Songs for a Summer Afternoon: Michelle M. Simmons, mezzo soprano
Sunday, August 30th at 2:30pm
General Admission: $25.00; Students/Seniors: $15.00
Tickets available online or at the door.
A casual concert of classical, folk and cabaret favourites followerd by a complimentary reception. Come relax and put your feet up to the music of Grieg, Britten, Faure, Bolcom, Lehrer & more!
A native of Newfoundland, mezzo-soprano Michelle Simmons is a graduate of the Master of Music Vocal Performance program at the University of Toronto.
Michelle has a long-standing commitment to performing and creating contemporary classical music. Recently she shared the stage at The Theatre Centre with Cynthia Hopkins as part of that artist’s multi-disciplinary piece on climate change, This Clement World. She spent the summer of 2013 bringing contemporary opera to communities in southern Ontario with the Bicycle Opera Project. While completing her graduate studies, Michelle commissioned Canadian composer David Passmore to create a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and baritone to the words of Newfoundland-born poet E.J Pratt.
Michelle currently makes her home in Toronto, Canada, where she is the alto soloist at Bloor Street United Church and helps administer music education programming at a non-for-profit community centre located in the downtown core.
Pianist and composer James Langevin is a graduate of the Glenn Gould School of Music. He has been a pianist for the National Ballet School for over a decade. A frequent guest accompanist for the National Ballet of Canada, he was a rehearsal pianist for the eighth international Erik Bruhn competition held at the Four Seasons Center in 2012.
In 2014, Mr. Langevin signed an exclusive recording deal with music licensing giant Premium Beat to record works by Chopin, Mozart, Elgar and Shostakovich. Several electronic works have also been published with companies such as Organic Music Library, GrooveDen, and Mibe Music. In 2015 Mr. Langevin signed with record label Asnazzy Productions and released ‘Chilled Moods EP’. No stranger to plays, Mr. Langevin also contributed recorded music for the Fringe festival play "The Kreutzer Sonata" and premiered a thirteen minute operatic work, The Futures Market by Njo Kong Kie for piano and voice in 2007. In 2014, Mr. Langevin contributed two electronic compositions for Welcome to Nuit Blanche produced by Ryerson University Act 2 Studio.
Currently, James is engaged in creating new music for licensing and new work for Asnazzy Productions. He is also an avid DJ whose past includes stints at Toronto Zen Lounge, Li’ly Resto-Lounge and Bunda Lounge.
Michelle and James first met through University Settlement Music & Arts School, where James was a former student. They have just recently begun exploring the classical art song cannon together.
The Art of the Piano: Helen Kashap
Special Guest: Mezzo-soprano Amber Fasquelle
Saturday September 12 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Students
Canadian-American pianist Helen Kashap and American born mezzo-soprano Amber Fasquelle join forces together in this exciting program.
Canadian born Helen Kashap has been hailed an "exciting pianist full of energy and spirit" (Interlochen Radio USA), and called a "beautifully expressive performer" (Saskatoon Star Phoenix) . The daughter of two professional violinists, Kashap has been heard with several major Canadian orchestras, including her solo orchestral debut with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Edvard Grieg's Piano concerto in A minor. Lauded a "great debut success" (Saskatoon Star Phoenix) , Kashap was heard a few weeks later with the Regina Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto Number Two. In 2014, Kashap was awarded the grand prize at the North Bay Symphony Competition and the opportunity to perform Franz Liszt's Second Piano Concerto with orchestra.
A top prize winner at the Canadian Music Competition, the National Music Festival Competition, the Interlochen Arts festival Concerto Competition, the Saskatchewan Festival Concerto Competition, MidWest WMTA Competition (Madison, WI), Trustee Conservatory Competition, North Bay Young Artists Competition, and one of eight National finalists at the Knigge Piano Competition in Vancouver, Canada, Kashap is the recipient of several scholarships and awards including two major professional development grants from the Canada Council of the Arts- awarded to a handful of Canada's most promising emerging artists, a FACTOR Canada CD recording grant, the prestigious Schulich Scholarship (McGill's top music performance and academic achievement award), the Lubka and Kolessa piano prizes from McGill's Schulich School of Music in Montreal, the Presidential Scholarship from the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Centennial Arts Scholarship from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and several study scholarships from the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Williamson Foundation for Music, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, and the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec.
An artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2011, Kashap has participated in the Banff Summer Piano Masterclass program several times as a student of Robert McDonald, Marc Durand, and Julian Martin. Other masterclass participation and studies include with Menahem Pressler, James Giles, Ann Schein, Dominique Weber, Andre Laplante, Marietta Orlov, and James Anagnoson. A frequent festival participant, Kashap continued her studies with Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, and Marc Durand at the Gijon International Keyboard Festival in Gijon, Spain and has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival School, The Toronto Summer Music Festival, and the Orford Arts Academy in Magog, Quebec.
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Kashap recently completed her Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, OH under the tutelage of Antonio Pompa-Baldi . At CIM, Kashap was the grateful recipient of the Cleveland Musical Arts Scholarship for piano performance. Previously, Kashap received her bachelors degree from McGill's Schulich School of Music in Montreal, Canada where she was an undergraduate student of distinguished professor Sara Laimon. While in Montreal, Kashap also worked extensively with renowned pianist and vocal coach Michael McMahon, and studied the fortepiano with Tom Beghin, one of the leading fortepianists of today and exclusive Naxos recording artist. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Helen received high honors in music and was awarded the top English and Political Science prizes in her 2006 graduating class.
In addition to her music studies, Kashap maintains an active interest in theatre, writing, and dance. From an early age, Kashap had several major roles professional theatre productions and underwent formal theatrical training in the United States and Canada from the early age of five. Her theatrical interests took her to New York City this year where she completed a one year training course at the HB Acting Studio in Greenwich village. Television/ Film studies were undertaken at the Terry Schreiber Studio and the Stella Adler Conservatory in New York City. Kashap currently resides in Manhattan.
Emerging Mezzo-soprano Amber Fasquelle, 22, is an undergraduate at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying vocal performance under Vinson Cole. Miss Fasquelle sang the leading role of Ruggiero in CIM’s fall Opera Theater production of Handel’s Alcina. In spring 2014 she sang the role of the First Witch in CIM’s production of Dido and Aeneas. Amber spent last summer performing and studying various roles at the Aspen Music Festival and School. This summer she returns to Aspen to sing the major role of Stefano in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. Prior to studying in Cleveland, she sang both roles of White Cat and Squirrel, in Oberlin Opera Theatre’s production of L’Enfant et le sortileges. A graduate of the prestigious Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Miss Fasquelle appeared as soloist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall singing Handel’s Ah! Mio cor. She performed Dido in the Walnut Hill production of Dido and Aeneas, and placed first in the Mondavi Young Artist Competition, which afforded her a solo performance and the opportunity to work with Sasha Cooke. At home in San Francisco Amber studies under Ms. Sheri Greenawald.
The Art of the Piano: Chenyi Yu
Friday September 25, 2015 at 8 pm
Chenyi Yu is a pianist and teacher based in Toronto by way of Taipei, Boston, and New York. She has given numerous performances in Boston, New York City and Taipei, including a critically acclaimed performance of the Goldberg Variations of JS Bach in Seully Hall at The Boston Conservatory. She has given a recital debut in Steinway Hall, New York City. She participated in a seminar given by Andras Schiff on the topic of the Goldberg Variations at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2001. Chenyi has performed in faculty concerts held by the Department of Music of Shih-Chien University at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and has collaborated with pianist Yi-Hsuan Lu in a two-piano concert in the Concert Hall of Tatung University in Taipei. Chenyi served as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Taipei, at Tatung University, and also at the National Taipei University of Technology, teaching piano performance, history of western music, and music appreciation.
In 2013, she became a resident of Toronto and continues to devote herself to teaching and performing. As a classical piano teacher, Chenyi focuses on cognitive development for children and youth; creativity; the correlation between music and related arts; and piano pedagogy and musicianship.
A graduate of the doctoral program at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City, Chenyi’s dissertation was “The Effect of Touch on Tone Production on a Grand Piano” which relates to performance practise and historical studies on piano playing. She also earned her Master and Bachelor of Music at The Boston Conservatory. She has studied with Irwin Gelber and Ada Kopetz-Korf who are both pupils of legendary Scottish-American master pianist James Friskin.
Chenyi is a member of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association, USA), NAFME (National Assocation for Music Education, USA), is currently a member of the Piano faculty, Canada Music Academy since 2014, and is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA).
Away from the keybord, Chenyi’s interested are varied: European and Asian cuisine, museums, collecting fine china, independent films, period dramas, and fashion. She is a fan of French model, designer, and author Inès de la Fressange.
"Four Hands are Better Than Two": Westwood Concerts Presents The Millar Piano Duo
Wedneday, October 7, 2015 @ 7:30pm
$20 regular / $15 students and seniors
“It was easy to imagine the assembled audience members and musicians…rising from their seats and joining a procession heading to greet the divine.”
After taking a short hiatus from performing, Michael Westwood is solidly back in Toronto’s music scene with his own chamber series, some high profile solo performances, a teaching degree, and is developing tour dates across Canada. He is much more than a clarinetist; he is a highly sought after soloist and chamber musician who has collaborated with a great number of leading Canadian musicians over the past two decades. He frequently appears in solo recitals, chamber music concerts and as soloist with orchestra. His programming ideas combine a passion for the monumental standard repertoire, rarely heard music spanning the past two centuries, and new music of the past few years. A tireless musician with a desire for constant renewal and inspiration, Michael founded a new chamber music series in Toronto in the summer of 2013, Westwood Concerts, to further share his unique programming and interest in a diverse range of music.
Michael has, throughout his career, commissioned and performed many new works. Most recently, he commissioned two new pieces from Canadian composer Frank Horvat; If Not Us, Then Who, for clarinet, cello and piano was written and premiered in 2014 and Michael has since performed it a second time, and in 2015, Michael premiered Frank Horvat’s brilliant new Clarinet Concerto Couple Dies Holding Hands in Toronto with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. A new work for clarinet and piano is planned for 2015-2016. During the 2014-2015 season, Michael also performed Canadian composer Ian McDougal’s great clarinet concerto in Toronto for a very fortunate audience.
Michael’s abilities and programing are far from limited to the repertoire of the present day. He has developed in combination with pianist Gregory Millar a program of music from the era of swing music and big band consisting of newly commissioned and brilliant arrangements for clarinet and piano by Millar. The Westwood-Millar duo has performed this concert several times since its premiere in 2014 to great audience acclaim. Recently, Michael performed with the Westwood-Millar duo at the Pointe-Clair recital series a concert of all Brahms’ music – both clarinet sonatas and three new arrangements by Chistopher Kies of solo piano works for clarinet and piano.
As well as being a highly sought-after clarinetist, in 2013, he founded his own concert series, Westwood Concerts; with two successful seasons now complete, and the third one upcoming, Westwood Concerts is an exciting venture which brings in musicians from all over Canada to collaborate on innovative and thrilling chamber music concerts. In 2016 Michael will collaborate with violinist Jasper Wood, with whom he has worked several times, on an all Stravinsky program which promises to be exhilarating. The finale of Westwood Concerts’ second season, featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, was acclaimed in Musical Toronto as “a truly memorable concert …(leaving one) with a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to understand the composer’s intention.” They commented that Michael “managed to combine the tension between the airborne creatures and the gravity of human limitation with his stately pacing and resonant tone.”
A product of the studio of the late great clarinet pedagogue and master Avrahm Galper, Michael Westwood has collaborated with a great number of leading Canadian classical musicians over the past two decades including James Campbell, Gary Kulesha, Tom Rolston, the Prazak String Quartet, and Jasper Wood. An extremely passionate chamber musician, Westwood has performed at the Banff, Orford and Domaine Forget summer festivals as a soloist and chamber musician.
In addition to his illustrious music career, Westwood has explored other passions throughout the years including travel and sports. In 2007, he began a 6-year hiatus from performing during which he focused on personal fitness, which led him to East Africa and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Millar Piano Duo
Originally from Lachine, Quebec, pianist Gregory Millar performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and orchestral player. He appears regularly on the Westwood Concerts series in Yorkville and as one half of the Millar Piano Duo. He is also active as a teacher, arranger, music engraver and translator.
Millar has a keen interest in the music of Canadian composers both present and past. Last June he presented a recital of the 13 Preludes for Piano by Jean Coulthard at the Conference of the Canadian University Music Society in Victoria, BC, and previously gave the premiere performances of Book of Saints by Toronto composer Colin Eatock.
Gregory was the first graduate of the University of Toronto’s Collaborative Piano Master’s degree program, and has worked with prominent artists including violinist Mark Fewer (St. Lawrence Quartet), hornist Bernhard Scully (Canadian Brass), oboist Philippe Magnan (Quebec Symphony), and soprano Julia Bullock. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY in 2010.
New England native Lisa Raposa Millar is featured in a new audio recording of 19th and 20th century Brazilian art song with soprano Jenni Cook, scheduled for release in September. Currently freelancing in Toronto, Millar is a member of the piano accompanying staff at The Glenn Gould School and is listed in the Music Arts Management ArtsTie Directory of Teaching Artists.
Millar has appeared as a piano soloist and collaborator in Music on the Hill (RI), the Women in Music Festival (Eastman School of Music) and, with the Millar Piano Duo, on the Sunday Rendez-vous concert series at the Pointe-Claire Cultural Centre (QC). Musicians with whom she has performed include opera singer Diane Alexander, internationally-renowned tuba soloist James Gourlay, and Shanghai Baroque Chamber Orchestra violinist Hyungi Kim.
Lisa Raposa Millar earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music where she was a recipient of the Excellence in Accompanying Award. In 2010, she was honoured with The Virginia Pleasants Accompanist Award (Category One Winner) at the 34th Annual Competition for Singers hosted by Civic Morning Musicals of Syracuse.
The Art of the Piano: Moritz Ernst
Saturday, October 10 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Students
Moritz Ernst was born in 1986 in Ostwestfalen, Germany and began playing the piano at the age of five, taking lessons in Detmold. After graduating from high school at the early age of 16, he continued his piano studies in 2002 at the Detmolder Musikhochschule where he also studied musicology. During that time he was also awarded several prizes.
In 2003 he became a private student of the well known professor for piano, Peter Feuchtwanger. Shortly thereafter his concert activities were launched with regular performances in Europe and abroad: (In Germany - Musikhalle Hamburg; Austria – Mozarteum Salzburg; England – Purcell Room London, Switzerland and Italy.) Some years later Moritz Ernst continued his piano studies with Prof Jean-Jacques Dünki and harpsichord with Prof Jörg-Andreas Bötticher at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, thereafter his career also as harpsichordist began. During these years of study, he attended master classes and workshops held by Günter Reinhold, Paul Badura-Skoda, Ferderick Rzewski and the Auryn Quartet.
Moritz is presently concertising as pianist, harpsichordist and chamber musician performing a wide range of repertoire from baroque to contemporary music. Concerts include appearences in Germany, at the Piano Festival Feuchtwangen, the Lake Constance Festival, the Beethoven Festival Bonn; in England, France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Romania, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Russia. (St. Petersburg Sound Ways Festival) He has also held master classes at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany and at The Royal Music Academy in Malmö, Sweden.
Music of the 20th and 21st century is especially dear to his heart. Moritz has premiered several works as well as colaborating closely with composers such as Eötvös, Pelzel, Winkler, Pflüger, Wohlhauser, Olofsson, Maros and Pröve, some of whom have dedicated works to him. In addition, he advocates forgotten and less played composers, for example, by performing Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Sonata op. 106, Feruccio Busonni‘s Fantasia Contrappuntistica and the music of Samuel Scheidt, as well as music for the 16th- tone - piano (micro - tonality).
The international press has acclaimed Moritz Ernst for his superb recording of music by Sir Malchom Arnold. “The Classical Music Magazine” granted him their highest rating. “Gramophone” praised his sparkling and stimulating rendition of this recording. In addition, he has performed for international radio stations such as DRS2 (Zurich), Radio Luxembourg, SR (Radio of the Saarland), DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Deutschlandfunk and BBC London.
Extensive plans for future recording projects include: the harpsichord works of Kent Olofsson, the complete piano works of Viktor Ullmann, the sonatas by Norbert von Hannenheim in connection with Deutschlandradio (German Radio) and the CD label EDA Records on two CDs as well as works by Bernfried Pröve (on 7 CDs).
Moritz Ernst’s curiosity to discover new facets in music and music history has led him to cooperate with musicians such as singer Eva Csapo, the violinists Egidius Streiff and Hans Heinz Schneeberger and the clarinetist Urs Brügger. His knowledge as musicologist has led to a cooperation with the Schott Verlag.
(Translated by Carina Rascher, January 2014)
SCORDATURA: Celebrating Zoltan Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello, Hannah Addario-Berry
Tuesday October 13, 2015 at 8 pm
$20/$10 students/arts workers
One hundred years ago, Zoltán Kodály composed his Sonata for Solo Cello, one of the most significant works written for the instrument since the Bach Suites.
In celebration of this centenary, cellist Hannah Addario-Berry has created a program that showcases the 1915 Sonata with companion works created by the dynamic young composers Lisa Renée Coons, Brent Miller, Eric KM Clark, and Alisa Rose. The program will be presented in a solo concert tour around the United States and Canada. At the end of the tour, the program will be recorded in a new solo cello CD, titled Scordatura.
Zoltán Kodály is one of the most revered composers in the history of Hungary. Together with his friend and countryman Béla Bartok, he helped pioneer the field of ethnomusicology, traveling to remote villages and recording their songs as early as 1905. In addition, Kodály made significant contributions to the field of music education, to the extent of developing a unique approach known as the Kodály Method, still in use today. In 1915 he composed his Sonata for Solo Cello, Opus 8, and predicted that “In 25 years no cellist will be accepted who has not played it.” Indeed, by 1956 the Sonata had become an obligatory piece for the Casals Competition in Mexico City.
The work poses immense technical and musical challenges to the performer, using the extreme extent of the cello’s range and changing the tuning of the lower strings to deepen the tone. This deliberately altered tuning, or “scordatura”, enables rich harmonic possibilities. The piece is at times dramatic, melancholy, exuberant, and haunting. The cello often doubles as soloist and orchestra, bowing long melodic lines while simultaneously plucking rhythmical accompaniments. These technicalities are not an end unto themselves, simply the means for carrying the listener on a musical journey to the heart of historical Hungary.
Four talented composers have created short solo cello pieces inspired by the 1915 Kodály Sonata. The new works are scored for the same altered tuning used by Kodály. Collectively, these pieces form a complete and eclectic solo recital, whose performances by cellist Hannah Addario-Berry promise richly expanded experiences for classical and new music audiences.
Lisa Coons is a composer/sound artistwith a special affinity to collaboration and experimentation. Presently an assistant professor of composition at Western Michigan Univeristy, Lisa Renee received her Phd in Composition for Princeton University,with additional studies at SUNY Stony Brook and UMKC. Recent collaborators include the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, The California E.A.R. Unit, Iktus Percussion Ensemble, and Dither Quartet. She is a member of the composers collective called, simply, The Collected.
Los Angeles-based violinist and composer Eric KM Clark is a specialist in new and experimental music. He has recorded and performed an eclectic range of music around the world, while his compositions have been noted as “an exhilarating and occasionally confounding exercise in divergence (and) confluence...” (Signal to Noise). Eric's compositions have been featured at many venues and festivals, including Western Front, REDCAT and the Bang On A Can Marathon. He co-founded and co-directs the experimental music ensemble Southland Ensemble; and co-founded the wulf, a successful arts venue located in downtown Los Angeles.
Composer, violinist, and improviser Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as American traditional music, Alisa is a member of the genre-bending Real Vocal String Quartet, funk/bluegrass band Supermule, and the silent film scoring Club Foot Orchestra. Alisa studies with San Francisco Conservatory of Music composer David Garner, and her compositions have been performed by Quartet San Francisco, 49 Special, and San Francisco City Church in addition to her current groups, as well as published by String Letter Publishing, and recently recorded by Sqwonk.
Brent Miller is a composer, performer, and arts administrator based in San Francisco, CA. He studied composition at the University of Arkansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City. Recent projects include works for Rova Saxophone Quartet, violinist Eric KM Clark (EAR Unit), Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, and Sqwonk. Brent has been the featured guest composer at the Cape Fear New Music Festival and a guest lecturer at Central Michigan University and Western Michigan University. He is the Co-founder and Managing Director of San Francisco's Center for New Music.
The Art of the Piano: Johnandrew Slominski
Friday, October 16 at 8 pm
$20; $10 Students
Tonight’s performance will feature Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue; and Etudes, Waltzes and Mazurkas of Frederic Chopin
American pianist Johnandrew Slominski enjoys a distinguished reputation as a performer and pedagogue. His elegant and sophisticated playing has earned praise from composers and critics alike. Slominski seamlessly navigates the landscape of a varied and thriving career as a soloist, chamber musician, music theorist, author, pedagogue, and speaker. Highlights of his busy 2014-2015 season include performances of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, a concert tour of Florida, recordings for Oxford University Press, a forthcoming CD of solo piano music on the Centaur label, a forthcoming article in Music Theory Online (the publication of the Society for Music Theory), a debut performance with violinist Renee Jolles on the Eastman Virtuosi concert series, a featured performance and story on Rochester, New York's WXXI Public Radio, and more than a dozen teaching and speaking engagements.
A child prodigy, Slominski gave his first public performance at age 5, won his first piano competition at age 6, and entered college at age 15. By age 21, Slominski had earned three degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, including a Master of Music in Performance and Literature, a Master of Arts in Pedagogy of Music Theory, and a Bachelor of Music in Performance; his first professorship followed two years later. He was unanimously nominated for (and received) Eastman's coveted Performer's Certificate in recognition of outstanding concert artistry--the youngest individual to have received such an honor. Slominski holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, also from the Eastman School of Music. In 2009 he was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, and 2010 Slominski received the Jerald C. Graue Musicology Fellowship in recognition for his research in the field of nineteenth-century performance practice. His innovative performance and pedagogical research has been supported by institutions including the Classics Abroad Society and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Slominski is the founder and co-director of "Classical Music on the Spot", an intensive summer institute now in its second season at the Eastman School of Music, dedicated to the study and practice of eighteenth-century style improvisation.
Slominski is a frequent solo performer, collaborative pianist, masterclass clinician, and lecturer. Praised in print for his virtuosity, innovative programming, and broad repertoire, he performs throughout the United States and abroad; he has been recently featured as a guest artist at the Chautauqua Institution for Fine and Performing Arts, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival, the Sunderman Recital Series at Gettysburg College, Steinway Hall, the Sun Valley Artist Series, and the St. Petersburg College Piano Series, while international performances have included recitals at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Salle Cortot in Paris, France. As a competition laureate, Slominski was awarded first prize in the Chautauqua International Piano Competition and was the silver medalist in the International Keyboard Odyssiad Piano Competition. As an advocate for both historical performance practices and new music, Slominski has received glowing praise from critics and composers. British composer Ann Cherry commented following Slominski's 2012 world premiere of her Sonata for Flute and Piano with flutist Tabatha Easley that "This man has a rare ability - the musicality - to dig beneath the written notes to reveal the underlying meaning. I did not dare to imagine that such a great performance could ever happen."
His recordings have been broadcast domestically by National Public Radio and are published by Oxford University Press and Centaur Records (forthcoming). His principal studies at the Eastman School were with Rebecca Penneys; additional teachers have included Robert Levin, John Perry, Steven Laitz, Dorothy Fahlman, Malcolm Bilson, Joseph Silverstein, and Jean-Francois Antonioli.
Slominski has held teaching positions at the University of Rochester, the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has also served as a joint faculty member at the Eastman School of Music in both piano and music theory. His students have been accepted to prestigious undergraduate and graduate programs at schools including the Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and the North Carolina School for the Arts. Slominski teaches during the summer months at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival at the University of South Florida, and serves as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
KONUS QUARTET: four saxophones
Monday October 19, 2015 at 8 pm
Konus Quartett | four saxophones
Christian Kobi, saxophone
Fabio Oehrli, saxophone
Jonas Tschanz, saxophone
Stefan Rolli, saxophone
As a chamber music ensemble whose instrumentation changes frequently, the Konus Quartet engages its audience with highly expressive and idiosyncratic sounds. Contemporary original compositions are interpreted predominantly by the quartet, but these are also contrasted with pieces from past centuries and arrangements for saxophone instrumentation. The radical nature of its concert programmes has seen the quartet become established over the past 10+ years as an important voice for new contemporary and experimental music.
Composition commissions are awarded regularly to well-known artists by the quartet; to date such artists have included Barry Guy, Urs Peter Schneider, Tomas Korber, Phill Niblock, Makiko Nishikaze and Jürg Frey.
Three musical highlights serve to showcase the remarkable range of the Konus Quartet:
In 2006, "La bocca, i piedi, il suono", a composition by Salvatore Sciarrino for four soloists and a hundred saxophonists, was performed in the French Church in Bern (Release 2006, Cubus Records).
A collaboration with the filmmaker and composer Phill Niblock gave rise to the composition entitled "To Two Tea Roses" which was premiered in 2013 in Switzerland in the presence of the composer.
The piece "Music für ein Feld" (Music for a Field) was the result of a composition commission awarded to the Zurich-based musician Tomas Korber (Release 2014, Cubus Records).
More 2015 Performances coming soon.
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