Birchwood Jaguar 107 LIVE! With Soprano Caitlin Wood
Written by Michael Wolch
Published: 19 April 2016
WMC McLellan Finalist Caitlin Wood treated us to a mini concert live in studio this morning! Missed it? Watch here!
Soprano Caitlin Wood grew up in St. Albert, Alberta where she quickly developed her love of music and performing. At Banff in 2015, she sang Despina in “A Little too Cosy”, Against the Grain Theatre’s clever, updated version of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte.
A recent graduate of the University of Toronto Opera School under the tutelage of Mary Morrison, Caitlin was the 2013 recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Graduate Fellowship in Opera. Other roles for this vivacious soprano include Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Nannetta (Falstaff), Marie (La fille du régiment), and Tiresias (Les mamelles de Tirésias).
Caitlin is 1 of 3 Finalists in the WMC McLellan Competition For Solo Performance, which takes place Friday, April 22nd. Here are the details and how to get tickets.
Get your tickets now! Call 204-944-9431, go to the WSO Box Office, McNally Robinson Booksellers, or at the door for your tickets! Adults $30 – $5 for Students (at door only). WMC season ticket holders – please check your concert ticket package for a $10 discount on a ticket to the finals! Also, the supporters in attendance at the semi-finals on Saturday, March 26th, also received a voucher for a $10 reduction for the finals
Competition sets performers on road to musical success
Music Matters By: Holly Harris
One of the many pleasant tasks I have in this line of work is serving as jury chairwoman for the Women’s Musical Club’s (WMC) McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, a job I have been honoured with since 2008.
The McLellan, held biennially, boasts a solid track record of showcasing the astonishing talent that continues to spring from our rich musical community. Many past winners — all Manitoban-born and under the age of 30 (with the exception of vocalists, who may compete up to age 35) — have gone on to establish professional musical careers of their own. Recent recipients, including pianist Madeline Hildebrand and violinist Joshua Peters, have also won the province’s other major competition, the Eckhardt-Gramatté (“E-Gré”) National Music Competition held each spring in Brandon.
“The WMC McLellan Competition is the first of its kind and has created a wonderful opportunity to promote the performance careers of the best of our young Manitoba musicians,” says committee chairwoman Carol Gamby, who works closely with the WMC’s volunteer-based board of governors to pull off the event named for late local arts benefactor Doris McLellan.
“Manitoba is the envy of other provinces because we offer such a wonderful opportunity for young musicians.”
Twelve semi-finalists recently competed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Saturday, March 26. Three talented finalists (listed in alphabetical order): Jaena Kim (flute); Gregory Lewis (violin); and Caitlin Wood (soprano) were chosen by an illustrious international jury composed of Valdine Anderson (soprano), Mark Rudoff (cello) and Douglas Finch (piano), and now will be performing as soloists with the WSO during the last round being held Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Jubilee Place Auditorium (MBCI), 180 Riverton Ave. WSO resident conductor Julian Pellicano leads the orchestra through the two-hour gala concert, which also includes a post-show audience reception. It’s a thrilling night for all, capped by a fresh set of jurors awarding generous prize packages totalling $20,000 to the winners.
Some might naturally rail against the dog-eat-dog nature of competitions, particularly in the kinder, gentler lively arts. However, Pellicano firmly asserts their value in honing the next generation of artists.
“I think that competitions help to jump-start these young, very talented musicians’ careers,” the maestro says.
“They most certainly open doors for them, and provide incredible opportunities that might not have had otherwise. This particular competition is simply a great experience, and is one that these young musicians will take with them for the rest of their lives.”
Given the high-stakes nature of the final round, stage jitters are par for the course. Pellicano says this is all part of the process, assuring that the WSO players are strongly in tune with helping the soloists realize their best performances.
“All musicians will tend to sympathize with that kind of pressure,” he says, adding he’s looking forward to leading the program of instrumental concertos and vocal arias chosen by the trio of contenders. “The three finalists will feel they’re doing their best if they know we are pushing for them,” he says.
“We’re rooting for all of them and it’s going to be a fantastic night.”
The WMC McLellan final round concert is Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Jubilee Place auditorium of Mennonite Brethern Collegiate Institute, 180 Riverton Ave. Tickets are $30 (adult) at McNally Robinson Booksellers, at the door or by calling 204-944-9431. Student admission is $5 at the door only. For more information, visit www.womensmusicalclubofwpg.ca
WMC McLellan Semi-final Auditions
Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Muriel Richardson Auditorium – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Please join us – $10 admission – paid at the door
**No admissions to auditorium once an audition has begun!**
9:00 am Daniel Tselyakov, piano
Keyboard Sonata in C major, Hob.XVI:50 Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
I. Allegro Time: 6:00
Fantasy in C, op. 17: Robert Schumann ( 1810-1856)
I. Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen; Im Legenden-Ton Time: 13:00
Variations, op. 41 Nikolai Kapustin (b.1937) Time: 6:00
Total time: 25:00
9:30 am Gregory Lewis, violin accompanist: Carole Pollard
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, Allegro aperto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 8:30.
Havanaise, Op. 83 by Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) 9:00.
Sonata No. 3 in D minor, “Georges Enescu” by Eugene Ysaye (1858-1931) 7:00.
Total time: 24:30
10:00 am Tony Zhou, piano
English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807 – Prelude J.S.Bach (1685-1750) 4:30
Sonata No. 11 in B-flat Major, Op. 22 – Beethoven (1770-1827)
1st Movement 5:00
Après une Lecture du Dante Fantasia quasi Sonata Liszt (1811-1886)
Total Time 25:00
10:30 am Jaena Kim, flute accompanist: Carole Pollard
Concerto No. 7 in e minor, Mvt.I: Allegro Francois Devienne (1759-1803)
Sonatine for Flute and Piano Pierre Sancan (1916-2008)
Chaconne for Solo Flute Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)
11:00 am Zander Howard-Scott, cello Accompanist: Leanne Regehr
Sonata for Solo Cello – Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006) 8 mins
Cello Concerto No. 1 Movement 1 – Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) 6 mins
Le Grand Tango – Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) 10:30 mins
Total 24 minutes
11:30 am Everett Hopfner, piano
Sonata in C Major, K. 487 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Sonata in G Major, K. 427 (c. 1754, 6 minutes)
Hallucinations Randolph Peters (b. 1959) (2013, 10 minutes)
Klavierstück op. 33a Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) (1929, 3 minutes) 4 Preludes, Op. 48 Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) (1905, 5 minutes)
I. Impetuoso fiero
II. Poetico con delizio
III. Cappricciosamente affannato
Total time: 24 minutes
Noon to 1:00 pm LUNCH BREAK
1:00 pm Anne-Marie MacIntosh, soprano Accompanist: Lisa Rumpel
1. “Volate, amori” from Ariodante by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759, composed 1735) Time: 4 minutes
2. “Die Loreley,” S.273 by Franz Liszt (1811-1886, composed 1854-1856) Time: 6 minutes, 20 seconds
3. “Arrière ! Je réchauffe les bons” (Fire Aria) from L’enfant et les sortilèges by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937, composed 1917-25) Time: 1 minute, 55 seconds
4. “My Mother’s Hands” from The Red Red Heart, Op. 13 by John Greer (b. 1954, composed 1993) Time: 3 minutes, 45 seconds
5. “Regnava nel silenzio” from Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848,composed 1835) Time: 8 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 24 minutes
1:30 pm Paul Williamson, piano
Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, “Waldstein,” Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) 6:30
I. Allegro con brio
Nocturne in B Major Op. 62, No. 1 Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) 7:00
Regard de l’Esprit de joie Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) 8:30
Total 22 minutes
2:00 pm Jason Klippenstein, baritone Accompanist: Lisa Rumpel
1. “Largo al factotum” from Il barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini – 1816 – 5:00
2. “Geu-ne” from Early Collection of Songs by Yun I-sang – 1947 – 2:45
3. “And Farewell to ye, ol’ Rights o’ Man” from Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten – 1951 – 2:15
4. “Ging heut’ morgen über’s Feld” from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Gustav Mahler – 1886 – 4:05
5. “Kogda bï zhizn domashnim krugom” from Eugene Onégin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1879 – 3:30
6. “Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse” from Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas – 1868 – 3:30
Total time: 21:05
2:30 pm Natalie Dawe, cello Accompanist: Edmund Dawe
Silent Woods, Op. 68 Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) 6:20 mins Sonata in C major, Op. 119 Sergei Prokofiev (1891- 1953) 10:30 mins I. Andante Grave Variations on One String on a theme by Rossini Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) 7:30 mins
Total time: 24:20 mins
3:00 pm Jesse Plessis, piano
Sonata in A minor, K. 310 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 5’30”
Ballade in F minor, op. 52 Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) 12’
Préludes, Book II (extracts) Claude Debussy (1862-1918) 5’00
XII. Feux d’artifice
Total time: 22:30
3:30 pm Caitlin Wood, soprano Accompanist: Cary Denby
Chacun le sait- La fille fu régiment-
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti- (1797-1848) 3.5 min
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio- K418-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 7 min
Tornami a vagheggiar- Alcina- George Frideric Handel- (1685-1759) 4.5 min
The Blades of Grass-Mary’s Wedding- Andrew Paul MacDonald (b1958) 3.5 min
Quel guardo il cavaliere-Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (1797-1848) 5 min
Total 23.5 min
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.
— — —
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.
Congratulations to Joshua Peters – Winner of the 38th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition announced this evening – May 3, 2015!
Joshua will be performing for the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg on November 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the WAG – along with pianist/accompanist Katherine Dowling, as Winnipeg is one of the stops in Joshua’s cross-country Egré tour. We look forward to having Joshua perform on our stage!