Whitehorse Concerts

Cello Lessons in the Communities

“They just don’t stop!” That’s the coordinator of the Yukon Cello Project, Nico Stephenson, describing the energy and enthusiasm his students bring to music class each day. “Whether that’s playing cellos, or playing outside, they just don’t stop.” While it means that some youngsters struggle to sit still, it also means there is a collective …

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Classical Challenges

Building an orchestra in a city as small as Whitehorse poses a variety of pesky challenges. How do you fill the bassoonist’s chair, for instance? More dauntingly, can you corral enough qualified — and available — players to form a string section that can hold its own against the more forceful brass and woodwinds? Henry …

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Ignoring the Naysayers

When your first public performance is a solo recital in New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall, it can be pretty heady stuff. That’s exactly what the Chicago-based classical saxophone player who goes by the single name of Ashu learned when he was 16 years old. “People work their whole lives to be able to play …

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Just for the love of music

The Mennonites are known for their love of singing. And that is exactly why the West Coast Mennonite Quartet will be performing at the Yukon Arts Centre March 1. This is not part of a tour and it is not a money-making venture … unless you count the CD sales, but all of that profit …

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NAC orchestra’s long reach

“We have ‘National’ in front of our name,” says Douglas Burden over the phone, explaining why the National Arts Centre Orchestra would pick its entire self up in Ottawa and travel to the Yukon. The bass trombonist, who has played with the orchestra since 1972, says the NAC’s music director has stressed outreach and education …

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‘Cirque du Soleil, with brass instruments’

Bellows and Brass is a trio of three respected and accomplished soloists. Each have been invited to perform as concerto soloists with orchestras such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. When they get together as a trio, however, they like …

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This couple makes beautiful music

Individually, the members of Duo Diorama are expert and greatly respected. Winston Choi, the pianist, was laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concourse International de Piano 20e siècle d’Orléans. Minghuan Xu, with her violin, is a winner of the Beijing Young Artists Competition and has collaborated with the …

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Saxophones B to Z

Take a string quartet: two violins, a viola and a cello. Imagine it whipping up a challenging entrée of Bach. As side dishes, how about some 1930s-era Glazounov romanticism and a bit of contemporary Canadiana? A little Zappa for dessert, perhaps. But first, replace the strings with saxophones. That’s the menu Whitehorse Concerts has in …

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Colourful and Varied

It has been called “the clown of the orchestra” and “the burping bedpost”, among other things. But it’s no laughing matter for Nadina Mackie Jackson. In fact, the Toronto-based musician has made a successful career playing the deep-voiced bassoon, a double-reed woodwind with a rich history as a solo instrument. Mackie Jackson’s love affair with …

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Finding Her New Voice

When Caroline Drury-Márkos last performed at the Yukon Arts Centre, she was a jazz crooner with the popular Peter Drury Trio. When she returns next week to kick off the Whitehorse Concerts 2011-12 season, it will be as an opera singer. Although she studied voice with Barbara Chamberlin as a teenager, and took a few …

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A Love Story in Four Hands

It took a lot of coincidence and a lot of miles for concert pianists Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax to cross paths. At the age of six, the Montreal-born Chung persuaded her non-musical parents to let her take piano lessons, “because I wanted to be cool” and fit in with other girls in her school. …

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Practising Fast in Slow Motion

Listen. That’s the word concert pianist Ian Parker expects to use the most while adjudicating the senior piano classes at this week’s Rotary Music Festival in Whitehorse. That advice that was drummed into him by his teacher at the Julliard School of Music, Yoheved Kaplinsky. “But what my teacher really taught was the way to …

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Matching Timbres and Colours

At the age of three, Heidi Krutzen announced to her non-musical parents that she wanted to play the harp. She had to settle for the piano until she was nine and big enough to tackle the hefty, 47-string instrument of her choice. At the age of three, Ariel Barnes, whose parents are both professional musicians, …

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Veering Away from Van Halen

Like countless teenagers before and since, Daniel Bolshoy started playing guitar to impress girls. “What I really wanted to do was play electric guitar. I wanted to be the next Eddie Van Halen, or whatever.” At the time, Bolshoy was studying science at the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem and knew very little …

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