Monthly Archives: October 2015

Nicole Lizée

Next week we will hear a new piece composed for the Cecilia Quartet by Canadian Nicole Lizée. Based in Montreal, Lizée has created a wide range of music over the years. Composing for anything from full orchestras to individuals, her new music pieces includes a variety of influences and instruments. She has used video game consoles, omnichords, and DJ turntables as instruments in her compositions. Her compositions number over 40 now and have been played by many groups across the country and in the US, including some names that our audiences will be familiar with – Eve Egoyan and the Gryphon Trio.

She was awarded the 2013 Canada Council for the Arts Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music which encourages the creation of new Canadian chamber music and its performance by Canadian chamber groups.

This year she was chosen by Howard Shore, composer and conductor, to be his protégée. This is part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program.  You can watch the interview with them both here –

We look forward to hearing her new piece for string quartet, performed by the Cecilia Quartet on November 5, 2015. To read more about Lizée, visit her website at


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Cuarteto Casals – Oct. 22, 2015

On October 22, we hear compositions from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, György Kurtág and Maurice Ravel.

Mozart’s String Quartet in G Major, K. 387, was completed in December of 1782. Shortly after Mozart moved back to Vienna in 1781, he met and became friends with Joseph Haydn. Haydn and Mozart often played together in an impromptu string quartet. Mozart’s six quartets including K387 were dedicated to Haydn and are thought to be his response to Haydn’s 1781 Opus 33 set.

“Hommage à Mihály András” consists of twelve brief pieces or microludes, some lasting less than a minute. The set was composed by Kurtág’ in 1977. The 12 microludes bring to mind the influences of Bartók and Webern. Dense and brief, they range from disturbing to soothing; sound bites of mood, texture and gesture. Kurtág was born in Romania in 1926. In 1946, he began his studies in Budapest, at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. There he met his wife Marta. Kurtág and Marta have played piano together and recorded many duos. Here’s a YouTube video of them playing together. They have lived in Bordeaux since 2002.

Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F major was composed in 1903, when Ravel was around 28 years old. It is Ravel’s only work for a string quartet. The four movements are sometimes melancholy and at other times zealous. Yet it seems, they are always warm and inviting. This four movement composition is often compared with a string quartet written by Debussy 10 years earlier. However, as has been noted, Debussy “opened up fresh paths” in his string quartet, whereas Ravel returned to an embrace of classical standards.

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Peter Jablonski

Pianist Peter Jablonski will have his Toronto debut on our stage on November 26, 2015 with some Szymanowski, Chopin, Grieg, Rachmanioff, Scriabin, and Copland.

Jablonski was born in Lyckeby, Sweden. He trained in both percussion and piano, starting at the ages of 5 and 6 respectively. This led to public performances on the drums by the age of nine, a solo classical piano recital at the age of eleven, and an orchestra appearance by the age of twelve.

Studying first at Malmo Academy of Music and then at the Royal College of Music in London, Jablonski has performed with many renowned orchestras and in solo recitals around the world. He has recorded numerous CDs including several with his brother and fellow pianist, Patrik Jablonski.

Outside of performing, he is also the Artistic director of the Karlskrona Chamber Music Festival in the south of Sweden.  Karlskrona is near his home town of Lyckeby.  The 2015 festival was held at the beginning of August.

For more information on Peter, visit his website at  To hear him live in Toronto on November 26th, visit our website to purchase tickets

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Cuarteto Casals

This award-winning Spanish quartet formed in 1997. Abel Thomàs (violin), Vera Martinez (violin), and Arnau Tomàs (cello) are all founding members, with Jonathan Brown (viola) joining them in 2002. They are the first internationally recognized string quartet from Spain and have even accompanied the King of Spain on diplomatic visits. They have also performed with the set of decorated Stradivarius instruments that reside in the Royal Palace in Madrid.

The members of the quartet all teach at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona in addition to their touring and recording schedules for each season. A few mini facts about the quartet members:

Vera is the Professor of Chamber Music and Violin at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya.

Jonathan was born in Chicago and has been involved with music since he was 4. He went on to receive a Masters from Juilliard.

Abel was only sixteen when the Cuarteto Casals was founded.

Brothers Arnau and Abel are also founding members of the Ludwig Trio. They perform and record with pianist Hyo-Sun Lim.

To find out more about the quartet, visit their website at

You can hear them in person for their Toronto debut at 8pm on Thursday October 22, 2015. The performance will feature Mozart’s Quartet in G Major, K. 387; 12 Microludes, Op. 13, Hommage à Andras Mihaly by Kurtag; and Ravel’s Quartet in F Major.

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