We invite you to check out our current roster!
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- “I’m not a professional Polka band, but…” being raised as a Canadian, has exposed me to a gamut of folk music which has interested me since youth. So much of this ‘song-dance’ music can gratify our spiritual senses. I also retain strong bonds with Polish folk music such as the mazurka, oberek, krakowiak and polonaise which have been an essential part of my youth. Yes, I danced them.
“A soloist is very lonely…and somewhat crazy!” To balance off this craziness, chamber music has long been a staple of my repertoire. As a soloist, it is still a great passion of mine to perform regularly with other musicians as it hones the inner-ear and teaches the art of bona fide communication.
“An insatiable curiosity for life is essential – even if it really did kill the cat.” I believe that one should live each day under the spell of Glenn Gould’s famous quote: ìThe purpose of art is the lifelong construction of a state of wonder.” Like Jacques Lecoq’s Bouffons, a pianist often wanders about the day in probative, engaging, and challenging thought, always exaggerating the grotesque and glorifying the sublime. I also believe that performing can be a mutually rewarding experience where both the audience and the artist can discover new truths and ideals about themselves while understanding and communicating their emotions and ideas.
“Spectacular cities host spectacular events.” I enjoying visiting the theatre to hear modern productions of classic plays, especially those of Chekhov, Miller, Marlow and Shakespeare.
“His Imperial Majesty the Emperor requests a new opera to be completed next week…” I continue to compose music and have been doing so since the age of 6. My composing style has been greatly influenced by the music of Shostakovich, Hindemith as well as Szymanowski. The idea of being solely a performer was clearly non-existent in the minds of 18th century musicians; most pianists also excelled in improvisation and composition. Why shouldn’t such a precious activity not continue to be engaged in today?
“The violinist Heifetz had only two reasons to perform contemporary music: ‘To remind himself how much he hates it, and to discourage the composer from writing anymore music.'” I’m not so radical in my approach to modern composers. I have had the honour of premiering hundreds of contemporary compositions by living composers in a wide variety of settings and places. Many of them were indeed very inspiring experiences for both myself and the audience.
“‘The piano must sing’ Chopin once yelled to one of his students.” There exists one instrument, in particular, that has made a special impact on my performances, and that is the mystifying human voice. Accompanying the piano in a wide range of lieder repertoire, has enabled me to awaken my own internal voice while liberating the rhetorical dimensions found within a piece of music. I’m now a big fan of the ‘piano must sing’ club.
“Nothing beats a good book by the fireplace.” I enjoy reading books about music philosophy and semiotics by authors such as Suzanne Langer, Theodore Adorno, Roland Barthes, Vladimir Jankelevitch and Leonard Meyer. These books have helped me to bring music to ‘life’. The fine concepts and nuances inherent in every piece of music correspond directly with the inner-workings of real life: the tensions and resolutions of distressing occurrences or the ecstatic experiences of exciting encounters. Music can also sigh, whisper, lament, seduce, punish and weep.
“You gotta fight for your right to…” bring more music education into our schools – in my case. I’m a firm believer that music education is the only type of education which requires an individual to use virtually all of his/her intelligences, while cultivating a strong sense of discipline and patience with each endeavour. I enjoy hosting presentations for schools of all age groups and enjoy making our youth enthusiastic about classical music.
“So what do you like to do on your spare time?” Aside from reading fiction and non-fiction, drinking gallons of borscht, and hiking impressive mountain tops in my sleep, I enjoy visiting the cinema and hope that somebody finally makes a movie about the life and death of the late Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo.