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Volume 6 Issue 8 - May 2001

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
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CovER SToRv: By name and

CovER SToRv: By name and by nature --- Amici by David Perlman In addition to his duties as principal clarinetist of the TSO Don't call Amici a Trio. and conductor of the Toronto Granted, there are three of them, Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have been from day one, Joaquin Valdepefias makes back in 1986. foternational appearances as Pianist Patricia Parr made soloist, chamber musician and 'her solo debut with the Toronto conductor. He has performed at Symphony at age nine, studied at Aspen, Banff, Casals, Edinburgh, the Curtis Institute with Isabelle Mostly Mozart, Vancouver and · Vengerova and Rudolf Serkin, Nagano, and with musicians such and has appeared as soloist with as Kathleen Battle, Glenn Gould, most of North America's major Cho-Liang Lin, Rudolf Serkin, orchestras under such conductors Richard Stoltzman, and Pinchas as Ormandy, Steinberg and Zukerman. Commissioning many Susskind .. As a chamber musician · works by Canadian composers, she has worked with the he recently gave the American Guarneri, Orford and Vermeer premiere of Aria for Clarinet and String Quartets~ to name a few. Orchestra by Michael Colgrass Her recordings appear on the . with the Buffalo Philharmonic. CBC, Centrediscs and Summit He recently recorded the Mozart labels. And as a professor of Clarinet Concerto with the piano and chamber music at the English Chamber Orchestra University of Toronto's Faculty (Summit DCD131). of Music, for many years she programmed the U. ofT. ' Faculty Artist Series. Cellist David Hetherington received his musical training at the RCM and U of T, furthering So it is very largely due to this fact that cello, piano, and clarinet are an unusual combination that the Amici Ensemble has become something more interesting than a his studies in New York, Italy and Germany with Claus Adam, Andre Navarra, and Paul Tortelier. Currently the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, "the TSO was my first job after graduation," he is much in demand as a chamber musician. Through his own string quartet, Accordes, he has developed a keen interest in contemporary music, performing regularly for New Music Concerts and other contemporary music organizations. Trio - namely a perfotming Granted, cello and piano sound suspiciously like two thirds of a traditional classical Trio. All it lacks is a violinist, which Joaquin Valdepeiias, the third Amico, thankfully, is not. nucleus capable of working other "amici" into any given program, based on the needs of the programs they devise. "You can't build a career on repertoire for cello, violin and clarinet" Valdepefias told me . "It is an inherently unstable combination. But that is part of the magic, because it sends you in search of collaborators all the time. I remember, right at the beginning we talked about possibly inviting a violinist into the core. You can only guess, but it would not have been the same. And look at all the great violinists we have been able to play with instead." (In their last concert, for example, their guests were renowned American violinist Arnold Steinhardt - of Guarneri fame - and Canadian violinist/ violist Scott St. John, rapidly becoming an Amici regular. Amici' s first three-concert , season was launched in 1988-89 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in downtown Toronto - on a shoestring budget, but with invaluable support from the CBC. "Without Neil Crory at the CBC, this would never have happened" they all say. By 1993-94 the Ensemble had moved to the Glenn Gould Studio in the CBC building. The following year its subscription series expanded from three to four concerts. (All of AMICI'S concerts are still recorded for national broadcast on CBC-Stereo.) This season, faced with repeated sell-out concerts at the Glenn Gould (partly due to the Gould policy of not allowing any audience seating on stage), the ensemble also experimented with the Jane Mallett as a venue, an experiment that will continue into the coming season, with two concerts at the Gould and two at the Mallett. The ensemble will range from five to eight performers over the four concerts. Also this coming season, Amici will partner with the Hannaford Street Silver Band as part of the Massey Hall New Music Festival - a first for them. "We've made it a bonus fifth concert" says Patricia Parr. "We felt strongly that it should be an option for our subscribers to take or not take. We will be repeating Chan Ka Nin's work Among Friends - that will be the title of the concert, a world premier by Jeffrey Ryan, and a wonderful "Music for Veena" by Henry Kucharzyk, going back to our 1995-6 season." "Programming is a large part of the satisfaction of Amici" says Parr. "For me" says Valdepefias, "Amici is a creative entity. Paradoxically, as the level of musicianship in orchestras gets higher and higher, a lot of the music~making one does is necessarily under someone's thumb. It is frustrating and this is a great outlet. " David Hetherington takes it a step further. "I don't think of it as a release from other things," he says. "Chamber music is what I like to do the most." The upcoming Amici May 11 concert, Songs in Time of Crisis, the last of the season, epitomizes what this ensemble is about. Forsyth's Songs in Times of Crisis, a song cycle for baritone, clarinet, cello & piano was commissioned by the Amici Chamber Ensemble, with baritone Brett Polegato in mind, with funding from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The theme of Forsyth' s piece and Polegato's involvement led naturally to Schubert's Lieder. And the often observed connec­ Jion of one of those lieder (Die Forelle) to Schµbert's famed "Trout Quintet" led to the fulfillment of a longtime wish for Parr and Hetherington to do the "Trout.", Hetherington and Parr will share the 'stage with Scott St. John, violin; Max Mandel, viola; and Edward Tait, bass for that particular piece. Valdepefias will sit it out -- not unusual with Amici as the three of them share, sometimes in, sometimes out, the exploration of repertoire. As I said, not a tr,io. More. BEHIND THE SCENES continued from page 43 Royal Bank clients thought that Royal Bank involvement in supporting the community would affect their choice of bank. This tells us that when level of service is sufficiently high between competing institutions, the values that a corporation has will affect the client's choice. Glenda: We worked hard to get the media to call it the "Royal Bank Seniors Jubilee". I was talking to a representative of the 44 wholenote MAY 1, 2~01 - JuNE 7, 2001 .. um .. one of our large dailies, who was rather, um, curmudgeonly, and I asked him to call it that because that's what it is. He' said, "But they're your sponsor'~ and I said I would really appreciate it, and you know, this man actually called it that! Spcmsorship is not that easy to get. And harder to keep! The second year McDonald's sponsored us. That was when they were advertising for seniors and retired people to come and work with them, and it fit in. The next I year their marl

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