ALL EARS #22: Seth Woods


Cellist Seth Woods is the latest guest on ALL EARS. Originally from the USA, Seth has cultivated an international profile with frequent performances around the world. Having spent time studying and researching in Basel and Huddersfield, Seth is now developing his career in dual home bases of Chicago and New York City. His unique performances combine interactive media, visual projections, body movement, and dance with his virtuosic cello playing. Seth is also a member of the new Chineke! Orchestra based in the United Kingdom. In this interview, we discuss Seth’s personal path through contemporary music, from his early development to managing the complicated logistics of a fast-paced international career.

You can connect with Seth through facebook, twitter, SoundCloud, and his vimeo channel.

Check out video of the Chineke! Orchestra’s debut concert:

… and of Seth’s unique interactive prosthetics performance:

Music clips in this episode from:

Edward Hamel: “Gray Neon Life” for solo speaking cellist with two bows
Excerpts from a duo collaboration with electronic artist Monty Adkins and Seth Woods

ALL EARS #21: Joshua Peters

Joshua MMB'10 #1-smlThe good news just keeps rolling in for Canadian violinist Joshua Peters. Already the current Doris McLellan and Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition winner, Joshua’s just been awarded a violin from the Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank. I caught up with Joshua this past summer in Casalmaggiore. We discussed his musical development throughout his education, including his early start in Winnipeg and studies in Montréal and San Francisco. I also asked Joshua about the appeal of competitions and his personal goals for the 2015 E-Gré Winner’s Tour and beyond.



Throughout the month of November, Joshua will tour across Canada with pianist and collaborator Katherine Dowling. Complete concert listings are available here.

Other E-Gré Winners to appear on ALL EARS are violinist Carissa Klopoushak and vocalists Erica Iris Huang and Sarah Jo Kirsch.

Music selections from this episode:
“Both Ends Against the Middle” by Randolph Peters
Joshua Peters, violin with Philip Chiu, piano

New Biography / E-Gré Tour 2015

I’ve updated my biography to reflect my current artistic practices. The English version is up for your reading pleasure – the German version is still under construction!

Violinist Joshua Peters and pianist Katherine Dowling begin the 2015 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition Winner’s Tour on Saturday, October 31 with multiple concerts and master classes across Canada. I’ll look forward to supporting them soon and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for this outstanding combination of musicians. Complete event listings can be found on the E-Gré Website. An ALL EARS interview with Joshua Peters, recorded in person this past summer in Casalmaggiore, will be posted on November 1.

ALL EARS #20: Edward Enman

02-Edward-Enman-BW-SquareNova Scotian pianist and composer Edward Enman joins ALL EARS for its twentieth episode. In a friendly conversation, we’ll trace Edward’s path through studies in Wolfville, Ottawa, and Montréal, and a few interesting detours along the way. He reflects on finding the balance between playing piano and composing, and how that relationship has fluctuated over the years. Edward is an active performer in the Canadian new music scene and a former prizewinner in the E-Gré Competition.



Visit Edward Enman’s personal webpage and connect with his social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Also, check out associated pages for the Acadia New Music Society, Xara Choral Theatre, and Laurence Ewashko.

Music selections from this episode include:

Ann Southam – Glass Houses #9 (Edward Enman, piano)
Edward Enman – Then Shall I Leap Into Love (The Halifax Camerata Singers)

ALL EARS #19: Erica Iris Huang

Erericairis_headshot02ica Iris Huang is a fearless Canadian mezzo-soprano, former winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition and a current member of the Canadian Opera Company Chorus. Erica’s passion for her art form shines through in this conversation. I met Erica several years ago in Casalmaggiore, where I was able to experience her powerful voice and magnetic charisma in person. On this episode of ALL EARS, Erica reflects on her journey, her career and the development of her musical abilities.

You can connect with Erica through her social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Music selections from this episode include:

Emily Doolittle: Airs of Men Long Dead, “Song”
Xavier Montsalvatge: Cinco canziones negras, “Cancion de cuna para dormir a un negrito”

Erica Iris Huang, mezzo-soprano
Emily Hamper, piano

ALL EARS #18: Philipp Krebs

picAfter an unfortunate delay caused by the Great Computer Meltdown of 2015, ALL EARS returns with a vengeance! For this episode, I sat down with Philipp Krebs, a young German composer and a colleague of mine from our time together at Musikhochschule Stuttgart. Philipp creates spectacular music – quite literally spectacular, involving large performative and multi-media elements that create music for the eyes, not just for the ears. We chatted about his musical background and the influences that have led to his personal style.

You can keep up with Philipp on his personal website, SoundCloud and YouTube channels. He also performs regularly with the band Oleg and the Popovs.

Music excerpts on this episode from:
“Thrill My Appetite” by Philipp Krebs, performed by Musikhochschule Stuttgart’s echtZeit Ensemble

ALL EARS #17: Daniel Espie

November 17, 2012 - untitled shoot - 037Daniel Espie is a London-based American pianist. A graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, Dan is passionate about collaboration between instruments and across disciplines. He’s an active chamber musician and member of the Temple Ensemble. I had the great pleasure to meet Dan this past summer at Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, where we collaborated together on a Fluxus concert. On this episode of ALL EARS, Daniel discusses his experiences in Philadelphia and London and the people who helped him reach his musical goals.

You can visit Dan’s personal website and his SoundCloud page. The Temple Ensemble also maintains a facebook profile.

I’ve also written a blog post about our Fluxus concert in Casalmaggiore.

Music selections from this episode:
Takemitsu: “Rain Tree Sketch II”, performed by Daniel Espie

August Performances

My first month back in Canada was marked by two performances: a joint recital with NYOC tubist Justin Hickmott in Brandon, and a solo recital in Lethbridge.

tubist Justin Hickmott, composer Michelle Pegus, Everett Hopfner
tubist Justin Hickmott, composer Michelle Pegus, Everett Hopfner

Brandon University’s Augustfest celebrates the accomplishments of BU School of Music alumni. I was delighted by the invitation to perform a mixed program: for the first half, I collaborated with Brandon native Justin Hickmott for a set of tuba/piano duos. In the second half of the program, I performed solo piano pieces by BU alumni composers: Nicole Lizée‘s “Vertigo Beach”, Jocelyn Morlock‘s recent “Corybantic”, and a premiere of “The Outskirts of Fantasy” by emerging Manitoba composer Michelle Pegus.

This year’s Augustfest was particularly special as it celebrated the remarkable career of BU Professor Emeritus Dr. Lawrence Jones. Dr. Jones has been a longtime inspiration to me and I was grateful to attend a luncheon and concert in his honour.

Jesse Plessis and Everett Hopfner at CASA
Jesse Plessis and Everett Hopfner at CASA

On August 28, I made my first trip to Lethbridge, Alberta for a solo recital at CASA, a unique and modern interdisciplinary arts centre. I was happy to reunite with my dear friend (and past ALL EARS interviewee) Jesse Plessis, who was very generous and helpful in organizing the performance. The program featured two works by Frederic Rzewski, “Study II” and “De Profundis”, and repeat performances of “Vertigo Beach” and “The Outskirts of Fantasy”.

Another highlight of my August was a meeting with Manitoba composer Rémi Bouchard. I will perform some of his pieces in a concert in Neepawa on September 26. For further information about all my upcoming performances, check out the Calendar page.

Enjoy these fleeting last days of summer, and thanks for reading!

ALL EARS #16: Sara Glojnarić

11852222_10153406691262367_510898483_oGermany-based, emerging Croatian composer Sara Glojnarić is my guest for this episode. We discuss her upbringing through the Croatian music schools system, her decision to move to Stuttgart, and the interesting conceptual directions her newest works have evolved.

You can connect with Sara through her Soundcloud page – a personal homepage will be active very soon. Keep an eye out for it!

Musical excerpts on this episode from:
“Mixtape” by Sara Glojnarić
Tomislav Facini, voice
Pavle Zajcev, cello


Casalmaggiore International Music Festival 2015

Greetings from the homeland! I’ve made a safe and happy return to Canada and am looking forward to some fun projects in the coming months. In the meantime, I’d like to share a little update about my time in Casalmaggiore, Italy this summer.

Casalmaggiore International Music Festival (CIF) is always a bustling hive of activity, and this year was no exception. It was wonderful to be reunited with many dear friends and colleagues, and of course, to meet many new ones. There were at least two concerts every day, held in Casalmaggiore and the surrounding communities.

performing Frederic Rzewski's "Study II (Dreams)"
performing Frederic Rzewski’s “Study II (Dreams)” in the Museo Diotti courtyard. Another performer has left signs on the stage and disappeared, for Ben Vautier’s “I Will Be Back in Ten Minutes”

CIF has taken on more and more contemporary music projects in recent years. Inspired by previous “Contemporary International Musical Exchange: CIME” concerts we have performed, Casalmaggiore’s wonderful Museo Diotti planned an exhibition of Italian Fluxus artist Giuseppe Chiari to coincide with this year’s edition. Called “Giuseppe Chiari: Quit Classic Music”, the exhibit was curated by Anna Vergine and Gabriele Fallini in collaboration with Casalmaggiore-based musicologist Vittorio Rizzi. I worked carefully with CIME director Megumi Masaki and Vittorio to develop a program of Fluxus pieces and “events” to coincide with the closing of the exhibition. After many hours of rehearsals, our concert took place on July 24, outside in the museum courtyard.

conducting an international language choir in Alison Knowles's "Newspaper Event"
conducting an international language choir in Alison Knowles’s “Newspaper Event”

Curators Vergine and Fallini were special guests at our concert. Mario Chiari, son of the late Giuseppe Chiari travelled from Florence to attend. It was a beautiful and emotional evening, a true celebration of Chiari’s work. The audience in attendance was also surprised by many of the events – for example, the concert programs were distributed by being thrown as paper airplanes and crumpled paper balls in Mieko Shiomi’s “Fluxversion 1”. In my seven years of attendance at CIF, this may well be the concert I am proudest of! I thank festival director Anne Shih for giving CIME such a great platform this year, and Megumi, Vittorio, and the many contributing musicians for all of their hard work.

Vittorio Rizzi, Everett Hopfner, Mario Chiari, Megumi Masaki
Giuseppe Chiari: QUIT CLASSIC MUSIC. After the concert, with Vittorio Rizzi, Mario Chiari, and Megumi Masaki

The complete concert, including numerous audience interventions and three pieces by Giuseppe Chiari, was recorded by the festival. I will post links to the videos once they are processed and uploaded to the festival’s YouTube channel.

Casalmaggiore International Music Festival has become a very special place for me, in fact I’ve come to refer to it affectionately as my “summer home.” Thank you to the terrific administrative team and to the wonderful people of Casalmaggiore for welcoming us into their beautiful community and sharing in so many special memories for yet another year. Thanks also to the Manitoba Arts Council for its support of my attendance this year.

Up next: concerts in Brandon, Lethbridge and Neepawa. Stay tuned!