Tag Archives: Alexandre Da Costa

The end of a season!

Tonight we close out our 42nd season with The Parker Quartet and Kikuei Ikeda, violist.

Our 42nd year has been another great season filled with old friends and new faces. Long term MTO performers the Gryphon Trio, the St. Lawrence Quartet, and Marc-André Hamelin all played with their usual brilliance. The Jerusalem Quartet, Arnaldo Cohen, the Miró Quartet, Eve Egoyan, the Alcan Quartet, David Jalbert, and the Arditti Quartet all delighted us with amazing return performances. Cohen, the Miró, and Jalbert also gave delightful master classes for us – fun and informative for the students onstage and the audience attending.

We were able to bring an octet to our stage again for the first time in several years and enjoyed some pieces that we don’t often hear live with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. Our vocal recital for the season brought us Phillip Addis and his lovely baritone voice. And previously seen as a accompanist on our stage, pianist Stephanie Chua gave us a fabulous contemporary classics concert! Making his Toronto and MTO debut, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor charmed us on stage with his talent and off stage with his grace and intelligence at a chat with some students. Also debuting on our stage was violinist (and new father) Alexandre Da Costa. Accompanied by Wonny Song, as a last minute replacement, Da Costa gave us a stunning performance.

Tonight we shall enjoy the Parker Quartet and Kikuei Ikeda. Tomorrow brings our last master class for the season with Ikeda. We look forward to bringing you more great music again in the fall. Join us for our 43rd season!

Thursday, October 9, 2014 – St. Petersburg Quartet
Thursday, October 23, 2014 – Belcea Quartet
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 – Janina Fialkowska
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Daedalus Quartet
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Simon Trpceski
Thursday, December 11, 2014 – Trio D’Argento with Barbara Croall
Thursday, January 8, 2015 – Juilliard Quartet
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – Barbara Pritchard
Thursday, January 29, 2015 – St. Lawrence String Quartet
Thursday, February 12, 2015 – Bertoli-Marleyn Duo
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 – Denes Varjon
Thursday, February 26, 2015 – Gryphon Trio
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – Till Fellner
Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Elias Quartet
Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Elliot Madore
Thursday, April 16, 2015 – Lafayette Quartet

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Wonny Song

Pianist Hélène Mercier is unable to accompany Alexandre Da Costa on Thursday night. Fortunately, Wonny Song was able to step in and will be playing the same program with Da Costa. Song is a regular collaborator with Da Costa and it is sure to be a great evening.

Song was born in South Korea and raised in Montreal. He started his piano studies at the age of 8 and graduated with a bachelor degree from Montreal University in 1998. Sing then studied with Anton Kuerti at the University of Toronto and Marc Durand at The Glenn Gould School. In 2004, he completed his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota.

He has released several CDs and has participated in chamber music festivals in the U.S., Japan, and Canada including the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and the National Arts Centre Young Artist Festival. In addition to numerous solo recitals, he has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras world wide such as our own Toronto Symphony.

Teaching is also important for Song. He currently hold the position of Associate Director and Director of Artists-in-Residence project of Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts in Montreal.

We are grateful he is able to fill in on Thursday night and look forward to a great concert!

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Hélène Mercier

April 3rd brings us violinist Alexandre Da Costa accompanied by Hélène Mercier on the piano. Montreal born, she now lives in France with her family.

She has been playing piano since the age of six and has many awards to her credit including winning the International Competition of Chamber Music in Prague. She started her studies in Montreal at École Vincent D’Indy and then attended the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna at the age of 15. She continued studying at Juilliard (winning a scholarship) and then over to France at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and the École Normale de Musique.

She performs as a chamber player and soloist around the world. Mercier has recorded with Louis Lortie, Vladimir Spivakov, and Cyprien Katsaris.

We look forward to having her on our stage in collaboration with Alexandre Da Costa – sure to be a great evening! If you haven’t heard Mercier play before, check out this YouTube clip with Louis Lortie from April 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Q9HiiRtEc

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Alexandre Da Costa

Alexandre Da Costa was born in 1979 in Montreal. Skilled on both the violin and piano at a young age, he completed a Master’s Degree in violin from Conservatoire de Musique du Québec and a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Interpretation from the University of Montreal when he was 18 years old.

When he had to choose just one, he decided on the violin. His studies took him to Madrid and Austria. And his career has since taken him across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, playing both with orchestras and as a solo recitalist. Da Costa is the 2010 recipient of the Virginia-Parker Prize – one of many awards he has been given over the years. In 2002, he was awarded the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award for best Canadian artist under 30 years old.

2012 saw him win a JUNO award for “Classical Album of the Year” (for the recordings of the concertos by American composer Michael Daugherty, with the Montreal Symphony under Pedro Halffter). Da Costa has released at least 20 CDs under various record labels over the years. He currently records with Warner Classics International and Acacia Classics/Universal Music Group.

In addition to touring and recording, Da Costa is the Professor of Violin at the Gatineau Music Conservatory (Ottawa).

On April 3rd, Da Costa (accompanied by Hélène Mercier) will perform some Manuel de Falla, Beethoven, and Brahms from our stage. To hear clips of him perform or read more about him, visit his website at http://www.alexandredacosta.com

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Manuel de Falla

On April 3rd, Alexandre Da Costa will come to our stage as part of our Discovery series.  One of the pieces we will hear is Suite Populaire Espagnole by Manuel de Falla.

Born in Cádiz in November 1876, Falla was a Spanish composer. His full name is Manuel María de los Dolores Falla y Matheu.  Like many composers, he was introduced to the piano by his family, taking lessons from his mother and grandfather at a young age.  At the age of 9, he started more formal lessons.  As a young man, he moved to Madrid and continued to study piano and composition at the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación.

Much of Falla’s work and fame is connected to his work for the stage – opera and ballet.  From 1907 to 1914, Falla lived in Paris. It is here that he first composed pieces for piano and voice.  Falla would work with violinist Paul Kochanski to transcribe 6 of these pieces for piano and violin, becoming the piece we will hear on April 3rd.  At this point in his career, he was interested in Andalusian music and was exploring the Impressionist style of artists like Ravel and Debussy.  Later his music would show influences of Stravinsky and the neoclassical style. While he did officially retire in 1926, he was still composing his cantata, Atlántida, when he died, just 9 days before his 70th birthday.

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