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Volume 8 Issue 6 - March 2003

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  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • April
  • Jazz
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  • Gould
  • Glenn
  • Annalee

COVER STORY The Gryphon

COVER STORY The Gryphon Trio's Annqfee Pqtipq"tqnqkoon by Allan Pulker ALMOST SIX YEARS AGO the Gryphon Trio (Annalee Patipatanakoon, Roman Borys and Jamie Parker) appeared on the cover of the June 1997 issue of The WholeNote, a "rising ensemble" about to perform a noon hour concert at Glenn Gould Studio and an evening concert with Jean Stilwell at the du Maurier Theatre. The Trio, now ten years old, has skyrocketed since then. They have produced five CDs, including their recent Beethoven Piano Trios Op. 1, Nos.1&3(AnalektaFleurdeLys FL 2 3170), have been nominated for a Juno Award, have.been Music TORONTO's Ensemble-in-Residence since 1998 and have performed throughout North America and Europe, including New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, Mexico's Cervantino Festival, Canada's Festival of the Sound, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and Finland's Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. They also, courtesy of the Canada Council Instrument Bank, play finer instruments than six years ago --Patipatanakoon 's 1717Windsor-Weinstein Strad; and Borys's 1824 Mc­ Connell-Gagliano cello. MARCH WILL BE AN UNVSUAL month for Patipatanakoon, Borys and Parker - apart from "a ~ick trip to Kitchener, Calgary and San Francisco" they will have a whole month at home in and around Toronto. March 1 they will be Cloing a short performance and signing copies of their new CD ·at Indigo on Bay Street. March 2 they perform in Hamilton , and March 4 Music Toronto is presenting a Gryphon Trio Tenth Anniversary Concert Celebration and CD Launch at the Jane Mallett Theatre. That March 4 concert will also have the distinction of being the North American preiniere of George Enescu' s unpublished Trio in A minor, Op. 16. This work will be introduced ~y Belgian musicologist, Harry Halbre1ch, on the CBC Radio Two broadcast of the concert. The Conversat•on I came away from a conversation with Annalee, a few days before publicatiqn, with the feeling that part of the reason for her, and the Trio's, s~ccess is the ability to let no expenence gp to waste. An example: in her first few years in Toronto in the early 90s she and Roman Borys both played in the pit orchestra for the musical theatre production, Crazy for You. The experience, Annalee said, was very positive: Gershwin's music was a cut above much· of the music in that genre; the contractor who hired them appreciated that they had another, parallel musical com­ Initment in the Gryphon Trio, and allowed them to Iniss performances when necessary provideq they booked their "subs"; it ga...;e them the opportunity to play with musicians whom they Inight not otherwise even have met. And not least, ~ey were aple to~ enough playmg the show to put together the down payment for the house which has provided them with a degree of security as well as balance in their lives - they both fmd gardening a welcome change of pace. The Trio continues to make a point of perforining in unlikely places. Annalee referred to these as "outreach - creating interesting projects that would interest people who wouldn't come out to a chamber music concert." At one of these, a Music Garden concert in 2001, she and Roman had to play in the back of a van to keep the rain off their instruments while an appreciative audience stood around with umbrellas. Traffic on Queen's Quay slowed down to see what was going on and a limousine actually pulled up to ~tisfy the cu- PHILIP L. DA VIS Luthi er formerly with f.f. Schroder: Fronkfwt, West Germany _ A Fine Selection of Small and Full Sized Instruments and Bows • Expert Repairs (416) 466-9619 67 Wolv~rleigh Blvd., Toronto, Ontario, M4J JR6 riosity of its occupants! Just last month they did a "concert" at the Lula Lounge with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. "This" she told me, was Roman and Jennifer [Taylor, G.M. of Music Toronto]'s initiative. "Jennifer would have been happy to have presented us at the Jane Mallett, but Roman and Barry [Shiffman of the St_. Lawrence Quartet] came up with the Lula Lounge idea. We didn't know how well it would sell, but it was packed, ,a nice mix, a soiree - it was fantastic. We want to do something . like this every year." Another unusual initiative has been the "Composing for a Change" program, with Music Toronto audience members who have volunteered to work with a composer to write music. "There are three groups of from three to eight people. Each group has a composer/coach who helps them put their ideas on paper." At some point next season the Trio will perform their compositions. The Gryphon,. she told me has also qeen working with student ~mposers in the Claude Watson Art~ Program at Earl Haig Collegiate, aild will be performing some of their work in the concert on March4. Gryphon Trio they ,bad to learn how to play them together. The big difference between the Strad and other instruments is in the tone colour. "While my violin had, let's say, 10,000 colours the Strad might have a million . . . but you need to coax it out, it can't be forced. Some days I think I've fmally figured it out and then a month later I discover something I had no idea was there." It's always tempting to ask elite performers about "turning points." Was the invitation to play at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in 2001, for example, one? "If it was, it was one of many" was her reply. Every "turning point" points one in the direction of the next turning point. WE TALKED, INEVITA~LY, about the And the Kuhmo Festival is a good ~n:ad, about what, apart from pub- example, because it was there in 2001 hc1ty and recognition, it has brought that the Trio met Harry Halbreich tq her life as a musician. First, she who, in Roman Borys' words "took said, it took some time to learn to a special interest in us and offered to play it - it was bigger than her other make available the unpublished score instrument and required a lot of ad-. of Romanian composer George justment. There is a lot of "muscle Enescu's second piano trio" which memory" in playing a stringed in- they will play here on March 4 - a strument, she pointed out, and in real coup for them and for Music e~ect she had to replace a whole set Toronto. (And the Kuhmo Festival of memories with a new set. For engagement came about because the this reason, she does not go back and artisti~ director ofKuhmo happened forth between two instruments. It to be m Brussels at the same time goes where she does. they were there on tour and agreed Then, once she and Roman had to hear them.) each learned their new instruments, Composer/arranger, Sammy Nes- (J ary An ng Wood\.vinds Ltd. Toronto's Center for Clarinets and Oboes SALES * REPAIR * 6-535-6000 Warranty Repair Depot

tico's definition of a break comes back to me - "a break is when preparation meets opportunity" and I mention it to Annalee, who responds with a thoughtful quiet laugh of recognition. The whole growth of their ensemble could probably be explained as a series of opportunities to which they brought preparation: their meeting at the Banff Centre in the eighties when, in Annalee's words, "the programs al.ways seemed to fit our needs;" their first Music Toronto performance in 1995, part of what is now called the the young artists "Discovery Series;" contacting composer Christos Hatzis, a couple of years ago about commissioning a work, at the very moment he had decided to undertake the composition of longer works. The result was Constantinople, which they first performed in the fall of 2000 and which is still a work in progress. We will have the opportunity to hear the Trio perform excerpts from Constantinople's most recent incarnation at Hatzis' 50th birthday celebration concert on March 21. They will perform the work in its final fm:m at the Banff Centre in the summer of2004 and then take it straight to Athens for its European premiere. I asked her - thinking of the Glenn Gould Prize.c:Oncert last November of Pierre Boulez' extremely difficult music, conducted by the composer - if there was a point at which she realized she had the technique to "go anywhere" musically. No, that realization never arrives, she said because, "you never know until you try. The main reason for living in Toronto is the opportunity to oonstantly expand one's vocabulary and to work with some of the many fantastic musicians who are here." She went on to point out that the Trio has never made a rule that its members can't play with other musicians. It is very healthy, she said, because it provides musical influences other than each other, which they can in turn bring back to their work in the ensemble. · They will be building work with other musicians into their Gryphon Trio activities with the new "Chamber Society" part of their Music Toronto residency, which, beginning with the 2004-05 season will involve the collaboration with ·guest artists. WE ALSO TALKED ABOUT recording, which has inevitably become a major aspect to what the Gryphon Trio does. "Recordmg is such a weird thing, because a recording is forever - how can you play anything the way you want it to be forever?!" It is also, she said, very difficult to decide when you are ready to put something down on CD. "It has helped us a lot to think that we can record something again if wewant to .. " Later, I listened to their new Beethoven CD, inspired by its energy, confidence, and absolute togetherness. The subtle nuancing of the playing convinced me that they were ready to make that recording. I found myself thinking that probably even Annalee, Roman and Jamie would still be pleased with it, if not forever, at least two or three decades from now. So, EVEN IF YOU DON'T THINK that chamber music is your thing, the Gryphon Trio could change your rniOO. With three opportunities to hear them in Toronto plus the performances in Hamilton and Kitchener, (and an early April appearance with Soundstreams for good measure), there couldn't be a better moment to hear chamber music at its best. @,,~ the soumf post Canada's String Shop violins, violas, cellos & bows expert repairs & rehairs strings & accessories at guaranteed lowest prices Canada's largest stock of string music fast mail order service all prices in CON$ - Not a US$ price in the ~tore~ 93 Grenville St., Toronto M5S 1B4 tel 416-971-6990 fax 416-597-9923 GREAT CHAMBER MUSIC DOWNTOWN GRYPHON~O 10th anniversary celebration featuring the North American premiere of the Enescu Trio 0916), CD launch & reception Tuesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. IAN PARKER Award-winning Canadian pianist plays Mozart and Brahms Thursday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. ANDREAS HAEFLIGER Acclaimed Swiss­ American pianist makes his Toronto recital debut ·Tuesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m. The Tokyo Quartet on April 10 is already sold out. But you can still get a ticket for ORION STRING QUARTET makes its long-awaited Toronto return Prokofiev, Sibelius, Dvorak Thmsday, March 27 ' at 8 p.m. -www.music-toronto.com ~~Jane Mallett Theatre . . St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts www.stlc.com 416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-6754 . order online at www.stlc.com March ~ - April 7 2003 ·www.thewholenote.com 7

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020

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Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
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Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
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