2017 has gotten off to an artistically satisfying start with wonderful projects and collaborations in January and February.
At the end of January, I had a sort of follow-up from last year’s Ontario mini-tour: a shared piano recital at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto with Jialiang Zhu, a colloquium presentation at Queen’s University in Kingston, and masterclasses and visits with dear friends and colleagues in Ottawa.
For the recital in Toronto, I had the great pleasure of revisiting Randolph Peters’s exhilarating Hallucinations – the commissioned work of the 36th E-Gré Competition, and a piece I’ve performed on and off since 2013. I had a great meeting with Randolph in Winnipeg the day before the concert; it was inspiring to play for him again and discuss how our perceptions and ideas of the piece have changed over the years. It was so a thrill to reconnect with my dear friend Jialiang and hear her give stunning performances of works by Debussy, Mussorgsky and Jeffrey Ryan.
In Toronto and Kingston, I also gave performances of Jörg Widmann’s Hallstudie. I’m still not exactly sure how to describe this piece. It’s pushed me to explore so many new sound sources inside and outside the piano, and it’s forced me to reconsider the theatrical aspect of piano performance on stage. I’ve had a fabulous time working on this piece – it had been on my repertoire wish list since 2010! – and I’m looking forward to a few more performances coming up this year. Oh, and this piece (with a generous assist from Randolph) has also given me this gif, which I think covers most of my promotional materials for the year.
Up next was a February appearance with the Brandon Chamber Players in a concert featuring an all-T. Patrick Carrabré program. I performed his piano trio Firebrand with violinist Kerry DuWors and cellist Leanne Zacharias. It was a thrill to bring this piece to life with such brilliant partners – but somehow it was even more exciting to be part of such an emotionally charged and warmhearted evening. Pat has been a great influence on me for many years, always extremely generous in his personal support – and I was so grateful for the opportunity to help celebrate his contributions to Canadian music and to the local community in Brandon.
So, that’s where things stand for now! March is going to be absolutely nuts in the best possible way. I’m hunkering down to learn three brand new pieces to be premiered at the Cluster: New Music and Interactive Arts Festival in Winnipeg very soon! I’ll have more to say about these projects in the coming days.