Winnipeg Free Press: Future of classical music rests in good hands

 

Winnipeg Free Press – PRINT EDITION

 

 

By: Gwenda Nemerofsky

 

Posted: 12/23/2009 1:00 AM | Comments:

 

While many of us are chilling out after Christmas, savouring welcome relaxation time and digesting turkey, a few young Manitobans will be holed up in studios, feverishly practising for a special performance.

 

This Sunday at 2 p.m., the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg (WMC) will host its 94th annual Scholarship Winners’ Concert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Five up-and-coming locally bred musicians will get to strut their stuff.

 

The WMC supports young musicians by providing financial rewards and performance opportunities. “The Women’s Musical Club is different from other concert presenters,” says Carol Gamby, chair of scholarships and competitions. “We focus on providing a stage for youth, to help them further their careers.”

 

The list of past winners reads like a who’s who of Canadian musical royalty, so the WMC’s efforts are evidently a success. Tracy Dahl, Philip Ens and Mel Braun are past recipients.

Daniel Tselyakov

“We were very encouraged by the level of performance this year,” said WMC president Margaret Jeffries. “The standard has gone up.”

 

Twenty-seven applicants competed on May 31. To qualify, instrumental competitors must be between the ages of 17 and 27, vocal applicants must be between 18 and 30, and all have to have been brought up in Manitoba.

 

Some winners’ surnames may be familiar. The top three recipients are offspring of well-known members of the Manitoba musical community.

 

Seventeen-year-old pianist Daniel Tselyakov won first place, and will cash a $2,500 cheque. “They don’t receive their cheques until after the December concert,” explained Gamby. “They also get a souvenir program and certificate as mementos.”

 

Young Tselyakov is accustomed to winning awards. His list of achievements is long and impressive, and includes the Provincial Music and Speech Finals for Most Outstanding Piano Performance of J.S. Bach and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Young Player Award.

 

He began piano studies at age five with his father, Alexander Tselyakov, renowned pianist, recording artist and professor of piano at Brandon University. Dad and son continue to work together, even performing as a duo.

 

Daniel will play a movement from Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, and works by Ravel and Saskatchewan composer David McIntyre.

 

Second-place scholarship recipient is 18-year-old cellist Ariel Carrabré, a first-year student with Yegor Dyachkov at McGill University, although most of his studies have been with Yuri Hooker, principal cello of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Winner of the WSO Young Artist Concerto Competition, Ariel has performed solos with the orchestra at eight Manitoba high schools. The WMC scholarship will contribute $2,000 toward his future studies.

 

Ariel comes from a musical family. His father is T. Patrick Carrabré, WSO composer-in-residence (2001-2007) and former weekend host of CBC Radio 2’s The Signal. Ariel’s pianist mom, Mary Jo Carrabré, will accompany him in Schumann’s Fantasiestucke. Also planned is Bach’s memorable Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major.

 

In third place, winning $1,500, is violinist Joshua Peters. The 17-year-old Kelvin grad has played the violin since he was four and is now pursuing studies at McGill with Jonathan Crow.

 

Peters is also a multiple award winner, most recently earning the 2009 Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant in the classical music category for orchestral instruments, worth $10,000. Dad Randolph Peters was WSO composer-in-residence from 1996 to 2001.

 

Joshua will play John Adams’ Road Movies with pianist Max Fleischman.

 

The Holtby Scholarship, valued at $1,000, goes to soprano Dawn Bruch. Now 30, Bruch is working on her masters of music degree at the University of Manitoba, training with Tracy Dahl. She has performed locally with Manitoba Opera and the Little Opera Company and this summer made her German debut in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. She will be singing works by Fauré, Verdi and Canadian John Greer.

 

Flutist Charmaine Bacon won the $1,000 Berythe Birse Scholarship, named for the industrious Manitoba choir conductor and teacher. Bacon, now 24, studies with WSO principal flute Jan Kocman and is in her final year of a masters of music program at the U of M. She is also an accomplished pianist. Bacon will play a sonata by British composer Edward Loder.

 

How comforting it is to know that the future of classical music in Canada is safely in the hands of dedicated young people like these scholarship winners.

 

And it’s likely that in a few years, we’ll be able to say: “I knew them when…”

 

Tickets for the Scholarship Winners’ Concert are $18 and are available at the door or at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Student tickets are $5 and available at the door only (cash or cheque).

 

gwenda.nemerofsky@shaw.ca

nipeg Free Press: Future of classical music rests in good hands

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