2016 WMC McLellan Semi-final Auditions
Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Muriel Richardson Auditorium
Order of Performance:
9:00 am Daniel Tselyakov, piano
9:30 am Gregory Lewis, violin
10:00 am Tony Zhou, piano
10:30 am Jaena Kim, flute
11:00 am Zander Howard-Scott, cello
11:30 am Everett Hopfner
Noon to 1:00 pm LUNCH BREAK
1:00 pm Anne-Marie MacIntosh, soprano
1:30 pm Paul Williamson, piano
2:00 pm Jason Klippenstein, baritone
2:30 pm Natalie Dawe, cello
3:00 pm Jesse Plessis, piano
3:30 pm Caitlin Wood, soprano
Invite your family and friends, but tell them to arrive early.
The admission fee is $10 and guests will be admitted only at the break between auditions.
The Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg is proud to announce the 2016 semi-finalists in the WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Coded entry MP3s were adjudicated on-line by 6 professional musicians, and the following (in alphabetical order) were chosen to audition:
The 12 semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
Natalie Dawe, cello
Everett Hopfner, piano
Zander Howard-Scott, cello
Jaena Kim, flute
Jason Klippenstein – baritone
Gregory Lewis, violin
Anne-Marie MacIntosh, soprano
Jesse Plessis, piano
Daniel Tselyakov, piano
Paul Williamson, piano
Caitlin Wood, soprano
Tony Zhou, piano
The competition is open to advanced Manitoba musicians pursuing performance careers in all disciplines including voice. It offers a unique rehearsal and performance opportunity with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for emerging classical musicians, as well as a substantial financial award.
Semi-final auditions take place on Saturday March 26, 2016, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, in the Muriel Richardson Auditorium of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Three finalists will be selected by a panel of national and international adjudicators. Please consider attending for the whole day, or part of it; an audience is encouraged! Admission $10 at the door (no admission during an audition). Please go to the WMC web site for individual semi-final audition times: www.womensmusicalclubofwpg.ca, or phone 204-944-9431.
You are also invited to attend the Final Competition Concert with the WSO, and the Award Ceremony, on Friday, April 22, 2016, 7:30 pm at Jubilee Place Auditorium, 180 Riverton Avenue. The three finalists will appear in performance with the WSO, and will be ranked by another set of adjudicators. The final concert is always an evening of great music with outstanding Manitoba talent. At the conclusion of the concert the finalists will be ranked first, second and third, and receive awards of $10,000, $6,000 and $4,000 respectively. A thrilling finish to a great competition! Tickets are $30 from McNally Robinson Booksellers, WSO box office, or at the door. Students (with ID cards) $5, at the door only.
For further information: 204-944-9431 ~~ www.womensmusicalclubofwpg.ca
WMC Scholarship Winners’ Recital
December 27th, 2015
2 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery
The six winners of the 2015 scholarship auditions, which took place at Eva Clare Hall, U of M, on Saturday, May 9, 2015, will perform and receive their scholarships totalling $13,500.
$3500 – WMC Centennial Scholarship (1915-2015) – Jaena Kim – flute
$3000 – WMC Scholarship – Ashley Boychuk, soprano
$2500 – WMC Scholarship – Ainsley Wray, soprano
$2000 – Madeleine Gauvin Scholarship – Natalie Dawe – cello
$1500 – Holtby Scholarship – Kristy Tucker – bassoon
$1000 – Berythe Birse Scholarship – Gregory Lewis – violin
Please join us!
Tickets $20. Students $5. Cash or cheque at the door or tickets may be purchased at McNally Robinson Booksellers.
Please read this great article about Keith Dyrda! He did win second place in the 2010 WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the WSO. And now he is playing 2nd Trombone with the WSO! He will be playing with the orchestra when the 2016 WMC McLellan Competition’s finals occur on April 22nd 2016.
HAVE WE RECEIVED YOUR APPLICATION? Online application deadline is 1st December 2015.
World-travelling trombonist blows back into town
‘Prairie boy’ Keith Dyrda takes a seat with WSO
Music Matters By: Holly Harris
They say you can’t go home again. But trombonist Keith Dyrda, one of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s newest members, has done just that, packing up his instrument and moving back to the city earlier this month after an eight-year absence.
“I’m very excited being back,” the 26-year-old Oakbank-born musician, who grew up in Winnipeg, says in an interview. “It’s also great playing with this wonderful orchestra I used to hear all the time as a kid.”
Keith Dyrda topped a nationwide field of 18 musicians to land the plum job of WSO’s second trombone.
Dyrda’s travels have taken him to all four corners of the globe. In 2010, he joined the celebrated Canadian Brass ensemble, invited by its soon-to-be-retiring trombonist Eugene Watts, who co-founded the quintet in 1970. Still only 21, and engrossed in his final year of studies at Montreal’s McGill University, Dyrda balanced the demands of the road — performing concerts in China, Germany, Holland, Austria, Venezuela and Italy, as well the U.S. and Canada — with completing his undergraduate degree in trombone performance.
“We had a blast,” Dyrda says of the whirlwind experience, adding he still keeps in touch with the group. “But I felt I needed to keep growing as an artist, and lay the foundation for having a long career, not just a fast one.”
He made the gutsy decision to leave the group after only one year, embarking on a master’s of music at Chicago’s Northwestern University, where he studied with renowned trombonist Michael Mulcahy. After graduating in 2013, Dyrda spent another year freelancing in the Windy City, gigging with the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic and Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
But he longed to return to Canada. Fate stepped in when Dyrda saw an online WSO audition call for its second trombone chair last spring. He competed against a nationwide field of 18 players and landed the plum job that began this month.
Coincidentally, Dyrda now shares the stage with another notable figure in his life: his trombone teacher from his teenage years, WSO principal trombonist Steven Dyer. The longtime orchestra musician sings his former protegé’s praises.
“I have always known Keith to be a talented, hard-working musician and always committed to achieving excellence,” Dyer says. “His playing is at once expressive and supported with a well-developed technique. Keith is also a person of genuine warmth and wit, already proving to be a great team player, both on and off the stage. I am thrilled to welcome him back home to Winnipeg as a partner in our renowned brass section.”
Dyrda’s career path has come full circle in another way. He garnered second prize in the 2010 WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the WSO (his elder brother Jeffrey, a violinist, won second place in 2008), dazzling audiences with his charismatic stage presence and technical prowess. Now it’s his turn to support the next set of finalists when they compete in the 2016 competition in the spring.
“That experience helped me so much. It gave me a good leg up of what to expect when playing with a large ensemble,” he says. “This time, I’ll be in the orchestra accompanying the soloists — that will be really neat.”
Arguably, few children grow up dreaming of becoming a professional trombonist. The notoriously fussy instrument demands bull’s-eye precision when navigating its slide mechanism; any misstep can lead to sour notes. Dyrda says his early years studying violin — he still plays a mean fiddle — through the Suzuki program, with its rigorous ear-training exercises, helped make his choice easy.
“The trombone is very much like the human voice,” he says. “I fell in love with it because it’s such a lyrical instrument. Even when you hear great jazz players play, it sounds like singing.”
Does he pine for his former glory days, touring the globe and sharing the spotlight with one of the world’s top brass ensembles?
“Sure, I miss that, but this organization has such a great sense of community,” he says, adding he’s enjoying a more structured life with regular rehearsals and performances. “There’s a lot of players in the orchestra my age or younger now. We like to hang out together and last week went trampolining.”
But his touring life is not quite done yet. The orchestra recently kicked off its WSO in Brandon series two weeks ago. Dyrda had a chance to visit family members living in Wheat City, including his 94-year-old grandfather, whom he hadn’t seen in five years.
“It’s been great reconnecting with my roots and where I’ve come from,” he says. “I’m a prairie boy. And you never lose that once it’s in your blood.”
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WSO associate concertmaster Karl Stobbe won a Western Canadian Music Award for classical recording of the year for his inaugural solo album, Ysaøe Sonatas for Solo Violin. Manitoba-born composer Jocelyn Morlock received classical composition of the year honours for her violin and chamber-orchestra work Cobalt. The awards were presented Sept. 17-20 in Victoria.
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Don Anderson kicks off his latest music-appreciation course this week, Inside the String Quartet. The seven-week course runs throughout mid-November with both daytime and evening slots available. For more information, call the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts at 204-943-6090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 3, 2015
THE Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg celebrated its glorious 120-year legacy by inviting one of the top living violinists in the world to tea.
Sunday afternoon’s Tea with James featured Brandon-born virtuoso James Ehnes in an intimate one-hour concert performed with pianist Andrew Armstrong.
Women’s Musical Club Tea with James
120th Anniversary Celebration
Hotel Fort Garry
Sunday, May 3
Attendance: 220 (Sold out)
Five stars out of five
In the planning stages since the fall of 2013, the gala event that included an English high tea inside at the Hotel Fort Garry’s Provencher Room sold out a month ago.
The multiple award-winning violinist, 39, who has performed in more than 30 countries on five continents, scarcely needs introduction. He’s greeted like a hometown hero every time he appears in the city. Ehnes maintains close ties with his home province and travels back to Brandon nearly every year.
His warmth, sincerity, gentle humour and humility were on full display during the weekend recital.
This concert, hosted by broadcaster/writer Eric Friesen, provided a rare opportunity to hear the soloist perform up close and personal. Friesen chatted informally with Ehnes before the violinist played two sonatas, adding to the atmosphere of being a gathering of old friends in a genteel music salon.
It’s also notable that the mostly older audience of 220 included eight of the musical club’s past presidents — all introduced by current president Kathryn Young and lauded for their steadfast “initiative, creativity and commitment” during her opening remarks. She also introduced honorary lifetime member Kathleen Richardson — a quiet backbone of Winnipeg’s arts community — that added further context and gravitas.
The program’s centerpiece, Elgar’s Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82, is considered one of the British composer’s four melancholic and introspective works composed around the end of the First World War, which culminates with his famous Cello Concerto in E minor.
Ehnes attacked its opening movement with gusto, navigating its tempestuous waters that also provided a first taste of his wide-ranging tonal colour palette coaxed out of his stunning 1715 “Marsick” Stradivarius.
He infused his second movement with world-weary resignation in a deeply felt performance, including barely-there runs, hushed tones and a responsive rubato always tastefully matched by Armstrong’s sensitive playing.
The finale showed greater force, displaying Ehnes’s bravura, which grew in emotional intensity and depth until its fiery close.
Special mention must be made of the Connecticut-born Armstrong, critically acclaimed in his own right as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. Performing with an artist of Ehnes’s stature is surely no easy task, but the powerhouse pianist proved his fearless match note for note. The two musicians’ rapport was immediately palpable, as a compelling partnership that is both organic and responsive to each other.
The second, lesser-known work, Respighi’s Violin Sonata in B minor, created its own revelation. The lushly romantic, three-movement work included virtuosic passages during the opening that saw Ehnes scaling stratospheric heights, to passionate declamations during the Andante espressivo. Ehnes and Armstrong punched out the finale with its strongly rhythmic accents, scarcely pausing to catch their breath as the music hurtled towards its end.
In response to an enthusiastic standing ovation, the duo treated the clearly enthralled crowd to Brahms’ Scherzo in C Minor from the F.A.E. Sonata that teems with vigour and the vitality of youth.
The musical club is to be commended for its vision and all that it continues to do in nurturing our city’s vibrant musical community. This wonderful concert has become one more memory in its own musical annals, as it proudly embarks on its next 120 years.