This year, the renowned St. Albert Chamber Music Recital Series will be celebrating its 7th season. The recital will be offering an impressive lineup, blending the piano, dark oboe tones, and a variety of string instruments.
Nancy Watt, co-founder of this series has taken a step away from simply supporting chamber musicians in the region to going so far afield as New York City. Ms Watt plans to present two concerts, the highlights being world class prodigies from the New York area.
Ms Watt explains that the series hopes to bring in new people, musicians who haven’t before been heard in the region, as well to continue to connect with, and support, local musicians. This season, she says, the Chamber Music Recital Series will present an intriguing variety including not only strings, but the cello, oboe and harp as well.
Pianist Jason Cutmore, from Edmonton, along with Kathleen de Caen and Vladimir Rufio on cello and violin respectively, will perform on 19 November. Before showing off his talents as a virtuoso in New York, Mr. Cutmore studied under the tutelage of St. Albert’s Michael Massey.
While Mr. Cutmore continues to reside and perform primarily in New York City, he does make regular return visits to Edmonton in his effort to pass along his experience to others in his capacity as Edmonton Piano Festival’s founder.
Ms Watt says that Mr. Cutmore intends to make this concert a memorial for the internationally renowned and brilliant Edmonton cellist, Tanya Prochazka, who passed away last year after having suffered from ovarian cancer for a period of several years.
Another welcome visitor from New York will be the internationally acclaimed multi awarded Calidore String Quartet, popular for its fiery performances.
Ms Watt tells how Calgary based cellist Estelle Choi is amazed by the huge support of Alberta when it comes to music festivals. That kind of support has been truly influential on her and has helped in advancing her career. In her desire to give back to her supporters, Ms Choi enjoys holding performances for communities – big or small. Further, she also aims to show other Calidore musicians how strong Alberta’s music community is. The chamber ensemble is expected to offer a performance on 11 March, 2017.
This series of concerts is quite special in St. Albert, as it’s the only one that offers such quality chamber music in the region.
One of the most notable differences for the series this year is the location. In the past it has been held at Don’s Piano Warehouse. This year, people can enjoy the concert series at Red Willow Place (previously known as the St. Albert 50 Plus Club) located at 7 Tache Street.
Having just been there and assuring herself that the renovation of the venue is almost finished, Ms. Watt is pleased to announce that there will now be a spacious multipurpose room with a raised stage at one end to enable the audience to have a complete view of all the musicians as they perform.
While continuing to preserve the intimacy implied by the very name, chamber music, there will be some additional seating this year as well, enabling more attendees to appreciate this fine musical event.
Ms Watt also emphasized that this more central location with parking, wheelchair accessibility and a strawberry and champagne reception will make the entire evening more enjoyable.
15 October will be the opening of the season with the trio called Tersona, composed of Sylvia Shaddick-Taylor on piano, Colin Ryan on cello, and Anna Kozak on violin. All three are experienced symphonic players of the highest caliber, Ms Watt says, as well as being extremely versatile, offering not only classical but contemporary music as well.
Oboist Lydia Khaner will join Alberta pianist Janes Scott Hoyt on 14 Feb. to present another anticipated offering. Ms Watt tells that those two talented musicians have worked together for several years now and have even recorded some CDs, so their combined work is a beautiful thing to watch and to hear. Their heartfelt warmth comes clearly through in their music.
22 April will be the final concert featuring renowned violinist Lizzy Hoyt along with harpists Keri Lynn Zwicker and Nora Bumanis. Ms Zwicker focuses on playing classical and Celtic music.
This year, single ticket will cost $35 for adult patrons. $30 tickets will be available for students and seniors. Season packages will cost $140 for adults, while for seniors and students, $120.