8 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 7 - April 2000

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
  • Arts
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  • Singers
  • Musical


MUSICIANS IN OUR MIDST by Allan Pulker Two unrelated musicians--one a classical concert pianist turned composer, the other a jazz-y singer and songwriter--find themselves paired here because they were co-winners of this year's K.M . Hunter Artist Award in Music. The Awards were established four years ago by Martin Hunter, the son of K.M. Hunter who, says Martin, was "a Toronto businessman who made some money" and decided in 1966 to set up the foundation that bears his name, to contribute to the welfare of the community. Chief beneficiaries of the foundation over the years have been medical research, social welfare causes and established artistic enterprises like the Stratford Festival. Martin, a writer who in his thirties received the Lieutenant Governor's award for drama, knew first-hand the benefit to artists of timely recognition and encouragement. So he expanded the foundation's reach by establishing five annual 00 awards. (In addition to music there are awards for visual arts, literature, theatre and dance.) The awards are intended "to support and encourage artists who have completed their professional training and have begun to establish themselves and make an impact in their •.d/ /ill! chosen field." This year's music award winners, Alice Ho and Andrea Koziol certainly fit the bill. ce Ho grew up in Hong Kong and at the age of 19 commenced studies at Indiana University to become a concert pianist and her interest in composition arose from curiosity about the creative process behind the music that she was learning to play. At Indiana, quite by chance, she met John Eaton, a composition professor, who accepted her as his student. She soon became more interested in composing than in playing the piano and became a composition major. Indiana was a very supportive environment she says, because she could always find some one to play what she had written and get immediate and useful feedback. Her focus now, since so much of her work is commissions, is writing music for specific musical organizations, soloists and occasions. Her aim is always to write something that will be effective for the occasion without compromising her artistic and esthetic principles. She loves writing for orchestra and has been fortunate over the past couple of years to have received commissions to write five concerti. Her cello concerto was performed last November by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and a piano concerto the same month by the Windsor Symphony · Orchestra with soloist, Laura Hibbard. The next performance of her work in Toronto will be on May 6 when the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra will perform her concerto for percussion with soloist, Beverley Johnston. rea Koziol's name seems to come up as a singer of jazz and of folk , so I asked her which she would say she is. "I guess I'm somewhere in between" was her reply. Andrea studied piano and voice during her childhood and teens and began writing music around the age of 19 or 20, motivated by her feeling that there are thingsthat can only be said through music. She brought both her voice and keyboard skills to the jazz band, Chesterfield Inlet, which began playing standards, but for which she began writing original music, until the day came when it was playing only her compositions. Asked if there was a singer whose work she particularly admired or emulated, her answer was an emphatic "No! When I was younger I tried, but it set me back." Writing, she says, helped her to find her own voice, which takes some time but is something everyone needs to do. She cites gu itarist, Kevin Bright, as a musician who has succeeded completely in finding his own voice. "Everyone can tell that he is a person who has found his own voice" she says. While his music can be difficult and challenging, he communicates it because of his authenticity. Andrea has one CD, Coming of Age and a second, Mission Bliss, to be released in June. You can hear her Friday April 14 in Oakville (see Concert Listings) and the following night at the Brampton Heritage Theatre with David Leask & Gregg Lawless. (See Further Afield in our listings section.) POSTSCRIPT: WHOLENOTE PHOTO FILE The context May 7, the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir's spring concert: marking 1000 years of Yiddush culture, and celebrating the choir's founding, 75 years ago, by immigrant needle trade workers in downtown Toronto. The photo The Torontor Fraihait Gezangs Farein 's (Freedom Singing Society) first annual concert in 1926. No one from the photo is still alive. On the floor in the centre is Sam Lapides, the choir's manager. He was a long-time trade union leader in the Canadian sportswear industry. In the second row, centre is the choir's founding conductor, Hyman Riegelhaupt. He also conducted the Morris Winchevsky Shute Choir in the 1930s, at 414 Markham St. (N. W. corner of Ulster). In the same row, second from left, with the long curls is Fanny (Fagel) Zuckert Zimmerman, a soprano soloist and the sister of composer Leon Zuckert. (Fagel passed away in the 1990s, predeceased by her brother.) , Linda Litwack

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