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Volume 16 Issue 3 - November 2010

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  • November
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encouraged my

encouraged my composition. I’m alwaysin touch with her, and I see her as a mentor.I think she’s a wonderful composer– and a wonderful person – so every timeshe has a premiere I try to be there.Many of your works have colourful titles,like Caribbiana and Dogged by Helhounds– while some have traditional titles likePiano Concerto.... There’s something verypersonal about the way I handle the piano concerto form, comingfrom my British-Trinidadian background. The rhythms and the way Iapproach lyricism come from that very personal approach.“This kid has somethingspecial, so you’d bettertake care of his talent,”said Mrs. Grunsky.with you? My Mom was with me for mygraduated from the high school I was onmy own there, but she was always supportingme.When you were hosting This is My Musicon CBC radio last summer, you describedhow you started out on a toy piano whenyou were two. My mother would play a nursery song like Mary Had a Little Lambon that keyboard – it had colours and numbers – and I had to learnthe colours and numbers and play it back.When you say Trinidadian, do you mean rhythms like calypso? Notonly calypso, but a lot of French and Spanish and East IndianEven though you live in New York, do you still feel Canadian? That’sright!Your mixed identity, as half British and half Trinidadian, does seemtypically Canadian. place to grow up. There is such diversity, and every culture is respected,which is the way it should be. Unfortunately other placeshave a less healthy point of view.Did that diversity extend to music? I grew up with a very eclecticmusical backround, but classical was always the main thing. I feltlike a rebel when I listened to classical music, because everyone elsechaelJackson. I would think to myself, “My heavens, why aren’tpeople listening to Tchaikovsky or Beethoven?” Then I went to mythe same music that I was. I thought, “All right, that’s good – I’mnot alone.”What was it like when you went to Curtis and were surrounded withkids just as serious about classical music as you? It was great beingsurrounded by all that amazing, passionate talent. Every Saturdaywe had a piano forum. We would play for each other, and after awhile we didn’t only want to talk about the piano. We wanted to talkabout each other – where you’re from and what inspires you.You were only 15 when you first went to Curtis – did your mother goHow did your talent show up at that young age? I was also picking upthe tune she played and playing it back to her by ear.Were you aware that you had a special gift? I just knew from aroundthree that this was something I wanted to do – I wanted to be a musician.Actually I thought I was going to be a violinist because I lovedhearing violin music. I would listen to the Tchaikovsky Violin Concertoover and over. I was doing Suzuki violin, and the piano wasjust something I enjoyed playing. On the piano I was basically on myown playing whatever I heard on the radio, transcribing it by ear. She said, “This kid has something special, so you’d better take careclef. But every time she would assign a new piece I would alwayshow to reach an audience. I had all the notes, so the next step was touse all my facilities to communicate the emotion behind that.Did your natural facility make it more difficult for you to do the tediouswork like playing a bar over and over, since you didn’t need to dothat to get impressive results? I’m pretty hard-core about my practis-But yes, I didn’t like practising when I was younger (he laughs). ButI did develop more discipline. I was always keen to take on a lot ofwork, even when I was eight years old.What about that documentary Adrienne Clarkson made about you forthe CBC in 1991? Oh, my – that seems a lifetime ago.continued on page 70FRI DEC 10, 2010 7:30PM | SAT DEC 11, 2010 2:00PMMASSEY HALL TORONTOCelebrate one of the great traditions of Christmas with Toronto’sfavourite boys’ choir at Massey Hall. St. Michael’s Choir Schooloffers a feast of well-loved sacred and secular carols, includingVaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Ding Dong!Merrily on High. Capture the beauty of the season, enjoy holidayclassics and sing along with traditional seasonal favourites.Jerzy Cichocki, Caron Daley, Teri DunnWilliam O’MearaStephen Hegedus, Schola Cantorum Strings – (416) 872-4255 or www.masseyhall.com10 thewholenote.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010

GlionnaMansellCorporationPresents anInaugural ConcertSt. Patrick's CatholicChurch in Mississauga,Ontario is excited toannounce that Diane Bishwill be performing theinaugural concert of theirnew 3-manual, 50-stopAllen Heritageorgan.This rare concert eventthat every music enthusiastwill want to experiencewill happen onSunday November 14,2010 at 3:00 p.m.ROBERT LEPAGELIVE ON STAGE2 NIGHTS ONLY!“STARTLINGLY BEAUTIFUL!”– The Guardian, UKSylvie Guillem Robert LepageRussell MaliphanteonnagataDiane Bish is among thevery top of musical entertainersin the world. She is a concertand recording artist, composer, conductor andinternational television personality. Diane Bish hasdisplayed her dazzling virtuosity and unique showmanshipthe world over. Her performances have been hailedby critics as "stunning, virtuoso, fiery, and astonishing".Through numerous recordings, concerts and weeklytelevision appearances, Diane Bish is the most visibleorganist today.Order your tickets online atwww.dianebishconcert.caGlionna Mansell Corporation represents excellencein organ building and performancewww.glionnamansell.com416-769-5224, toll free: 1-877-769-5224BOOK NOW - GUARANTEED TO SELL OUT!NOV 18 & 19 | 8PMCall 416-872-2262 or go to sonycentre.caGroups of 8+: 416-393-7463Sony Centre For The Performing Arts1 Front Street EastPRODUCEDBYSadler’s WellsSUPPORTEDBY2010/2011 SEASONSPONSORPROMOTIONALPARTNERPROMOTIONALPARTNERINNOVATIONSPONSORSSPONSOREDBYNovember 1 - December 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 11

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