "a ravishing tone", "first rate soloist", "changed lines meltingly in a flawless performance" "playing with lyricism, precision, and evident joy", are accolades that have graced Joan’s reviews. Zach Carstensen of Seattle’s Gathering Note wrote "Your heart would need to be made of stone not to have loved Joan Blackman's splendid solo".
As Artistic Director of the Vetta Chamber Music and Recital Society, she programs and performs with the best of BC talent along with invited guests from afar. She is also a member of the acclaimed American String Project, which brings together concertmasters and soloists throughout North America. Joan has performed at several summer festivals including the Hornby Island and Pender Harbour Chamber Music festival, and will perform this summer at the Victoria Chamber Music Festival, and in Musicfest Vancouver with the Vetta String Quartet.
|Eugene Osadchy, Artistic Advisor, Cello|
Currently Professor of Cello at the University of North Texas, Eugene Osadchy is a Principal cellist with the Plano Symphony. He is also the Artistic Advisor of the Vetta Chamber Music Series in Vancouver, Canada and the Blue Candlelight Music Series in Dallas, TX.
Eugene Osadchy regularly performs with orchestras in Canada, the United States and Asia. He has performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, and the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In addition, Mr. Osadchy makes frequent appearances at the Bargemusic series in New York, the Autumn Classic series in Anchorage, Chamber Music International in Dallas, Strings in the Mountains at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, International Niagara Music Festival in Canada and Summit Festival in New York.
Cellist Eugene Osadchy is hailed as having "the most refined and balanced string playing" by the New York Times and has been called "a paragon of Russian élan" by the Vancouver Sun. Newsday writes he is "a soloist with a clearly defined musical personality" and is noted for his "extraordinary playing" by the Dallas Morning News. "Mr. Osadchy possesses a very rich tone and is steeped in the great classical tradition. It is good to know that there are ardent keepers of the flame." The New York Sun.
|Yariv Aloni, Viola|
Both Violist and Conductor Yariv Aloni is currently the Conductor and Artistic Director of Victoria’s Galiano Ensemble, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, Comox Valley Youth Music Centre and an Associate Music Director for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra.
Mr. Aloni is acclaimed by critics for his sensitivity and virtuosity. He has performed as recitalist and chamber musician in major concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, Tonhalle in Zurich, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Louvre in Paris and the Music Theatre in Jerusalem.
He is a former member of the Aviv and Penderecki Quartets and has collaborated with many musicians, including Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zuckerman, Mischa Maisky and Christoph Eschenbach. Mr. Aloni has recorded for the CBC, the BBC, National Public Radio, Radio-France and the Israeli Radio. He can also be heard on Compact Discs issued by the United, Marquise, Tritonus, and CBC labels. As a conductor, he has received praise for his "impassioned, inspiring and magnificently right" interpretations of major orchestral and choral repertoire. Reviewers also describe him as "a musician of considerable insight and impeccable taste" Yariv Aloni studied Viola with Michael Tree, Daniel Benyamini and David Chen, and conducting with the Hungarian conductor János Sándor.
|Sara Davis Buechner, Piano|
Sara Davis Buechner is a classical concert pianist of noteworthy accomplishment, virtuosic mastery, artistic sensitivity and extraordinary versatility. A major prizewinner of many of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions -- Reine Elisabeth of Belgium, Leeds, Salzburg, Sydney and Vienna -- she established her career by winning the Gold Medal of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tchaikowsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.
Growing in popularity in Canada, Sara has also recently performed with the CBC Radio Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic and McGill Chamber Orchestra, and has played recitals from the Canadian Atlantic to the Pacific. She was recently the subject of a feature profile in MacLeans, Canada's national news magazine.
In 2003 Ms. Buechner joined the eminent Piano Faculty of the University of British Columbia - Vancouver, where she is now Associate Professor of Piano, Piano Literature and Chamber Music. She is a former faculty member of New York University, and has presented lectures and masterclasses worldwide, from the Royal Academy in London to Indiana University to National Taiwan Normal University to The Juilliard School to the Senzoku Conservatory and Kobe-Yamate Gakuen of Japan. Ms. Buechner is a proud Yamaha artist; she speaks and reads Japanese and is an Honorary Member of the Hanshin Tigers Baseball Team of Osaka.
|Nicolò Eugelmi, Viola |
Joined the Fine Arts Quartet in July, 2009. He is described by The Strad magazine as “a player of rare perception, with a keen ear for timbres and a vivid imagination.” As soloist, recitalist, and member of chamber ensembles, he has performed around the world, collaborating most notably with conductors Mario Bernardi, Jean-Claude Casadesus, and Charles Dutoit. Eugelmi completed his musical training at the University of British Columbia and the Juilliard School. In 1999, he was appointed Associate Principal Violist of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and in 2005, he became Principal Violist of the Canadian Opera Company. Eugelmi’s recording, Brahms: Sonatas and Songs, was named a "Strad Selection" by The Strad, and his recording, Brahms Lieder, a collaboration with Marie-Nicole Lemieux, was named "Editor’s Choice" by Gramophone. He has recorded regularly for the CBC and Radio-Canada. His mentor, Gerald Stanick, was a member of the Fine Arts Quartet from 1963 to 1968.
|Michael Jarvis, Harpsichord|
Michael Jarvis has been acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest harpsichordists, fortepianists and continuo players. He has performed across Canada, the USA, England, Italy and Bermuda. He has worked with many of Canada's finest singers and is in demand as a coach and collaborative artist.
He has performed with many of Canada’s leading orchestras and chamber ensembles including Les Violons du Roy, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Aradia, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony Niagara, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, I Musici de Montreal, The Vancouver CBC Orchestra, as well as with Via Salzburg, the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, the Tudor Singers of Montreal, the Elmer Isler Singers, Baroque Music Beside the Grange, The Amadeus Choir, I Furiosi, the Toronto Consort, the Vancouver Bach Choir, The Elora Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, The Grand River Baroque Festival, The Festival of the Sound, Music at Westben, and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, among many others. Michael has recorded for the Hungaroton, Marquis Classics, ATMA, Naxos, Solitudes and Avalon CD labels, and has many times broadcast nationally and regionally for the CBC, as well as across the U.S. on NPR. His performing editions of 17th and 18th century choral and organ music are published by GIA, Chicago.
Michael has taught fortepiano at the University of British Columbia and harpsichord, continuo, and baroque vocal ornamentation at the University of Toronto. He has also taught harpsichord performance at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and at Havergal College, Toronto. He is also Director of Music at St. Jude's Parish and Shrine in Vancouver, BC and is on faculty as harpsichordist and vocal coach at the Early Music Vancouver Summer Baroque Vocal Programme The Compleat Singer. He was also co-host and star of the 13-part television series Come into the Parlour. Featuring co-host and star Carolyn Sinclair, soprano, and their original 1857 Chickering square grand, the series features some of Canada's finest musicians from the opera and concert stages, including baritone Russell Braun, mezzo Kimberley Barber, violinist Mayumi Seiler, tenor Eric Shaw, etc. Come into the Parlour was broadcast nationally in Canada on Bravo-TV and Vision. Mr. Jarvis was also featured on two national Canadian television specials A Baroque Christmas and A Baroque Easter on Vision and Bravo-tv. His new CD on the Marquis Classics label of J.N. Hummel's Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin/Viola, Op. 5 [ca.1798], performed on an original Viennese fortepiano from c. 1800 was released worldwide earlier this year. Upcoming performances include in February 2013, a programme with Paul Luchkow of fortepiano and violin sonatas by Hummel, Dussek and Beethoven on an original Broadwood grand fortepiano from 1813 at the Jazz Cellar, and in March 2013 the inaugural recital of his newly-restored 6 1/2 Viennese Grand fortepiano from 1832 with the brilliant baritone Joshua Hopkins (recently heard this year as the star of Vancouver Opera's Barber of Seville) in a programme of Lieder by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Mendelssohn (for Early Music Vancouver).
|Dylan Palmer, Bass|
Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dylan Palmer joined the Vancouver Symphony as Principal Double Bass in January, 2010. Prior to joining the VSO, Dylan was a member of the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, Florida. Mr. Palmer has participated in the Spoleto (USA), Domaine Forget, and Sarasota music festivals. He also attended Tanglewood Music Center in 2005 and 2008, where he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a fellow. Mr. Palmer received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University Of North Texas, where he studied with pedagogue Jeff Bradetich.
|Tawnya Popoff, Viola|
Canadian violist Tawnya Popoff enjoys a versatile career around North America. In addition to being principal violist with the Vancouver Opera, she is a founding member of the Athabasca String Trio, and performs regularly with VisionIntoArt, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas. She was a prizewinner in the 2000 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and has served on the faculties of the Perlman Music Program, University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, SUNY Buffalo, American Composers Orchestra and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. As a member of the Cassatt Quartet, she was vitally involved in commissioning, premiering and recording works from leading American composers. Tawnya Popoff’s viola was played by Boris Kroyt of the Budapest Quartet, generously loaned to her by courtesy of his grandson.
|Jennie Press, Violin|
Jennie Press began her violin studies at the age of three in St. John's, NL. She made her solo debut with the Newfoundland Symphony at thirteen and has since had solo appearances with several symphonies and chamber orchestras in Canada and the United States. Ms. Press has been a national finalist numerous times in the Canadian Music Competitions, the Shean Strings Competiton and the National Music Festival, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has also been a prize winner in numerous competitions including the Marbury Violin Competition, the Yale Gordon String Competition, the Alexandria Symphony Competiton and the Wellesly Symphony Competition.
Jennie has performed in many symphony and chamber orchestras including the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Key West Symphony, and has served as concertmaster in several orchestras including Royal Opera Canada, Annapolis Opera, Washington Summer Opera, De Camera Chamber Players, Peabody Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Concert Orchestra. She has also performed with many pops orchestras which have led to performances in Hong Kong, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. She is currently Second Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
|Christie Reside, Flute|
Christie Reside began studying flute with both of her parents at the age of six. Since then, she has been an active participant in numerous competitions, winning the National Music Festival of Canada, and placing second at the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition. She has been invited to participate in numerous festivals around the world, including the Spoleto Music Festival, and the Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music. An enthusiastic chamber musician, Ms. Reside has collaborated with artists such as Rudolf Jansen, Olivier Thouin, Yegor Dyachkov, and Lise Daoust. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among others. Ms. Reside is currently the Principal Flute of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and is grateful to the Canada Council of the Arts for their generous support of her career.
|Arthur Rowe, Piano |
Canadian pianist Arthur Rowe is a critically acclaimed recitalist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician. Touring annually across North America, he has received enthusiastic reviews from his performances in cities such as New York, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Diego, as well as in venues in Europe and New Zealand. Following a New York solo recital, The New York Times wrote: "The Canadian pianist Arthur Rowe made an immediate and positive impression...before eight bars had gone by, one knew he was capable of vigor without heaviness, energy without excess of drive. It was first-rate playing: a kind of execution tinglingly alive to the shape and contribution of each phrase". Reviewing a solo recital in London England, The London Times spoke of his "unusual clarity of articulation", and "poetry of expression", and David Burge, writing in The San Diego Tribune said, "Rowe is a marvelous pianist…even when he is pushed to the limit by extreme virtuosic demands...he can concentrate all of his considerable talents on vital matters of phrasing, tone and ensemble".
Born in McLennan Alberta, Arthur Rowe began his professional career while still an undergraduate, studying with Damjana Bratuz at the University of Western Ontario. Renowned cellist and UWO Professor Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi invited him to play in recital tours in Canada and The United States, and soon after, Mr. Rowe was concertizing in cities across Canada in solo recitals, CBC radio recordings, and concerti. Before completing his graduate studies with Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University, Arthur Rowe had appeared as soloist in the inaugural concert of the London Sinfonia, with the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, as well as with Orchestra London under the baton of Arthur Fiedler. Performances with The National Arts Centre Orchestra for CBC as well as the CBC Vancouver Orchestra with Mario Bernardi followed.
|Janet Steinberg, Cello|
Originally from San Francisco, Janet Steinberg joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Cellist in September, 1987. Before this, she was the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and performed frequently as a member of the San Francisco Symphony. An active chamber musician, Janet has performed with numerous ensembles in Vancouver and in the San Francisco Bay area. She is also currently a member of the CBC Radio Orchestra.
Janet studied cello with esteemed pedagogue Eleanore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where she received her bachelors and masters degrees in music performance. She has also studied and performed at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, the Banff Centre in Alberta, the Gregor Piatigorsky Seminars for Cellists in Los Angeles and at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West.
Janet has played as a member of the Bellingham Music Festival in Washington, the Lake Tahoe, Ojai and Cabrillo Music Festivals in California and at the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney, Vermont . For the past 20 years she has spent her summers performing (and hiking) at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
|Linda Lee Thomas, Piano|
Linda Lee Thomas has been PRINCIPAL PIANIST of the VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and the VANCOUVER RADIO ORCHESTRA since 1972. As "Chamber Musician Supreme", she was Artistic Director of Masterpiece Music, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre¹s hugely successful chamber music series for 17 years. In 2000, she was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame for her outstanding contributions to the industry.
Her other passion is the music and dance of Argentina - the Tango. Since her bold emergence onto the international tango scene, she has become Canada's foremost tango musician, performing and recording with Argentine bandoneonists Daniel Binelli and Nestor Marconi. She is affectionately known as "The Reina de Tango".
She now has her own Tango Trio - TANGISSIMO - fast becoming known all over the world. Featuring Ed Henderson on guitar and Miles Foxx Hill on bass, they have played to thousands of people in live concerts, broadcasts and recordings. Their CD TANGISSIMO LIVE was chosen as one of the best releases of 2002 by Radio-Canada's ESPACE MUSIQUE. They were taken to Buenos Aires in 2006 by INFINITY FILMS to shoot the documentary - CHASING THE TANGO HIGH for BRAVO TV. Their CD of the same name was released in October of that year. It features live recordings from Buenos Aires with Tangissimo and the tango legends of our time.
The Spring of 2008 saw the release of her first Solo Piano Tango CD entitled "TANGO MAGIC". She is in constant demand as a Solo Tango Artist.
Couloir joins two of Canada’s
finest musicians, Ariel Barnes and Heidi Krutzen, to explore the sound world of
cello and harp, a combination of instruments rarely heard together.
Collaboration and commissioning are the cornerstones of this new duo.
Bursting onto the scene fifteen
months ago, Couloir has already commissioned five new works for cello and harp,
toured in both Canada and the US, been broadcast nationally on CBC Radio, and
recorded their first two CDs, the first of which will be released by PARMA
Recordings for international distribution through NAXOS.
At their debut in October 2011
at Music on Main’s Modulus Festival in Vancouver, BC, Couloir gave the World Premiere
of their first commission by Jocelyn Morlock and a live collaboration with DJ
Michael Red remixing the music of Arvo Pärt. Since then they have
premiered new works by Baljinder Sekhon, and Glenn Buhr, as well as recording
“serere” by James Maxwell; a work commissioned by Kelowna Ballet and written
for Couloir with electroacoustics.
Chosen as Prairie Debut Touring
Artists for the 2012-2013 season, Couloir will perform concerts in the Yukon,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. During this tour, they will give the
World Premiere of their latest commission “Another Little Land” by jazz
virtuoso Brad Turner. This season also includes concerts at the Ottawa
International Chamber Music Festival, Mattina Musica, Vetta Chamber Music
Series, White Rock Concerts, tours in Louisiana and Oklahoma for NY’s
Piatigorsky Foundation, and a second national broadcast on CBC Radio.
With generous assistance from
the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council, and Manitoba Arts Council, Couloir
continues to expand the repertoire for their instruments. They will give the
World Premiere of their fifth commission “Close for Couloir, Op. 48” by gifted
harpist/composer Caroline Lizotte in August.
Heidi and Ariel are Principal Harp and Principal Cello respectively of
the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, former Principal Harp and Principal Cello of the
CBC Radio Orchestra, and members of the Turning Point Ensemble. As soloists,
chamber musicians, and orchestral players, they perform and teach
internationally. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on CBC Radio and NPR in
“…music’s new rare pair…”
The Georgia Straight
|Heidi Krutzen, Harp|
Heidi Krutzen has emerged as a leading musician in Canada. She is celebrated for her solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances, for her collaborations with composers, and for her excellence as a teacher. She works with composers from around the world, including Canada’s R. Murray Schafer and New Zealand’s Gareth Farr, and has premiered more than fifty solo, chamber and ensemble works. As a chamber musician, she is a member of the acclaimed Trio Verlaine with flutist Lorna McGhee and violist David Harding. She also tours and records with the Krutzen/McGhee Duo. Her newest project Couloir, a duo with cellist Ariel Barnes, focuses on the development of new works and interdisciplinary collaboration. Heidi is a regular guest at chamber music festivals throughout North America including the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Strings in the Mountains, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards, performing with Corey Cerovsek, James Ehnes, Jonathan Crow, the Pacifica String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, and other extraordinary musicians. In addition to her solo and chamber music, she is a founding member of Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble, principal harpist of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and former principal harpist of the CBC Radio Orchestra. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and a student of renowned Parisian pedagogue Jacqueline Borot, Heidi now teaches at the University of British Columbia, and is on faculty at the National Youth Orchestra Canada. Her performances and recordings are broadcast on CBC Radio, NPR in the US, and BBC Radio 3. In her free time, Heidi dedicates her energy to fundraising and volunteering with her charity, Malambo Grassroots, dedicated to community development in southern Zambia.
|Ariel Barnes, Cello|
as creating a “mesmerizing musical experience” by combining his “deep personal
Live Music Report), “luscious tone and technical prowess”(The
Vancouver Sun), cellist Ariel Barnes has been engaging audiences with his
imaginative interpretations and commanding stage presence. Equally comfortable
in musical languages from the Baroque to music of our modern times, Ariel’s
performances range from evenings of unaccompanied Bach to world premiers of
contemporary art music. Critically acclaimed by the press, he has been
hailed as a “rising star” by the Georgia Straight, “a surprising standout” by
the KW Gazette, “new wave” by L’Acadie Nouvelle and “a musician of real
stature” by the Vancouver Sun. His solo and chamber music performances
have been broadcast by CBC Radio Canada on such programs as In Performance, The
Signal, Tempo, West Coast Performance, Choral Concert and On Stage, and he was
recently selected as one of 6 cellists across the nation to celebrate the
launch of cbcmusic.ca as a featured artist in the Canadian Bach Cello
Suite Project. His performances in recent years include the concertos of
Dvorak, Saint – Saens, Brahms (Double), Ernst Bloch’s “Schelomo”, Tchaikovsky’s
Rococo Variations, and recital appearances in New York, Toronto, Ottawa,
Halifax, Quebec City, Vancouver, San Francisco and Guadalajara Mexico.
His solo and chamber music recordings have been received with critical acclaim,
having been nominated for a Juno Award and two Western Canadian Music Awards.
As a winner of the 2012 Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition, he
has been awarded the use of the 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus
cello, built in Turin, Italy, for the next 3 years. In January 2013,
Ariel was appointed Principal Cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The performance of 21st century
art music plays a significant role in Ariel’s creative life. He has given
the world premier of works by Canadian composers such as Imant Raminsh, Jocelyn
Morlock, Stephen Chatman, R. Murray Schaeffer, Brad Turner, Marcus Goddard,
John Oliver, Rodney Sharman, Dorothy Chang, Glenn Buhr, Owen Underhill, Keon
Birney, Elizabeth Knudson and Farshid Samandari. His new project
“Couloir” with Harpist Heidi Krutzen keenly focuses on the creation of new
music for the beautiful combination of cello and harp. Upcoming projects
for “music’s new rare pair” (The
Georgia Straight) include the development of works by
Brad Turner, Caroline Lizotte and Andrew Staniland. Couloir is looking
forward to much concertizing as their tour schedule already extends into 2014.
Passionate about chamber
music literature Ariel has spent much time performing as a former member of the
Borealis String Quartet, Trio Accord and has collaborated with many fine
artisits such as The St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Intima, Trio
Verlaine, Jonathan Crow, Dale Barltrop, Barry Schiffman, Tara Helen O’Connor,
Daniel Philips, Andrew Dawes, Martin Chalifour, Carrie Dennis, Mehan Esfahani,
Arthur Rowe, Ian Parker and Daniel Bolshoy, among many others. Memorable
appearances at chamber music festivals include the Ottawa Chamber Music
Festival, MusicFest Vancouver, Mendocino Music Festival, Victoria Summer Music
Festival, B.C. Scene, Elora Festival, Centre D’Arts at Mount Orford, and the Banff
Centre for the Arts. He is a founding member, and regular guest, of the
Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic, Mexico.
Upcoming recording projects
include works by Jocelyn Morlock on the Naxos label, (including
her Double Cello Concerto “Aeromancy”), a DVD production of Benjamin
Britten’s 3 Solo Cello Suites w/New-Affinity Productions, and Couloir’s debut
CD featuring works by Jocelyn Morlock, Glenn Buhr and Baljinder Sekhon.
His past recordings can be heard on Atma Classiques, Skylark Records,
Universal Music and Centrediscs record labels, as well as regular broadcasts of
live concerts on CBC Radio. For more about Ariel, please visit http://www.arielbarnes.com
“…played passionately by Ariel
BBC Music Magazine
Trio Accord is developing a reputation as one of Canada’s premier chamber ensembles. Based in Vancouver, BC, Mary Sokol Brown (violin), Andrew Brown (viola), and Rebecca Wenham (cello) are ardent and enthusiastic proponents of chamber music. As performers, they offer unique insights about the music they play, enriching the concert experience for their listeners. As educators, Trio Accord’s members conduct chamber music workshops in BC’s scenic wine region and on the mystic Gulf Islands. They have been featured guest artists teaching and performing at the Northern Lights Music Festival in Ajijic, Mexico.
Trio Accord takes particular delight in presenting concerts in churches, private homes and other intimate settings suited to the spirit of chamber music. These concerts have been described as “enchanting”, “exhilarating”, and “extremely moving.”
|Mary Sokol Brown, Violin|
Mary Sokol Brown is a well-known performer, appearing to Vancouver audiences since 1979. Active as both a performer and teacher, she holds a prominent position in the first violins of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has been featured as a soloist with the orchestra several times. As a chamber musician, she performs extensively with many of Vancouver’s well-known ensembles including the Vetta Recital Series, Music in the Morning and the Turning Point Ensemble. A musical highpoint for Mary has been her involvement as a founding member of Trio Accord. This dynamic string trio has served both as performers and clinicians throughout BC, and has been featured on CBC radio many times. In addition, Mary enjoys creating exquisite evenings of chamber music in private homes. These concerts are highly acclaimed for their intimacy and beauty. As part of her commitment to the communities’ musical life, Mary has played a leading role in the development of chamber music seminars which are held in some of BC’s most beautiful settings. She is highly regarded for her accomplished, enthusiastic teaching and coaching skills. Traveling extensively to work with young musicians, adult amateurs and community-based ensembles, Mary appears regularly at the Naramata and Gabriola String Ensemble retreats and has an association with Kelowna’s Festival of the Arts. She has also conducted many orchestral and chamber workshops with the Terrace Symphony. During the summer months, Mary performs and teaches at music festivals. These have included Festival Vancouver, Courtenay International Youth Festival, West Coast Amateur Music Society, Bellingham International Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, and the Midsummer Music Retreat. Typically, at these festivals and as part of her teaching, Mary performs in faculty concerts for the education of the attendees and the entertainment of the general public. It is through these initiatives that Mary continues to realize her musical ambitions, and share with her audiences her passionate commitment to the violin.
|Andrew Brown, Viola|
Andrew James Brown, viola, is the Associate-Principal violist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the CBC Radio Orchestra for over eighteen years. A prominent chamber musician, Andrew has performed extensively with Vancouver’s leading musical organizations, including the Vetta Quartet, Curio, the Vancouver New Music Ensemble and Masterpiece Players. He is a founding member of Trio Accord. Andrew’s musical endeavours have given him the opportunity to perform throughout North America, Korea, China and Japan, but he enjoys the eclectic musical environment in Vancouver where his engagements have ranged from intimate chamber music performances to rock and roll at the Coliseum with members of Led Zeppelin. A former member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Andrew earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at The College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati – studying with Donald McInnes, Paul Coletti, Gerald Stanick and Masao Kawasaki.
|Rebecca Wenham, Cello|
Rebecca Wenham, cello, has been described as a musical force of nature. She has performed across Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe, Japan and Australia. She was, as member of the Cecilia String Quartet from 2004 to 2010, silver medalist at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition; winner of first prize and the Melpomene prize at the Rutenberg Chamber Music Competition; winner of the commissioned prize at the Bordeaux International Quartet Competition; and winner of first prize and the Canadian commissioned prize at the 10th Banff International String Quartet Competition. Rebecca has performed with pianists Anton Kuerti, James Tocco and Menahem Pressler, and jazz musicians John Stetch, Hugh Fraser and Dave Douglas. She has collaborated with many composers including Common Sense Composers Collective, Ana Sokolovic, Gilbert Amy, Kelly-Marie Murphy and William Bolcom. Her interest in different styles of music has prompted her to perform music from classical to jazz to Persian, as well as the music of Elvis Costello. She was a CBC Galaxie Rising Star in 2007. Rebecca has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and from the the Odyssee/ACCR Quartet Residency Program grant, ProQuartet. She holds degrees from the HARID Conservatory of Music, the Shepherd School at Rice University, San Diego State University and McGill University. Her mentors have included Johanne Perron, Norman Fischer, Andre Roy, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Henk Guittart. She is also a certified yoga instructor.
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Vetta Chamber Music
PO Box 19148 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC V6K 4R8