MEET THE PRAIRIE DEBUT 2018/2019 TOURING ARTISTS:
Plus a special tour for 2018/19:
Achieving international attention at an early stage, Canadian pianist Avan Yu triumphed at the 2012 Sydney International Piano Competition in Australia, winning First Prize along with nine special awards. Avan decided to pursue a life in music shortly before winning his first international piano competition at the age of fourteen. Although initially aspiring to be an astronaut while growing up in Canada, his ideas changed after opportune meetings with several important musical mentors. He was first noticed by Pinchas Zukerman and Bramwell Tovey who invited him to perform with their respective orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony. Yo-Yo Ma, after hearing Avan play at the age of sixteen, invited him to perform with him in Ottawa a few years later. Since then, he has appeared with conductors and musicians such as Rafael Fruehbeck de Burgos, Christian Arming, Juanjo Mena, Johannes Moser, and the Armida Quartet. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia and at venues such as the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Salle Cortot in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.
Mr. Yu became front page news as the youngest competitor ever to win the Canadian Chopin Competition at the age of 17. On the world stage, he went on to win the Silver Medal and Audience Prize at the Santander International Piano Competition. Following his First Prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition, the newspaper West Australian praised his musical “ability to probe and reveal the inner depths of whatever he plays which is far more suggestive of the real McCoy than the surface prestidigitation that too often is all that many a young, hotshot piano player aspires to.”
His teachers have included Kut Kau Sum, Kenneth Broadway, and Ralph Markham in Vancouver, and Klaus Hellwig in Berlin, where he studied at the Berlin University of the Arts. There he also studied chamber music with the Artemis Quartet and Art Song accompaniment with Eric Schneider. In Germany, he has performed at festivals such as the Rheingau Music Festival, Heidelberger Fruehling, Kissinger Sommer, and Ruhr Klavierfestival, and for the President and the Bundestag President of Germany.
He has received the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Women’s Musical Society, and The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.
His latest recording of Liszt’s Transcriptions of Schubert’s Winterreise and Schwanengesang, released by Naxos, won positive reviews from critics at Gramophone Magazine, American Record Guide, Fono Forum, among others.
Besides playing the piano, Avan has also written for the National Post. He loves studying languages and in his spare time enjoys experimenting in the kitchen in his home in Berlin. He has just moved to New York City in September to begin Doctoral Studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
Avan Yu presents Journeys
A musician’s voice mirrors their path through life. Travels, influences, people, and encounters combine to create a unique story. Beginning his public career at age fourteen, pianist Avan Yu captured attention with an international competition win. In this special program, Journeys, Avan shares his expeditions as a pianist and features milestone pieces from his major performances, and composers who have defined his musical growth.
Demonstrating delicate nuances to great technical facilities, Avan plays with a freedom and expression learned only from his worldly experiences. His destinations are a story of their own. From Hong Kong to Vancouver, to living in Berlin, Paris, and now New York, his explorations have shaped both his life and his artistry. Join Avan Yu in this special and personal program, Journeys, that evokes amusement and contemplation for all audiences, into the life of a pianist.
Chloé Dominguez & Janelle Fung
cello and piano duo
A synchronistic musical style, cellist Chloé Dominguez and pianist Janelle Fung make even the most complex music written for these two instruments seem effortless and fluid. This duo truly brings a beautiful presentation of the cello and piano literature.
Chloé Dominguez maintains a very active life as cellist in the Quebec music scene. Known for her versatility and tone, she is equally at ease playing early music on period instruments and working with today’s best composers. Her reputation as an avid chamber musician has led her to perform in Canada, the United States, and many international festivals. She has appeared at Festival de Lanaudière, Concerts aux Iles du Bic, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, MusiMars, Domaine Forget, Festival of the Sound, Italy’s Casalmaggiore, Computer Music Conference, Orford Arts Centre, and Ottawa Chamberfest. She currently holds the solo cello position at the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal as well as with Trio Hochelaga.
Chloé Dominguez has received numerous prizes and awards. In 2009, she was a winner of the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank Competition. Recipient of the Prix Radio-Canada Jeunes Artistes, she was also awarded McGill’s Schulich School of Music’s Golden Violin award which is the most important private scholarship in music education in Canada. She obtained a Diplôme d’études supérieures from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and completed her doctorate degree in performance at McGill University. Chloé Dominguez teaches at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and the Domaine Forget’s music academy. Along with her career as a performing cellist, she is a yoga practitioner and teacher. In 2011, she completed her Sadhana Yoga Chi certification. Chloé plays on a 1745 Lorenzo Carcassi cello.
Canadian pianist Janelle Fung has performed in concert from coast to coast in Canada, including tours with Prairie Debut and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. Winner of the “Artist of the Year” award from the BC Touring Council in 2014, her international concerts have taken her to over twenty countries on five continents. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Fung has appeared in concert with the Ying Quartet, New York Woodwind Quintet, Mark Fewer and Matt Haimovitz.
Ms. Fung has been a prize winner in numerous national and international competitions, including the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, the Concours OSM-Standard Life, and the Canadian Music Competition. She has been featured on radio stations nationally and internationally including CBC, Radio-Canada, Classical 96.3 FM, NPR, and Radio France.
Ms. Fung’s interest in opera have led to collaborations with Nicole Cabell, Teresa Stratas, and William Warfield. She has toured twice as Touring Artistic Director for opera productions presented by Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and is currently on faculty at Highlands Opera Studio.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Janelle Fung began her piano studies at the age of four. Her principal teachers have included Nelita True, Julian Martin and Marc Durand. Ms. Fung received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and her doctorate from l’Université de Montréal. She is grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts and Yamaha Artists for their continued support.
Chloé Dominguez & Janelle Fung present Enchanted Worlds
Come revel in the fanciful and imaginary worlds created by the magic of music. Let cellist Chloe Dominguez and pianist Janelle Fung take you on a sublime and mystical journey inspired by fables, from Russian folklore to Italian commedia dell’arte to a child-like fantasy of princess and prince. This program delves into the hearts and minds of great composers like Beethoven, Stravinsky, Janacek, Louie, and Frank. Hear what happens when fairy tales and music merge blend and blossom. The combination of cello, with its intrinsic singing qualities, and piano, with its infinite colour palette, instill a profound dimension to these works. This concert will charm, enchant and move audiences, seasoned or newcomers, to the rich sonorities of this instrumental duo.
The eclectic cultural richness of Ladom Ensemble’s music is a reflection of Canada’s cultural diversity.
Like the vibrant colours of a beautifully woven Persian carpet, the intricacies of an Iranian stone mosaic enveloping an ancient building, Ladom’s sound is drawn from the old and brought into a contemporary presentation. Like the traditions of music from that region, Ladom also relies on the equal balance of both structure and improvisation.
The Ladom Ensemble creates a sound that represents one of the oldest cultures in the world, one can hear influences drawn from Italy, Greece, Balkan, Russia, Arabian Peninsula, and Asia. The elasticity of styles is the musical foundation of these four musicians and their vast experiences create a new sound and experience that will be appeal to all audiences.
The musicians met in Toronto and quickly realized that they shared a passion to create a sound that draws from their unique musical experiences. A sound that would incorporate inspirations from Argentinian jazz, classical tango, Serbian folk dance, Persian classical dulcimer, amongst others. Ladom was formed, not to define or represent one specific tradition, but rather, to express what is a modern and authentic Canadian experience, a musical identity blossoming from many sources that reflect a beautiful new world. As critic Michael Vincent of musicaltoronto.org wrote, “Toronto’s Ladom Ensemble is not your typical chamber group. In many ways, they represent a changing definition of chamber music which sees musicians increasingly looking away from a purely Eurocentric purview…They can play pretty much anything.”
Consisting of founding member Pouya Hamidi on piano, accordionist Michael Bridge, cellist Beth Silver, and Adam Campbell on percussion, Ladom’s recent and upcoming projects included a collaboration on four new compositions from the Iranian Canadian Composers of Toronto, a summer performance at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and an East Coast Tour. More tours are scheduled, as Ladom continues to spiral upward and outward into the Canadian music scene. They’re looking forward to a month-long tour with Jeunnesses Musicales Canada in September 2017, and Debut Atlantic wants them back on the east coast in March 2018.
From the stage, the concert transcends borders and the diverse qualities that each musician brings to the ensemble results in an unconventional experience for all. Whether it is Michael mixing up words in Farsi and Serbian, or Adam’s Anglophone accent which endears him to francophone audiences, the concert experience from Ladom’s performance is best said by CBC Radio’s Errol Nazareth – “This is the first time I have heard such a fascinating mix and it really works well. The music can be very elegant and contemplative and it can also be rocking and fiery and there is no denying of the passion of the four musicians investing in their playing.”
Ladom Ensemble is the best example of musical integration that defines this country. Drawing from Persian, Balkan, South American, and Turkish music, these four musicians effortlessly integrate these musical genres and blend them into a contemporary classical framework. Ladom Ensemble engages the audience through their energetic performances, mingled with the musician’s cultural and musical stories that furthers the audiences overall experience. With a unique combination of instruments consisting of accordion, world percussion, cello, and piano, they create a distinct yet accessible sound that will be a memorable performance for all ages. Original compositions such as Raha, Noor, and Veles I & II represent the ensemble’s vast musical works of Middle Eastern persuasion, while their own arrangement of Brahms’s Hungarian Rhapsody, Piazzolla’s Libertango, and even Weird Fishes by Radiohead, gives familiar works a refreshed musical diversity to share.
The Winner’s Tour:
2016 BISQC Laureate Rolston String Quartet
Sponsored in part by the Banff International String Quartet Competition at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
A monumental year, 2016 saw Canada’s Rolston String Quartet earn attention and gain recognition from international audiences and critics alike. Culminating the year with a First Prize win at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), the quartet’s winning included Astral’s National Auditions, and Grand Prize of the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were also prizewinners at the 2016 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and the inaugural M-Prize competition. There is no wonder they were named among Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2016. Rolston String Quartet continues to be recognized for their musical excellence, they are the 2018 recipient of – and first international ensemble chosen for – the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America.
On the heels of their Banff win, the Rolstons immediately embarked upon the Competition’s tour in the 2016-2017 season, taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and United States. In the 2017-2018 season, they will perform throughout Canada, United States, Europe, and Israel. Highlights include appearances in such venues as the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Koerner Hall at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Esterhazy Palace.
In the fall of 2017, the Rolston String Quartet begins as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence. They have also served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and have participated in residencies and fellowships at the Académie musicale de Villecroze, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival.
Notable collaborations for the Rolston String Quartet include performances with renowned artists Andrés Díaz, Gilbert Kalish, Mark Morris, Donald Palma, Jon Kimura Parker, and Miguel da Silva. Additionally, they have worked with composers John Luther Adams and Brian Current. Primary mentors include the Brentano Quartet, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith, and the quartet has received additional guidance from the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Barry Shiffman, Miguel da Silva, and Alastair Tait.
The Rolston String Quartet, Luri Lee (violin), Jeffrey Dyrda (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola) and Jonathan Lo (cello), was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Chamber Music Residency. They take their name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and longtime director of the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Luri Lee plays a Carlo Tononi violin, generously on loan from Shauna Rolston Shaw. Rolston String Quartet is endorsed by Jargar Strings of Denmark.
First Prize laureate of the prestigious 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet has become Canada’s newest ensemble attracting attention on the international stage. Actively touring across Canada, the United States, and Europe, the young quartet’s performances are lauded for “a maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world” (musicaltoronto.org). If you missed the suspenseful and exhilarating competition last year, this is your opportunity to hear the winning quartet.
For more information or to book these artists for the 2018/19 Season, please contact
Po Yeh at email@example.com.