Ton Beau String Quartet with Peter Stoll, clarinet
Friday May 22, 2015 at 8 pm
$20 / $10 Students
Maurice Ravel String Quartet in F
Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B Minor
George Gerswhin Three Preludes for Clarinet and String Quartet (arr. Stoll)
Founded in 2010, the Ton Beau Quartet has presented music throughout the University of Toronto community through performances at the Art Centre, Multi-Faith Centre, and the Faculty of Music’s own New Music Festival. Beyond the university, the Ton Beau Quartet has performed at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the Merriam School of Music and as part of the Health Arts Society of Ontario’s ArtsWay series. They have worked with members of the Ebène, Miami, Orford, Prazak, St. Lawrence, and Ying String Quartets. During the 2011 summer season, they performed at Wilfrid Laurier University’s QuartetFest, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University and the Harbourfront Centre’s Summer Music in the Garden series.
Alexa Wilks, originally from Almonte, Ontario, is an active violinist in the Toronto freelance community, performing with Mayumi Seiler’s Via Salzburg ensemble and the Esprit Orchestra. Regularly collaborating with Canadian composers, Alexa premiered Kevin Lau’s Violin Concerto with the Sneak Peak Orchestra and has worked with Arsenio Giron and Steven Chatman. Alexa’s performances in the University of Toronto’s Penderecki Festival have been heard on CBC’s “The Signal” with host Laurie Brown. Under the mentorship of Annalee Patipatanakoon, Alexa is studying to attain her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto. Alexa performs on a 1760 Louis Guersan violin.
Violinist Bijan Sepanji is a multi-faceted performer with a career just as diverse as his background. Originally from Tehran, Bijan has recently performed with the Indianapolis and Windsor Symphonies, Orchestra London, National Academy Orchestra as well as the Indiana University Summer Festival Orchestra. At Indiana University he has performed alongside Canadian clarinetist James Campbell. Bijan has worked under the tutelage of Mark Kaplan, Mark Fewer, Ian Swensen, Leon Fleisher, Mayumi Seller, Erika Raum and Miriam Fried. For a second year, he is teaching at Sistema Toronto's Parkdale location.
Alex McLeod, viola, has performed in Austria, Finland, and Germany as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. An active teacher, Alex maintains studios in Mississauga and Toronto. Having studied extensively in Germany, Alex earned an Artist’s Diploma and a Masters of Music from Hochschule fuer Musik in Karlsruhe. Previously, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto. His past teachers include Johannes Luethy, Teng Li and Katharine Rapoport. Alex is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto, studying with Steve Dann.
A native of Strathmore, Alberta, cellist Sarah Steeves currently resides in Toronto performing with Sinfonia Toronto while completing her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto with Shauna Rolston. Sarah has performed in Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom with ensembles such as Sinfonia Toronto, the World Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Her principal teachers have been Brian Manker (McGill University), Tom Mirhady (Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra), and Tanya Prochazka (University of Alberta). She teaches privately and at the Classical Music Conservatory.
The quartet's name is derived from Douglas Hofstadter's book Le Ton beau de Marot (1997) which focuses on the concept of translation, which has many parallels within the act of musical interpretation. The title is a pun on Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin.
Known for his virtuoso energy on stage as well as an easy and entertaining way of speaking with the audience, Peter Stoll was a prizewinner in the International Clarinet Society Competition, and also Solo Clarinetist with the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales in Berlin and Vienna, which was broadcast on live television across Europe. Peter won First Prize in Chamber Music at the National Competitive Music Festival, for whose 50th Anniversary edition he was invited back as Woodwind Adjudicator and as soloist in the Gala Celebration Concert in Winnipeg. A graduate of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where he studied with Avrahm Galper and Ronald Chandler, he received his Master's of Music degree in Performance from Indiana University as a student of James Campbell.
Peter has been guest soloist with orchestras in Canada and the United States, and was invited to Saratov, Russia for solo performances with the Saratov Philharmonic's "Volga Wind Ensemble" and to present masterclasses at the State Conservatory.
Featured on several CD releases, including once with the Canadian Brass and several for composer John Gladwell, Peter's first solo recording "Bits 'n Pieces" was broadcast on CJRT-FM and the English and French CBC, and he has been heard in solo performance on CBC-FM's "Arts National", "Music Around Us", "Music Alive", "DiscDrive" and "The Signal". Peter was featured in a showcase performance at the Ontario Arts Council's Contact conference, and now tours extensively throughout the province presenting solo and ensemble concerts. Summer festival performances have included the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Ottawa Valley Festival, the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, and as a Mentor at the Boris Brott Music Festival's National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, as well as the Ottawa and Vancouver Chamber Music Festivals.
A frequent performer of new music, he twice travelled to Munich, Germany with the ERGO ensemble to take part in the AdeVant Garde festival. Other tours with ERGO have included New York City, Finland and Lithuania. As a core member of the Talisker Players, Peter has performed at the Vancouver, Ottawa and Elora summer festivals, and was recently featured on their first CD recording.
Orchestral performances are as Principal Clarinetist of the Toronto Philharmonia, as well as with many other local and regional orchestras including the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, as well as with Opera York and Kerry Stratton's Grand Salon Orchestra as Solo Clarinet and Saxophonist.
Peter teaches clarinet and chamber music privately and at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. He is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music's National College of Examiners, and is much sought after as an adjudicator at music festivals across the country.
Recent highlights have included a duo recital with pre-eminent Canadian percussionist Beverley Johnston, solo and chamber performances for visits by world-renowned composers Kryzstof Penderecki and Chen Yi, concerto appearances with the Toronto Philharmonia and the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, as well as serving as Artist-In-Residence for the Silverthorn Symphonic Winds. Peter's website is www.peterstoll.ca
Mezzo Soprano Ali Garrison Sings the Songs of her Contemporaries
Friday May 29, 2015 at 8 pm
Tickets: $30 / $20 Seniors & Students
For reservations please write firstname.lastname@example.org
Singing the songs of seven of her contemporaries (including herself as an improvising composer), Ms. Garrison will explore the rich complexity of voices and perspectives of some of the most brilliant composers in her musical village. “We must encourage each other to create songs in response to all the myriad inspirations in our current world as we each perceive it... Life, ideas, feelings, people, Nature. That is how the collective culture that represents our time and place is born and then nurtured", says the singer.
The composers that have written pieces for Ali and this concert, include Seattle Pacific University professor, composer, gospel/jazz vocalist, and worship leader, Stephen Michael Newby; Director of Music at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, pianist and composer, Maria Isabel Ciudad-Real; American conductor and composer, Kevin McMahon; Toronto guitarist, teacher and composer ,William Beauvais; and Ryan Billington, Canadian conductor, arranger, improvisera teacher seductor and Composer, and voice faculty at St. Francis Xavier. Finally, improvisational co-composers, Downeast Maine pianist, Nancy Bennet and Ali Garrison created a song cycle which will be performed as a written transcription of the original improvisation.
Adding to the evening’s new music feast are three noteworthy performers. Concert and collaborative pianist Joy Lee, brings her passionate genius via University of Toronto's Faculty of Music and The Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Guitarist, William Beauvais and pianist Ryan Billington, will each perform with Ali on their own compositions.
Known as a powerful singer who “embodies the soul projected through her voice” and “palpably lives the sound”, American-born, Toronto-raised mezzo-soprano Alexandra “Ali” Garrison, dares to sing many styles of great music from around our dear planet. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music Vocal Performance Program, she has performed a huge variety of operatic/theatrical roles with regional companies and is a frequent concert soloist with numerous ensembles and choirs in Canada and the U.S. She especially enjoys working in tandem with artists, improvisers and composers to foster new works and promote music for a more harmonious world. She has had many works composed specifically for her by numerous composers.
Ali is a proud founding alumnus and soloist with the renowned Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and as such, toured extensively, performing for such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel, Muhammad Ali, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Norman, Kathleen Battle, Stephen Lewis and was privileged to be Canada’s “gift” to President Obama’s 2009 Inauguration festivities. It was for this trail-blazing ensemble that she co-wrote the education series, Canaan Lan’ and was on faculty for their Youth Training Program. She currently also mentors youth singers in the Regent Park area. Ms. Garrison has been teaching voice privately for eighteen years, leading and facilitating groups in, and writing about, the following areas: voice and body work for both ensemble singers and soloists; freeing our imaginations and our sound; the intersection of creativity, art and philosophy; free musical improvisation; advocacy for the arts and social justice.
She is a member of ACTRA, and a Gemini Nominee. Currently, Ms.Garrison leads the “Why the Sea is Salty Project”, an interdisciplinary collaboration of four female artists making works for a mythic extravaganza. For her 50th birthday earlier this year, Ali decided, after singing on everyone else’s recordings for years, that it was high time to produce her own first solo EP, entitled, Ali Garrison Sings Michel Legrand: The Summer Knows, with Danny McErlain, pianist. Visit iTunes to purchase and listen to her EP.
Saturday May 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm
$20 / $10 Students
Sonia Vizante received her Bachelor degree at the age of 18 from the Liceul de Muzica “Dinu Lipatti” where she studied in a specialized music program for twelve years and where she also obtained her bacalaureat diploma. Four years later she graduated as national valedictorian from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Music Performance.
Once in Canada she received her Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University, Ontario.
In 1981 she became a member of the Canadian Opera Company. The same year she took the position of principal second with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra under Raffi Armenian and in the following year the same position with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra under Boris Brott.
For six seasons, Ms. Vizante held the position of Concertmaster for the Ensemble “Sir Ernest McMillan”. She shared for ten years the position of Concertmaster for the Boris Brott Festivals along with many distinguished Canadian violinists. She also held the Associate Concertmaster position with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years.
In 2005 Ms. Vizante recorded at the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto for the classical CD album entitled “Silver Lining” that features her as a soloist. The CD was also featured at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Sony Classical New York described it as “most attractive and appealing” and Sony ATV has picked up the option to represent this work for film.
In April 2006 Ms. Vizante was nominated for a Juno award for the “A Butterfly in Time” CD where her violin playing is featured.
In July 2009 she recorded on a new CD John Laing’s sonata for violin and piano, featuring at the piano the composer himself.
Besides being involved in numerous film recordings, Ms. Vizante's violin solo can be heard in movies such as "Loving Evangeline" (music composed by Ian Thomas) and the TLC's "Stigmata" (music by David Young).
Presently Ms. Vizante is performing with the National Ballet Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.
Rebecca Morton, cello
Rebecca Morton began her cello studies at the age of six in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. She went on to study as a scholarship student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Vladimir Orloff and David Hetherington. She graduated with an ARCT from the Conservatory, and was awarded the Gold Medal for achieving the highest string mark in Canada. Rebecca continued her studies at the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Paul Katz and Steven Doane. The recipient of a six year scholarship, she graduated with highest distinction receiving Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. Rebecca has won numerous scholarships and awards including semi-finalist in the 2003 Eckhardt-Gramatte String Competition. She has been heard in solo and chamber music recitals including performances with ChamberWorks!, Past Perfect, as part of the summer music series at the Toronto Music Garden and in recording with Final Fantasy. In September of 2015, Rebecca will join the cello section of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. Rebecca enjoys teaching privately as well as at McMaster University.
Shoshana Telner, piano
Canadian pianist Shoshana Telner has performed as soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. She made her solo orchestral début with the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the age of 16 and has since performed as soloist with several orchestras. In 1993 Shoshana received the Royal Conservatory gold medal (97%) for the ARCT piano performance exam. Shoshana then received a Bachelor’s degree on full scholarship from Boston University, a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School in New York, and a Doctorate in performance from McGill University. She has taught piano and coached ensembles at McGill University, the University of Ottawa, and Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently teaches piano at McMaster University. Shoshana frequently gives masterclasses, adjudicates competitions, and examines for the Royal Conservatory of Music. Shoshana’s recordings include solo works of Canadian composer Colin Mack, the complete Bach Keyboard Partitas, and the Grieg violin and piano sonatas.
More 2015 Performances coming soon.
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