Marc-André Hamelin is a name that many of our patrons are familiar with as he has performed on our stage many times and is one of world’s top pianists. Hamelin was born in Montreal in the fall of 1961. Hamelin started playing the piano at the age of 5. His father was a pharmacist and amateur pianist who introduced his son to the music of several lesser known composers early in life. Hamelin obtained his M MUS in 1985 from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Hamelin maintains a busy schedule combining performing and recording. Always in demand for performances, he travels all over the world to play recitals and to perform with orchestras. In the coming months alone he will be in Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, the US, Germany, and Switzerland. His list of CD recordings has also grown with 4 more CDs being released since he last played for us in 2014.
I recently found an interview online with Hamelin done back in 2009. It requires a bit of time but it is an interesting read! http://dothemath.typepad.com/dtm/interview-with-marcandr%C3%A9-hamelin.html
Join us on January 5, 2016 to hear Hamelin play Mozart, Liszt, and Schubert! http://music-toronto.com/index.html
Samuel Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1910 and died in New York, New York in 1981. His parents were Marguerite McLeod Beatty and Samuel Leroy Barber. Music was an influence in his life from his earliest days. His mother’s side of the family were more musical than his father’s. His aunt on his mother’s side was Louise Homer, a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera. Louise’s husband was composer Sidney Homer.
Samuel started music lessons early, first with the cello and then with the piano. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a composer and started composing his first opera at the age of 10, an unfinished work called the Rose Tree.
He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia starting in 1924. He excelled in his studies in piano, voice, and composition and obtained his Bachelor of Music in 1934.
Over his life time he wrote 103 solo songs. Hermit Songs were originally written by Barber for soprano Leontyne Price. Inspired by Irish poetry, Hermit Songs was the start of a twenty year collaboration between Barber and Price.
On January 21, 2016 soprano Andriana Chuchman will perform Hermit Songs, Op. 29 on our stage. Join us! http://music-toronto.com/
Next Thursday we welcome the Gryphon Trio back to our stage! The evening includes Beethoven (Trio in C Minor Op. 1, No. 3), a new piece by Vincent Ho (Gryphon Realms – a world premiere), Piano Trio in F-sharp Minor by Arno Babajanian, and new pieces composed by grade 11 students from the Gryphon Trio Young Composers Program with the Claude Watson Arts Program.
Many of our patrons are already familiar with the Gryphon Trio (Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; Jamie Parker, piano). They have performed for us for 20 years now (and have been in existence for 22 years), eight of those as our ensemble-in-residence.
Instead of trying to find something new to tell you about the Gryphon, I thought it might be more fun to hear about them from them! Below are a number of video clips with various interviews from over the years.
Guardian of treasures – how the Gryphon Trio came to be – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3eFG8EtJdk
Interview of Jamie Parker by David Perlman at The Whole Note. February 2015 – http://www.gryphontrio.com/conversationsthewholenote-jamie-parker/
Interview of Roman Borys by David Perlman at The Whole Note. June 2012 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hf2VRqHhg – Roman
Interview of Jamie Parker by David Perlman at The Whole Note. October 2011 – http://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/newsroom/musical-life/whoismusicalchild/12937-we-are-all-musics-child-october-2011
The Gryphon Trio interviewed by Keith Horner, recorded at the 2009 Festival of the Sound – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6C8qJTQJpA –