Cluster Festival

It’s hard to know quite where to begin with this one, but suffice it to say that March 12, 2017 was one of the very best nights of my performing career.


photo by Leif Norman

Last summer I received a generous invitation from the Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival to perform a solo recital in the 2017 edition. I have been a longtime admirer of this festival for its commitment to diverse, interdisciplinary programming, its sense of community and local engagement in Manitoba, and its focus on the audience’s experience.  Co-founders Luke Nickel and Heidi Ouellette, along with co-artistic director Eliot Britton and a great team of volunteers, friends, and supporters worked tirelessly to deliver another incredible festival to Winnipeggers – it was truly an honour to be part of the program!

I had the honour of presenting three premieres at this recital: Luke Nickel’s Oshima, Heidi Ouellette’s Heirloom, and Kristen Wachniak‘s PANTONE 18-1664. In response to a request to feature music by Diana McIntosh, an icon of Manitoba’s new music scene, I included her Channels on the program. All four of these composers were in attendance, and the Cluster organizers created a beautiful living room set in the atrium of the Winnipeg Art Gallery so I could have a short discussion with each composer before performing his or her music. It was a warm, personal and intimate evening.


Everett chats with Luke Nickel before the premiere of “Oshima.” Photo by Leif Norman.

For the second half of the concert, I was delighted to share Jörg Widmann’s Hallstudie – a piece I’ve admired for a long time and have finally been able to perform for Canadian audiences this year.

Photographer Leif Norman captured incredible images that truly communicate the warmth and excitement of the evening – please check out his blog post for the full photoset!

I’m so grateful to Luke, Heidi and Kristen for their fantastic pieces – they have all already gotten subsequent performances and I’m planning more! And to the terrific team who works so hard to bring Cluster to Manitoba’s musical community every year – you have my sincere gratitude and admiration. I’m an eager Cluster audience member and will be back for more in 2018!