Celebrating Women Composers Across the Ages! Sunday, October 28, 2018

At the season-opening event at Gustin House, the Mathieu-Chua Duo paid musical homage to the many innovative women composers of various times and cultures. The afternoon program for violin and piano spanned more than three centuries of music, from a Sonataby Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), to Romancesby Clara Schumann (1819-1896) and Amy Beach (1867-1944), to the 21stcentury work Éxtasisby Alice Ping Yee Ho (b. 1960). The artists–Dr. VéroniqueMathieu, University of Saskatchewan, with Toronto-based pianist Stephanie Chua–interspersed their performance with commentary on the lives and music of the composers.  

 

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Leslie Ann Bradley, soprano, with pianist Rachel Andrist. August 21, 2018

 
 

The summer recital featured soprano Leslie Ann Bradley and pianist Rachel Andrist, performing “Songs of Evening.” Their rich and wide-ranging program delighted all with beloved music, from opera arias and Romantic-era lieder to 20thcentury works. Barbara Montalbetti gave an enlightening pre-concert talk. A Canadian based in New York, Ms. Bradley appears across the continent in opera and in recital, as well as with orchestras; Ms. Andrist, originally of Estevan, Saskatchewan, is an international collaborative pianist and faculty member at the Glenn Gould School of Music and Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. 

This recital, with its inclusion of a song cycle by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), brought to conclusion the Gustin Series’ season-long commemoration of the composer’s Centenary. All three 2018 recital programs have included Debussy’s music, a tribute to one of the most important and influential musical figures of the later 19thand early 20thcenturies. Gratitude to the artists!

 

 
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Art Songs & Medieval-Renaissance Instruments. Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tenor Michael Harris and pianist Gregory Schulte performed the sixteen exquisite pieces of Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), regarded as the finest of Schumann’s song cycles, as well asworks by Schubert, Delius and Vaughan Williams. The artists are an inspired ensemble who share a deep passion for the lieder repertoire—voice in full artistic partnership with piano—and for music of all eras.

Master luthier Weldon Gray displayed his beautifully crafted early instruments and described their history, use, and design as based on his study of Medieval and Renaissance paintings and carvings.  Mr. Gray and a musical assistant fascinated the audience with their demonstration of the performance and the sounds of early instruments: lute, Renaissance guitar, organistrum, hurdy-gurdy, and harps.

 

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Chooi Brothers and Philip Chiu, in recital. March 15, 2018

 
 
Nikki Chooi, violin & Timothy Chooi, violin, with Philip Chiu, piano
 
Acclaimed violinist-brothers Nikki and Timothy Chooi and pianist Philip Chiu gave a memorable recital of music ranging from Romantic to contemporary; the latter was represented by a solo violin work of the Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin. Leading musicians of the new generation, the performers dazzled an appreciative audience with expressive musicianship, virtuosity, and the sheer joy of their art. The pre-concert chat by the artists included a discussion of the 1717 Stradivarius violin played by Timothy Chooi. This recital, part of the ensemble’s brief tour of Western Canada, was co-presented with Prairie Debut. 
 
 
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From the Store of Treasures, Things New and Old. February 18, 2018

Wonderful music from across the centuries and reflections by a celebrated writer began the new year Sunday inter-arts programs at Gustin House. Pianist Gregory Schulte performed Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, a Haydn Sonata, and Alexina Louie’s Music for Piano, composed some 25 years ago and well-known for its individual pieces, including Enchanted Bells and Once Upon a Time. 

Guest speaker was Guy Vanderhaeghe, author of five novels, four short story collections, and two plays, and the multiple award winner of prestigious literary prizes. In an engaging and thought-provoking talk, he discussed “Childhood Memory: The Writer’s Storehouse,” and explored how early memory is often the source of many writers’ work.

 

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Catherine Vickers, pianist, opens the Debussy Centenary. January 12, 2018

 
 
Catherine Vickers’ recital of all-French piano repertoire was a splendid opening to both the 2018 Recital Series and the Centenary of Claude Debussy (1862-1918). With technical prowess and artistic finesse, the artist performed works ranging from the Baroque to the 20th Century, and including some of Debussy’s finest music along with that of composers he loved and admired––Rameau, Satie and Chopin.  The centrepiece of the program was Debussy’s late masterpiece, the very demanding Twelve Etudes. The artist gave a pre-concert talk. Ms. Vickers, a Saskatchewan-born prodigy, had performed across the province before winning accolades on world stages; a champion of modern music now based in Frankfurt, Germany, she teaches and publishes on contemporary piano technique.
 

 
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