ALL EARS #13: Timm Roller

tm_03Our lucky thirteenth guest is a multi-faceted artist. Stuttgart-based Timm Roller is a brilliant guitarist and a technological wizard. He is equally comfortable on stage, behind a mixing board, and working long behind the scenes setting up sound equipment. Timm is a gifted improviser, a natural collaborator, an endlessly curious soul. He’s heard often in his duo AAA—AAA with guitarist Thilo Ruck, and in countless other “mix and match” settings around Stuttgart.

We discuss Timm’s passion for media arts, his collaborations and his connection to the contemporary music scene. Of course we’ll also get into his plans for the future and chat about the people who have helped along the way.

Check out Timm on his personal website, his duo’s website  and on facebook.

Music selections on this episode from:
Weltuntergang Theaterstück (Timm Roller with Jonas Bolle)

ALL EARS #12: Jesse Plessis

jesseplessis-1Pianist and composer Jesse Plessis joins me for a wide-ranging conversation on the latest ALL EARS. Jesse holds degrees from the University of Lethbridge and Brandon University, and will be heading to the Université de Montréal to commence doctoral studies this fall. In the meantime, he’s been keeping busy within his community of Lethbridge. On this episode, we discuss Jesse’s contributions to his local music scene, as well as some of his past performance and compositional highlights. Jesse also previews this year’s Centric Festival in Lethbridge (coming up June 24-28), of which he is founder and artistic director.

You can connect with Jesse on facebooktwitter, and SoundCloud, and with the Centric Festival on facebook, twitter, and on its website.

Music Selections on this episode:
“A Boy and His Universe” by Jesse Plessis

ALL EARS #11: Stephanie Chua

ChuaNext up on the podcast: a fellow pianist and new music explorer, Stephanie Chua. Stephanie grew up in Richmond, BC, and has been based in Toronto since 2002. She is active as a freelance performer and teacher. In this episode, we discuss Stephanie’s educational background, the contemporary music scene in Toronto, and how she develops her own performance projects. We also talk about junctQin Keyboard Collective, an innovative keyboard ensemble that Stephanie co-founded with pianists Elaine Lau and Joseph Ferretti.

Check out Stephanie’s personal website. You can also follow junctQin on its website, facebook, and twitter.

Music selections on this episode:

Somers: Allegro Scherzando from Sonata No. 5
Radulescu: ‘music… older than music’ from Sonata No. 4, ‘like a well… older than God’
Stephanie Chua, piano

ALL EARS #10: Carissa Klopoushak

16000478305_eac9c95671_bALL EARS returns with guest Carissa Klopoushak. Originally from Saskatoon, this versatile violinist maintains an active freelancing career across Canada in addition to her permanent post at the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Carissa is also co-founder of the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in Saskatoon, which will celebrate its 7th edition at the end of this month, May 29-31. Carissa gives a preview of this year’s festival and talks about what makes Ritornello so special to her. We also discuss Carissa’s early development in Saskatoon, her Ukrainian party band Tyt I Tam, her experience on the 2009 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition Winner’s Tour, her beautiful violin on loan from the Canada Council’s National Instrument Bank, and an exciting CD release expected later this year.

You can keep up with Carissa on her Twitter and Instagram pages, and on her personal website. And if you’re near Saskatoon, don’t miss this year’s Ritornello Festival!

Music selections on this episode include:
Janacek: Violin Sonata, I. Con moto
Vivier: Pièce pour violon et piano
Carissa Klopoushak, violin and Philip Chiu, piano

ALL EARS #9: Sarah Jo Kirsch

20141009-IMG_5595As the 2015 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition gets underway in Brandon, Manitoba, ALL EARS catches up with last year’s first-place winner, soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch. Sarah has found her artistic home in Winnipeg, where she sings regularly in duo with pianist Madeline Hildebrand, with musical experimentalists The Gritty, and as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She also hosts a radio program for Winnipeg’s Classic 107.

Follow Sarah on her personal website, facebook, and twitter.

You can follow this year’s Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition live from the comfort of your home with the competition’s facebook page and live stream.

ALL EARS #8: Jade Conlee

headshot copyJade Conlee is rolling through a fast-paced year in Stuttgart, studying and compiling research for a Fulbright Grant. The emerging American pianist has developed a lifelong affinity for contemporary repertoire. In this interview we discuss Jade’s musical upbringing in Salt Lake City, some treasured memories of studying and performing in New York City, and the particular thrills and challenges of moving to Germany.

You can keep up with Jade on her personal website, which includes a fascinating blog including Jade’s reviews of contemporary music performances and written interviews with active international and intercultural musicians. I was very honoured to be included in Jade’s research; you can find her interview with me here.

Music selections on this episode include:
Tristan Murail: Estuaires (Jade Conlee, piano)
Wolfgang Rihm: Klavierstück 6, “Bagatellen” (Everett Hopfner, piano)

ALL EARS #7: Roldon Brown

11068766_10101363988253880_326411037_nUnderestimate this week’s guest at your own peril. Roldon Brown is a passionate, determined American flutist currently based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His singular drive for achievement was sharpened through years of facing unique personal circumstances that would stop many in their tracks. Roldon excels as a flutist and on the tennis court through some combination of sheer willpower, belief in his own potential, and a deep understanding of just how far he’s come. On this week’s ALL EARS, we discuss Roldon’s upbringing, the decision to move to Europe, and his work as a public speaker and advocate for people who stutter.

Follow Roldon on his website or his Facebook page.

ALL EARS #6: Luke Nickel

Joseph Visser Photography
Joseph Visser Photography

This week’s guest is Canadian conceptual composer and flutist Luke Nickel. Luke has established a great network in Winnipeg, Montréal, and now in his new home base in Bristol, England. Together with composer Heidi Ouellette, Luke has co-founded and directed a thriving new institution in Winnipeg: Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival. In this conversation, we find out about Luke’s past and current musical activities, talk about the history of Cluster and get a preview of the exciting 2015 edition, taking place from April 27 – March 3 in Winnipeg.


You can connect with Luke on SoundCloud and Twitter.

Complete information about this year’s Cluster Festival is available on the festival website. Frequent social media updates are to be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The ALL EARS logo was made by Isabelle Kilimnik.

ALL EARS #5: Carole Bestvater

564143_10151908287687681_143419293_nALL EARS continues with violinist and educator Carole Bestvater. Carole and I were classmates during undergraduate studies and we often performed chamber music together. In the intervening years, she has completed a fellowship with Community Music Works in Providence, Rhode Island and earned a master’s degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Carole has integrated into her new community of St. John’s: she’s the assistant principal second violin of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and the coordinator of the NSYO Suncor Energy Strings Program.

In this interview, Carole discusses finding her passion for community-based music education, and her journey toward establishing her own program based on the Community Music Works model. She also describes her current activities as a violinist and, of course, shares stories about the people who have helped her along the way.

ALL EARS has a slick new logo – thanks to my dear friend, graphic designer Isabelle Kilimnik.

Carole Bestvater with her mentor, Nancy Dahn
Carole Bestvater with her mentor Nancy Dahn