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Moving //Forward

  • Jessica Janes discusses her artwork during a feedback session as part of //Forward: BFA Grad Exhibition at Ontario Hall on Tuesday
    Jessica Janes discusses her artwork during a feedback session as part of //Forward: BFA Grad Exhibition at Ontario Hall on Tuesday
  • Viewers are invited to have a seat and enjoy the immersive experience of Jess Wheelock's installation at Ontario Hall.
    Viewers are invited to have a seat and enjoy the immersive experience of Jess Wheelock's installation at Ontario Hall.
  • Viewers take in the paintings by Anna Bullock at //Forward: BFA Grad Exhibition at Ontario Hall on Tuesday.
    Viewers take in the paintings by Anna Bullock at //Forward: BFA Grad Exhibition at Ontario Hall on Tuesday.
  • 'Runner' by Jess Peterson is a massive oil-on-panel painting that takes up half of one room at Ontario Hall.
    'Runner' by Jess Peterson is a massive oil-on-panel painting that takes up half of one room at Ontario Hall.
  • Nicole Emond's prints are displayed on the fourth floor of Ontario Hall.
    Nicole Emond's prints are displayed on the fourth floor of Ontario Hall.

Ontario Hall has been transformed into an art gallery this week as the graduating class for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) hosts its final exhibition.

//Forward: BFA Grad Exhibition is the culmination of the four-year program and students have been creating work all year for the event.

The exhibition is open for public viewing through to Saturday from 9 am to 5pm, with the exception of Friday when the exhibition opens at noon. The closing reception will be held Saturday from 7-10 pm.

There is a wide variety of works throughout the building including sculpture, painting and printmaking and multimedia installations.

More images of the artwork is available at the exhibition website.

Inspiring excellence

[Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition]
Seven semifinalists will compete at the Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition starting Wednesday. Clockwise from top left: Yolanda Bruno, Ji Soo Choi, Ewald Cheung, Esther Hwang, Dasol Jeong, Catherine Poplyansky, and Lucy Wang. (Supplied Photos)  

The top young virtuosi from across Canada will be taking to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts starting Wednesday with the chance to win the inaugural Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition.

Seven semifinalists have been chosen to perform at the Isabel on Wednesday and Thursday. Three finalists will be chosen for the concerto round (with piano) on Saturday.

The semifinalists – Yolanda Bruno, Ji Soo Choi, Ewald Cheung, Esther Hwang, Dasol Jeong, Catherine Poplyansky, and Lucy Wang – were chosen through an adjudication process with jury members comprising leading violinists across Canada.

“This competition was created to inspire excellence and to provide world-class Canadian violinists with a great professional development opportunity,” says Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. “We are passionate about championing the next generation of artists, and have established an ongoing relationship with the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Honens International Piano Competition. Our next leap forward has been to establish our own competition here at Queen’s University to foster Canada’s top talent and to provide substantial and much needed support to extraordinarily gifted young Canadian violinists who aspire to a concert career.”

The winner will receive the Marion Overton Dick Memorial Violin Prize worth $20,000 CAD, a future engagement to perform with the Kingston Symphony, and a future engagement to perform a recital at the Isabel that will be recorded by CBC Radio 2 for national broadcast. Second place will be awarded the Clifford Overton Prize worth $4,000 while third will be awarded the Marg Foster and Heather Dick Prize worth $2,000.

After the three finalists perform on Saturday the audience will vote for their favourite player of the evening, who will receive the Bader Family Audience Prize for $1,000.

All semifinalists will perform a new work by Canadian composer and Queen’s professor John Burge Twitter Etudes No. 1 - a short virtuosic work consisting of six short etudes each of which limits the number of notes in each movement to just 140 distinctive attacks.

The Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition is made possible through the generosity of Alfred and Isabel Bader, whose vision, imagination and generosity will enable gifted emerging musicians to learn, inspire, perform, and develop their careers.

Day passes are $6/$10/$12. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 613-533-2424 (M-F, 12:30-4:30 pm).

For a full schedule visit theisabel.ca.

The award-winning Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts brings together exceptional arts spaces and programs with a captivating sense of place to create a dynamic venue for Queen’s students and the community. In addition to the Performance Hall, the other spaces in the 90,000 square foot venue include a studio theatre, a film screening room and a music rehearsal hall. Embracing the principles of interactivity and integration, the School of Drama and Music and the Department of Film and Media share teaching and performance spaces within the Isabel. The Isabel was designed by Oslo/New York-based firm Snøhetta and Ottawa’s N45, with acoustics and theatre design by ARUP and Theatre Projects Consultants. Anchored by a transformational gift to the Initiative Campaign from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, the Isabel was inspired by the Bader’s love – of the arts, of Queen’s, and of each other – and is named in Isabel’s honour.

A dialogue on Indigenous law, song and opera

Queen’s professor leads conversation on the mis-use of Indigenous songs in contemporary classical music.

If the production of contemporary Canadian opera is a rare occurrence, it is even rarer that such work leads to dialogue about the relationship between Indigenous law and song.

Dylan Robinson (Languages, Literatures and Cultures, cross appointed in six departments/programs including Music & Drama and Cultural Studies) played a leading role in a dialogue on the misuse of Indigenous songs in contemporary performances. The dialogue was spurred by the remounting of the opera Louis Riel, which features a Nisga'a mouring song performed in a manner that conflicts with its significance to Nisga'a culture and law.

For Queen’s professor Dylan Robinson (Languages, Literatures and Cultures), the Canadian Opera Company’s remounting of the opera Louis Riel, based on the life of the Métis political leader, was an opportunity not only to address issues of song appropriation, but also the ways in which music organizations across the country might play a role in redressing the history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

“This dialogue is part of a longer conversation that has been going on for quite a number of years between myself and a number of Indigenous colleagues regarding the many uses of our songs within musical compositions,” says Dr. Robinson, a scholar of Stó:lō descent who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts. “I felt it was important that Indigenous musicians, performers, and knowledge-keepers come together to share our views with music organizations on the functions that Indigenous song serves as law, history and medicine. Our songs are much more than simply songs.”

The day before the Louis Riel’s opening, Dr. Robinson led a dialogue to discuss First Nations song protocol and the mis-use of Indigenous songs in Canadian compositions. Represented in the dialogue were Nisga’a and Métis performers and artists, representatives of the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre, Canadian Music Centre, and the executors and advisors to the estates of the composer and librettist, and members of Louis Riel’s cast and stage director.

Spurring the dialogue was the opera’s use of a Nisga’a mourning song, the “Song of Skateen,” in an aria sung in Cree by the character Marguerite Riel. Under Nisga’a tradition and law, the song is only to be sung when a community member or chief passes away, or with the appropriate permission of the family who holds the hereditary rights to sing it. Dr. Robinson explains that, in the context of the performance, the song is being utilized in a way that conflicts with its significance for Nisga’a peoples.

“I believe our ancestors shared these songs for safe keeping for our future generations,” explains Dr. Robinson. “Instead, once the songs were recorded, they were then simply ‘filed away’ in museum collections, in the words of the ethnographer Marius Barbeau who recorded “Song of Skateen”. This is where thousands of Indigenous songs remain, often disconnected from Indigenous communities to whom they belong. In some cases, particular songs were also transcribed into western music notation. This made it very easy for contemporary Canadian composers to use them without the knowledge of the families and individuals who still hold the hereditary rights to their use.”

The community consultation, led by Dr. Robinson on April 19, was one of a number of initiatives the Canadian Opera Company committed to in order to address the issue. Another was to host two presentations by the Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Traditional Dancers led by Wal'aks Keane Tait and the Git Hayetsk Dancers led by G̱oothl Ts'imilx Mike Dangeli and Sm Łoodm ’Nüüsm- Mique'l Dangeli  who explained the true history of the song to the opera’s audience.

Dr. Robinson says a second dialogue is planned in conjunction with the opera’s Ottawa performance, scheduled for June 15 and 17. He says that, while this is the first step in a much larger conversation on how music organizations might address the various issues, the response by the Canadian Opera Company’s director Alexander Neef and Heather Moore of the National Arts Centre’s upcoming Canada Scene gives him reason to be optimistic.

“I feel hopeful, and that’s kind of a new thing for me to say,” he explains. “I have had similar conversations over the years with non-Indigenous composers and music organizations that have fallen on deaf ears. This time, however, the Canadian Opera Company and National Arts Centre moved with agility to address the issue as the serious infraction of Nisga’a law that it is. That has not happened before, and so even though we’re at the beginning, I think that there is some institutional will to bring about meaningful action.”

Strike up the bands

More than 200 high school musicians from across Eastern Ontario will descend on the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on April 18 for the inaugural Dan School Band Festival.

[Isabel Bader Centre for the performing Arts]
The inaugural Dan School Band Festival is being held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 18. (University Communications)

This one-day festival will include concerts, clinics and workshops.

“There is so much talent in the region and we are looking forward to hearing these young people at the festival,” says Julia Brook, Assistant Professor of Music Education. “Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to work with the outstanding faculty members and students at the Dan School of Drama and Music.”

Queen’s alumni lead each of the participating bands, including: Canterbury High School (Ottawa), Napanee District Secondary School (Napanee); O’Neill Collegiate and Vocational Institute (Oshawa), Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School (Kingston); and St. Michael Catholic High School (Kemptville).

The festival culminates with a public concert which will feature each of the school bands as well as Queen’s own Tri-Colour Mass Bands. The concert will take place at the Isabel at 7:30 pm.

For more information visit the Dan School of Drama and Music website or follow the festival on Twitter @DanBandFest or SnapChat @DanBandFest. 

'Crown jewel of the collection'

[Caxton's Polycronicon]
Alvan Bregman, Curator of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection, holds up the latest addition to the collection – a 1482 copy of William Caxton’s Polycronicon. (University Communications)

One of the oldest English-language books in the world is now sitting on the shelves of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection at Queen’s University.

The university recently acquired a 1482 copy of William Caxton’s Polycronicon – a book so rare that only about 50 copies, in any condition, are known to exist.

Distinguished Canadian philanthropist and entrepreneur Seymour Schulich and Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf recently partnered to gift their personal collections of rare books to Queen’s. In recognition of their generosity and vision, the university has established the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection, which resides in Douglas Library, and combines more than 400 volumes from the personal collections of Mr. Schulich and Principal Woolf.

“Acquiring a Caxton will help us achieve our goal of building one of the best English rare books collections in Canada,” says Mr. Schulich, who also donated a $2-million gift to the university toward the growth and preservation of the collection.   

The 1482 Caxton adds to the library’s collection of incunabula – books from the earliest period of printing (1455-1500). It allows Queen’s students and scholars a unique opportunity to have first-hand access to a Caxton to research a variety of topics: the history of books and printing; medieval and English history; and the history of the English language.

“This 535-year-old copy of Polycronicon is the crown jewel of the collection,” says Principal Woolf (Artsci'80). “I am thrilled that students and scholars at Queen’s can now study first-hand a book of such historical significance.”

The main strength of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection is British history and culture of the 16th through 18th centuries. Polycronicon – which is a chronicle of British and universal history – is a great fit for the collection. This collection will serve to enrich the teaching and learning experience at Queen’s and support research activity across the broader academic community.

“We are so pleased to be able to expand on this important rare book collection and provide our community with a unique glimpse into the past,” says Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost and University Librarian. “The flow of ideas and information that we champion in the library depends as much on these print artifacts as on the digital resources we manage and preserve.” 

William Caxton (1422-1491) was one of the pioneers of printing and his books are rare and valuable. He was the first printer in England and the first to print a book in the English language.

“When you examine the book, many pages have hand-written notes on the sides,” says Alvan Bregman, Curator of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. “Usually we don’t want to add any new markings in our books, but it is interesting to see what 16th and 17th century readers have written. We want to see the natural use of books, so this is a great additional feature.”

Caxton’s Polycronicon (1482) is on public display at W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, Douglas Library at Queen’s University.

Visit the Queen's University Library Facebook page to see footage of the Caxton being unpackaged.

An awe-inspiring lineup

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University announced its 2017-18 season line-up on Monday, featuring three music new series and an exhibit.

[Isabel 2017-18 Season Launch]
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts launched its 2017-18 season, with a mix of new and returning series.

New this season is the Innovators Series, featuring daring new and recent multi-disciplinary works, a Baroque & Beyond Series, a Children’s Series as well as the Art & Music ROMANTICISM exhibit by Austrian-Canadian artist Ernestine Tahedl featuring art inspired by music.

The 2017-18 season represents the fourth season of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, which opened in September 2014.

“We are championing new multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural work and attracting an amazing array of established and emerging talent. The new Innovators Series, the Art & Music partnership and the Children’s Series will broaden our artistic expression and that of our growing audiences,” says Isabel Director, Tricia Baldwin. “The Isabel team feels so privileged to have this performing arts centre with its exquisite acoustics here at Queen’s University, and it is gratifying to hear the outstanding artist feedback about the quality of the Isabel. We have experienced tremendous audience growth in our three short years and are very grateful for the support of the artists and our enthusiastic audiences from Kingston and beyond.”

Returning to the Isabel are the Soloist, Ensemble, Global, and Jazz Series which once again will bring outstanding talent to the Isabel stage.

Details of the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival will be announced in early 2018.

Premieres include the new Bach and Bonhoeffer program with organist Felix Hell and actor R.H. Thomson, the premiere of the concert version of Charlotte: A Tri-Coloured Play with Music by Alon Nashman and Ales Brezina, a Canadian premiere tour performance of Sweat by Juliet Palmer and Anna Chatterton presented and performed by The Bicycle Opera Project, and a reprise of the 2016 premiere of Dollhouse by Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie in collaboration with Gordon Monahan (this performance is in collaboration with the ToneDeaf Festival).

The Isabel will present an array of outstanding artists including Angela Hewitt, Louis Lortie, the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Alexander Shelley, Camerata RCO (members of the renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Austrian Duo Kleinhapl & Woyke, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra with acclaimed South African-born fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, Arion Baroque Orchestra with Russian violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky, Rémi Bolduc, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Soundstreams Canada with the celebrated Chinese composer Tan Dun’s Passion after St. Matthew, Suzie LeBlanc, and the London Handel Players (UK).

Top emerging artists include prize-winning pianists Charles Richard-Hamelin and Leon Bernsdorf with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, artists of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Ten Strings and a Goatskin, The Bicycle Opera Project, and the RCM’s New Canadian Global Music Orchestra.

The 2017-18 season also represents the first year of Queen’s new MA in Arts Leadership program that was co-created by the Isabel and the Dan School of Drama and Music.

For complete details on the 2017-2018 season, visit theisabel.ca.

Subscriptions for the 2017-2018 season are now available. Call the Isabel’s box office – 613-533-2424 (M-F, 12:30-4:30 pm).

Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, the award-winning Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts brings together exceptional arts spaces and programs with a captivating sense of place to create a dynamic venue for Queen’s students and the community. In addition to the Performance Hall, the other spaces in the 90,000 square foot venue include a studio theatre, a film screening room and a music rehearsal hall. Embracing the principles of interactivity and integration, the School of Drama and Music and the Department of Film and Media share teaching and performance spaces within the Isabel. The Isabel was designed by Oslo/New York-based firm Snøhetta and Ottawa’s N45, with acoustics and theatre design by ARUP and Theatre Projects Consultants. Anchored by a transformational gift to the Initiative Campaign from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, the Isabel was inspired by the Bader’s love – of the arts, of Queen’s, and of each other – and is named in Isabel’s honour.

Cultural communicator

[Telmary]
Cuban hip-hop artist Telmary visited Queen’s March 5-11 as part of a continuing exchange with the University of Havana and took part in talks, classes and performances. The visit was supported by the International Visitors Program of the Principal's Development Fund. (University Communications)

Having lived in Canada for a period of seven years, Cuban hip-hop/rap artist Telmary has gained valuable insight into the cultures of both countries.

During her March 5-11 visit as part of a continuing exchange with the University of Havana, Telmary shared her experiences and music with the Queen’s community through a series of talks and performances.

A foundational figure in Cuban rap, Telmary describes herself first as a communicator, a journalist using an alternative medium. All of her work begins as writing and then is shared through her music.

It’s the connection with the audience she is looking for.

“Everything that I write ends up in a song eventually. That’s what I do,” she says. “But I can’t say that just to write makes me completely satisfied, happy. My special moment is when I am on stage. More than being a recording artist I prefer to be on stage. I like to perform, I like to express in front of the audience, and my goal is to find two eyes that are connected to me and get the message.”

During her time in Canada she found that she was able to connect with audiences – the music overcame the barriers of language and geography she says.

While she enjoyed her time in Toronto, lacking a support network here Telmary returned to her homeland to give birth to her daughter. That reconnection with Cuba provided a new spark for her artistic career and she decided to stay.

“I decided to come back to Cuba and I thought it was for a short period at the beginning and then I discovered that I really needed to stay because my muse actually woke up when I came back,” she says. A new album soon followed.

Music holds a significant place in the Cuban culture Telmary explains and the focus is more on the art form itself rather than celebrity.

“You are a full-time musician in Cuba. Everybody respects you and you have an audience that is honest, that is demanding and educated,” she says. “If you do something over there and people don’t like it, they are not afraid to tell you. That is my thermometer.”

Telmary’s visit is part of a continuing exchange in support of the Global Development Studies (DEVS) course “Cuban Culture and Society.” Through the course a group of up to 40 Queen’s students also travels to Cuba as part of the collaboration with the University of Havana.

Karen Dubinsky (Global Development Studies), one of the course’s instructors along with Susan Lord (Film Studies), has been an admirer of Telmary’s for years and has seen her connect with students as a visitor to the course. 

“I see in Telmary the same quality that I see in Carlos Varela (the first artist to participate in the exchange) and that is this ability to communicate daily life and daily truths in a way that is both beautiful, poetic but also educational – educational for me as well as an outsider who is always trying to figure out what is going on in this society that is not my own,” Dr. Dubinsky says. “It is a joy to watch someone who has artistic performance training but who also has the sensibility of a teacher who knows how to communicate that when she’s talking to students. And the students love her.”

Telmary’s visit was supported by the International Visitors Program of the Principal’s Development Fund.

Shining a light on human rights

[Measha Brueggergosman]
Juno Award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman will perform Wednesday, March 29 as part of the first Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival. (Supplied Photo) 

The inaugural Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival is offering a wide range of concerts, film screenings and an art exhibit to help promote awareness and action on the issue locally and worldwide.

The first-ever event is highlighted by a concert by Juno Award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman as well as three international human rights films screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The arts are a powerful voice in promoting awareness and action in human rights,” says Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. “We are privileged to partner with diverse artists and human rights activists who have dedicated their lives to create a fairer and inclusive future for humanity. Nothing could be more important in this challenging political world climate, in which we are now immersed, than to inspire people to actively participate and create a political and legal environment that will protect diverse world citizens from prejudice, hatred and violence.”

Tickets are available at theisabel.ca or by calling 613-533-2424.

SCHEDULE
Tuesday, March 14, 7:30 pm
RAOUL WALLENBERG: THE ANGEL OF BUDAPEST
A film screening and discussion panel with renowned human rights lawyer David Matas and Michael Mostyn, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada.

Tuesday, March 28, 7:30 pm
SONGS OF SOVEREIGNTY
Concert features Marion Newman, Jeremy Dutcher and Cheryl L’Hirondelle, and is hosted by Queen’s Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Art, Dylan Robinson. Indigenous artists reclaim their musical heritage and showcase the vibrancy of Indigenous music today.

Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 pm
MEASHA BRUEGGERGOSMAN: SONGS OF FREEDOM
Juno Award-winning singer Measha Brueggergosman reconnects with her African heritage in her moving concert of African-American spirituals.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL – TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Monday, April 3, 7:30 pm
SYRIAN LOVE STORY – Directed by Sean McAllister
A love story between a Palestinian freedom fighter and a Syrian revolutionary who met as political prisoners.

Tuesday, April 4, 7:30 pm
TICKLING GIANTS – Directed by Sara Tacksler
Baseem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, fights for free speech with wit and insight, but it’s no laughing matter.

Friday, April 7, 7:30 pm
NO DRESS CODE REQUIRED – Directed by Cristina Herrera Borquez
Victor and Fernando are stylists in Mexicali, Mexico who are the go-to professionals for the city's socialites. To their customers, they were a lovely couple – until they decided to legally marry. Losing the support of customers and friends and confronting a backlash of criticism, through their fight they woke up members of Mexicali's society to fight homophobia and inequality.

April 5-13
ACCESS ART QUEEN’S – Art & Media Lab exhibit at the Isabel
Disability as social identity. In collaboration with the Queen’s University Equity Office.

Thursday, June 1, 7:30 pm
CHARLOTTE: A TRI-COLOURED PLAY WITH MUSIC
Premiere of concert version by Alon Nashman and Aleš Březina, and directed and designed by Pamela Howard, features the art and words of artist Charlotte Salomon whose life was cut short in Auschwitz. 

Musical role models

[Faculty Concert Series]
The fourth concert of the Faculty Artists Series brings Russell DeVuyst, Dan Tremblay (Dan School of Drama and Music) and Tom Davidson (Dan School of Drama and Music) to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 12. 

The fourth concert in the Faculty Artist Series will feature music for trumpet and piano.

Taking to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 12 will be Russell DeVuyst, former assistant principal trumpet of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and a faculty member of McGill University, who will perform alongside his former student Dan Tremblay, the trumpet teacher at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and the Dan School of Drama and music and conductor of the Queen’s Wind Ensemble. Tom Davidson, professor at McGill and Queen’s, will play the piano.

Tremblay is excited to perform with DeVuyst, who instructed him during his Master’s studies at McGill. He’s also excited to take the Isabel stage.

“This is the first time for me at the Isabel as a soloist and I’m really looking forward to it,” he says. “This is, in my opinion, is the best acoustics in Canada.”

The Faculty Artist Series also provides a different kind of learning opportunity for the students at the Dan School of Drama and Music, Tremblay explains. Outside of being an instructor, the faculty members become role models by showing how a professional musician prepares for a recital.

“To be honest, we do like to be on stage but it’s also for the students. We like to give an example to follow for the students,” he says. “When I’m preparing for a recital like this, the students will hear me practicing late at night and they will know what it is to prepare for a professional recital. This motivates the students and also gives me ideas on how to prepare them for their own recitals as I’m struggling with my own.”

The concert starts at 2:30 pm.

Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for students. Purchase tickets online or in person at the Isabel Box Office, Monday to Friday, 12:30-4:30pm. 

Piano performance in the spotlight

[PianoFest 12]
Douglas Finch, Roy Howat, and Martin Karliček headline the 12th edition of PianoFest, being hosted March 1-17 at Queen's University. (Supplied photos)

Celebrating the art of piano performance, the 12th edition of PianoFest offers a pair of visitors from the UK as well as a number of leading Canadian performers.

PIANOFEST EVENTS:
Wednesday, March 1 – Improvisation Master Class with Douglas Finch, 7 pm, Harrison-LeCaine Hall, Rm. 124. Free admission.
Friday, March 3 – Colloquium Presentation by Douglas Finch: “Developing a Frame of Mind for Musical Improvisation,” 12:30 pm, Harrison-LeCaine Hall, Rm. 124. Free admission.
Sunday, March 5 – Douglas Finch in Recital, 7:30 pm, Rehearsal Room, The Isabel. Admission: $10 adults, $5 students/seniors. Tickets available at the door or by calling 613-533-2424.
Friday, March 10 – Colloquium Presentation by Martin Karliček: “Leoš Janáček and the Decade of Anguish: Works for Solo Piano,” exceptionally at 12:00 noon, Harrison-LeCaine Hall, Rm. 124. Free admission.
Wednesday, March 15 – Roy Howat in Recital, 7:30 pm, Rehearsal Room, The Isabel. Admission: $10 adults, $5 students/seniors. Tickets available at the door or by calling 613-533-2424.
Friday, March 17 – Colloquium Presentation by Roy Howat: “Chopin and unexpected: new angles on his Etudes.” 12:30 pm, Harrison-LeCaine Hall, Rm. 124. Free Admission.
Friday, March 17 – Master class with Roy Howat, 4:30 pm, Harrison-LeCaine Hall, Rm. 124. Free Admission.

Hosted by the Dan School of Drama and Music, the festival features Douglas Finch, professor of piano and composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich, England, who is known for his innovative and imaginative approach to performance. Dr. Finch's visit is partially supported by the Principal's Development Fund as an International Visiting Scholar.

Also taking part in the series is Roy Howat, an internationally-renowned pianist and scholar who is regarded as the foremost authority on French keyboard music. He is a research fellow at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

A rare treat as well comes from Martin Karliček, piano professor at McGill University and concert pianist, who will be speaking about and performing the music of Czech composer Leoš Janáček.

The festival lineup continues the tradition of providing opportunities for students to meet and interact with artists of international stature, listen to their performances, and ask questions about technique and interpretation from masters, explains PianoFest organizer Ireneus Zuk, Professor and Associate Director of the Dan School of Drama and Music.

The improvisation workshop by Douglas Finch, he adds, promises to be a departure from the typical master class format where students prepare a work, perform it for the visiting artist and await comments.

“Sometimes it is interesting to see how students are able to incorporate the suggestions into their own performance right on the spot – sometimes it takes a bit longer,” says Dr. Zuk. “Dr. Finch has been teaching the ‘lost’ art of classical improvisation for a number of years.  In his own recital programs, he includes works improvised on the spot. And his class is open to instrumentalists and vocalists, not just pianists.”

The festival receives support from the G.T. Richardson Fund, the International Visitors Program and the Belvedere Hotel.

For further information, visit the website of the Dan School of Drama and Music or contact the Music Office of the Dan School at 613-533-2066 or Dr. Ireneus Zuk at 533-6000, x. 74209.

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