The Edmonton Chamber Music Society


2005/2006 Concert Season

Saturday, October 8, 2005 — The Arianna String Quartet
Saturday, October 22, 2005 — Turtle Island String Quartet
Saturday, November 19, 2005 — Pacific Baroque Orchestra
Saturday, January 14, 2006 — Red Priest
Saturday, February 11, 2006 — Dang Thai Son

The Arianna String Quartet

One of America's finest chamber ensembles, celebrates the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth with an all-Viennese program. The Arianna String Quartet is praised by critics for its warmth and polish.

"Quartet playing doesn't get any better than this." –Chicago Tribune


Mozart — Quartet in B flat, K. 458 ("Hunt")

Webern — Langsamer Satz

Schubert — Quartet in G Major, D. 887

The Turtle Island String Quartet

Outside the Lines

Since its inception in 1985, TISQ has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles and the art of improvisation.


In keeping with jazz tradition, the concert program will be announced from the stage by the musicians themselves. The program will feature the TISQ's arrangements of pieces by composers such as Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Thelonius Monk, Pat Metheny, Bach, Chick Corea, Vivaldi, Egberto Gismonti, Beethoven, Paquito D'Rivera, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, and Frank Zappa. It will also feature their own compositions which integrate jazz, western classical, American fiddle styles, rock, rhythm and blues, World Beat, Afro-Cuban, and Indian classical music.

"A unified voice that truly breaks new ground...authentic and passionate... a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today" -Yo-Yo Ma

About the Musicians

For twenty years The Turtle Island String Quartet has drawn upon the musical language of folk, swing, be-bop, rock, hip-hop, and beyond to bring back to classical chamber music performance the elements of improvisation, arrangement, and new composition. In collaborations with other performers, including pianist Kenny Barron, The Manhattan Transfer, the Ying Quartet and Cuban clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, the TISQ has further extended its explorations beyond the mainstream. Their tours throughout North America and Europe, numerous recordings, and appearances on radio and television have produced a wide and enthusiastic audience for their singular style.

David Balakrishnan (violin, baritone violin), founder of the TISQ, has enjoyed a long and successful career as a jazz violinist but is also a composer of note. His adaptations for string quartet of Dizzy Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia" and the jazz standard "You've Changed" were both nominated for Grammy awards. He has received numerous composing grants and commissions and recently began a three year residency with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. His compositions are featured on several TISQ albums.

Evan Price (violin) joined the Turtle Island String Quartet in 1997 as a well established jazz violinist and fiddle player. An eclectic musical background, as a sometime busker and blues band player and serious competitive fiddler, and formal studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music and the Berklee College of Music have been the basis of a remarkable career. He has performed with such violin virtuosi as Stephane Grappelli and Vassar Clements as well as pop icons Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. His recordings include not only those made with Turtle Island but also several as a member of the gypsy swing band, the Hot Club of San Francisco.

Mads Tolling (viola) first studied classical violin when he began his musical training at the age of six in Copenhagen. Ten years later he turned to jazz violin and to studies that took him to Boston and the Berklee College of Music. While there, he studied with jazz violinist Matt Glaser, saxophonist Joe Lovano and pianist JoAnne Brackeen. He has performed with many notable jazz musicians, among them Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola, and made several recordings, three featuring his original compositions.

Mark Summer (cello) is, like the other members of the Turtle Island String Quartet, a composer as well as performer, equally at home in classical and jazz performance. An original member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, noted for his distinctive percussive techniques, he has also been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco, the Oakland Symphony, and the Oakland Ballet.

Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Boccherini and More

Presented by one of North America's most exciting and innovative period instrument ensembles under the leadership of internationally renowned violinist Marc Destrube.

Featuring soprano soloist Phoebe MacRae - (Golden and Stabat Mater)

"Delicate, sensitive, beautifully, balanced playing" -Peterborough Examiner


Luigi Boccherini — Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid

Jocelyn Morlock — Golden

G.B. Sammartini — Symphony No. 2 in C Minor

Luigi Boccherini — Stabat Mater

Red Priest

Pirates of the Baroque

Stolen masterworks and long-lost jewels of the Baroque era performed, with swashbuckling virtuosity!

"Red Priest has the fire, technical ability and sheer daring to bring it off!... brilliant and inspired musicianship." -Gramophone Magazine


Preludio (from Partita BWV 1006)

Gypsy Sonata in A minor

Three Airs
Sailor Lad
Sailor Lassie
Come Ashore Jolly Tar With Your Trousers On

Gavotte with Variations

JACOB VAN EYCK (1590-1657)
The English Nightingale

Adagio (from Flute Sonata BWV 1020)

Concerto in G major “The Sea Storm” (“La Tempesta di Mare”) RV 433

Concerto in D minor RV 565 (from “L’Estro Armonico”)
Adagio e Spiccato

Prelude from Suite No. 1 for Cello

Bach on G, or “We won’t let her go till you give us back our boat”
Poppy Leaf Hornpipe
The Princess Royal Hornpipe I
The Princess Royal Hornpipe II (traditional Cape Breton setting)
Miss Charters' Reel

NIEL GOW (1727-1807)
Niel Gow's Lament

Aria Amoroso

Concert Fantasy on “La Folia”

Program Notes

The popular Hollywood image of pirates as likeable, swashbuckling rogues is certainly at odds with the gory reality of their trade, and to equate such scoundrels to our most learned baroque composers may seem fanciful in the extreme. But on closer inspection there are parallels which, if nothing else, ignite the imagination and allow us to take an alternative look at one of the most colourful periods in musical history.

The leading musicians from this time were pioneers and adventurers, riding the seas of change with wild abandon, ever searching for new musical treasures to titillate the ears and move the souls of the public. Only in retrospect has the mythology of highbrow, rule-bound men of quill and parchment been created; the reality was much earthier, the majority of composers living boozy, philandering, extravagantly bohemian lives, intent on maximising their profits through, if necessary, dubious means. Yet ironically it is from this very atmosphere of skulduggery that some of the greatest works of art were produced.

The most obvious expression of piracy amongst composers was the poaching of musical ideas. In a world of undeveloped copyright rules it was relatively easy to pass off others’ themes — thinly disguised or otherwise — as one’s own, and open re-arrangement of other composers’ works to suit one’s musical palette or instrumental line-up was commonplace. Indeed, if composers of the past could witness our attempts today to reproduce slavishly their precise notes and nuances they would in all probability be dumfounded—that concept was at direct odds with their own adventurous spirits.

Tonight’s program features not only examples of plagiarism from the baroque era, but also our own contributions to the practice. Amongst the former are the works by Telemann, who regularly stole tunes from gypsy musicians, whom he met on his extensive travels in Eastern Europe, and Handel, whose gorgeous Largo from the Trio Sonata in B minor bears an uncanny resemblance to an aria from an opera by Reinhard Keiser (Handel played in Keiser's Hamburg opera orchestra for a while and stole many of his good ideas.)

The life of Antonio Vivaldi — the original Red Priest of Venice — is a case study in baroque extravagance Indeed he was described by the English composer William Hayes as a man with “too much mercury in his constitution,” a characteristic in plentiful display in the two extrovert concertos presented here. The Concerto in D minor, from his celebrated Opus 3 set of concertos entitled L'Estro Armonico (The Harmonious Fancy) was originally scored for two violins, solo cello and string orchestra, but transcribes comfortably for smaller ensemble (J.S. Bach even arranged it most successfully for solo organ), while the Tempesta di Mare (the Sea Storm) is closer to its original format as a flute concerto, albeit with a few nautical interpolations which we found impossible to resist.

Johann Sebastian Bach was a prolific arranger of the works of others, taking inspiration in particular from Italian composers such as Vivaldi and Marcello — but in this program we have turned the tables on him, through our own arrangements of the great master’s music. These range from a straightforward transcription of the mellifluous Adagio from his sonata BWV 1020 (originally for flute and keyboard) to a more elaborate four-part reworking of his famous E-major Preludio for solo violin. David Greenberg’s Bach on G — subtitled “We won’t let her go till you give us back our boat” — takes things a stage or two further, as an innocent violin sonata is hijacked by marauding pirates! Our arrangement of Arcangelo Corelli’s famous Folia Variations is similarly unbridled, and while it may not fit the currently accepted boundaries of “authenticity” we hope that it is taken in the truly baroque spirit with which it is intended . . .

Finally, the seafaring theme of our concert has been extended to include a set of traditional folk airs, as collected by James Aird (c.1750-1795), and a few rediscovered musical treasures. Although hardly household names in the manner of Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann, the 18th century violinists Niel Gow and “Red Rob” Mackintosh (named, like Vivaldi, for his red hair and fiery temperament), and the 17th century recorder virtuoso Jacob van Eyck, represent the tip of an iceberg of musical jewels frozen in time.

Red Priest

Red Priest is one of the major success stories on the international early music scene today. Named after the flame-haired priest, Antonio Vivaldi, this extraordinary English ensemble has redefined the art of baroque music performance, combining the fruits of extensive research with swashbuckling virtuosity, creative re-composition, heart-on-sleeve emotion and compelling stagecraft. The group performs largely from memory, allowing an operatic level of freedom and interaction, and its programs are drawn from myriad baroque sources to create a kaleidoscopic range of moods and colors.

Formed in 1997, Red Priest now gives over 60 concerts a year in some of the most prestigious venues in Europe, Australia, the Far East, Russia and especially the USA together with radio and TV broadcasts and an exclusive series of CD recordings for Dorian including Priest on the Run, Nightmare in Venice and the Four Seasons.

International music critics have described the Red Priest style as “electrifying,” “sheer daring,” “immaculately forged,” “sonically supercharged,” “brilliant and inspired,” “deliciously twisted”—but the group's extravagantly baroque ethos is perhaps best summed up in the words of English musicologist and broadcaster George Pratt: "If nobody goes over the top, how will we know what lies on the other side?"

2005 saw the launch of Red Priest’s Red Hot Baroque Show — a dramatic marriage of Baroque instrumental wizardry with modern stage and lighting technology, and a major TV documentary for the UK’s premier arts program, the South Bank Show.

Piers Adams was recently heralded in the Washington Post as “the reigning recorder virtuoso in the world today.” He has performed in numerous festivals and at premiere concert halls throughout the world, including London’s Royal Festival, Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, as soloist with orchestras including the Philharmonia, the English Sinfonia, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Singapore Symphony and the BBC Symphony. Piers has made several solo CDs reflecting an eclectic taste, ranging from his award-winning Vivaldi début disc to David Bedford’s Recorder Concerto — one of many major works written for him. He has also researched, arranged and recorded a variety of romantic showpieces, which are a mainstay of his recital programs. He will shortly embark on a series of solo discs for Dorian. Full details of his performing activities can be found on

Angela East is widely respected as one of the most brilliant and dynamic performers in the period instrument world, praised in The Times, London, for the “elemental power” of her cello playing. She has given numerous concerto performances in London's Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, and has performed as soloist and continuo cellist with many of Europe's leading baroque orchestras. Among her impressive list of concert credits are La Scala, Milan, Sydney Opera House, Versailles and Glyndebourne. In 1991 Angela formed “The Revolutionary Drawing Room” which performs chamber works from the revolutionary period in Europe on original instruments, and whose first eight CDs have received glowing reviews world-wide. In May 2001 she recorded the complete Bach Cello Suites for Dorian.

David Greenberg enjoys a busy and diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and folk fiddler. As a Baroque violinist, Greenberg has performed and recorded with many of the best North American early music ensembles, including the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and ten years as a core member of Tafelmusik. He serves as Associate Concertmaster with Apollo’s Fire. David is also recognized as a master Cape Breton-style folk fiddler, and co-authored the definitive treatise on the music from that legendary Nova Scotian island near his Halifax home. David is a member of the Celtic all-star trio Ferintosh and as well as Glasgow's Concerto Caledonia. Many critically acclaimed recordings have resulted from these classical and folk music collaborations.

Howard Beach’s uniquely wide-ranging style of keyboard playing has been developed through years of partnering fine musicians in many different fields of music, as well as his own experience as an accomplished singer and violinist. Since 1989 he has worked regularly with Piers Adams in concert and in the recording studio as both harpsichordist and pianist — including several performances in London's Wigmore Hall and tours throughout Europe, Canada and the Far East. He has also performed and recorded as a concerto soloist and continuo player with Les Arts Florissants, the Apollo Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. Howard broadcasts frequently on radio and has been consultant and performer on programs for UK's Channel 4 TV.

Dang Thai Son

Russian Romantics

Among the leading international musicians of our time, Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son has visited over forty countries since he was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Tenth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1980. He is back in Edmonton by popular demand.

"He is a pianist of superb discipline and undeniable distinction... The playing was first-class." -The Boston Globe



The Seasons, Op. 37b:
January (“By the Hearth”)
February (“Carnival Time”)
March (“Song of the Lark”)
April (“Snowdrops”)
May (“Bright Nights”)
June (“Barcarolle”)
July (“Reaper’s Song”)
August (“Harvest”)
September (“The Hunt”)
October (“Autumn Song”)
November (“In the Troika”)
December (“Christmas”)


Humoresque, Op. 10, No.5
Marguerites, Op. 38, No. 3
Polka de V.R.
Six Moments musicaux, Op. 16

Dang Thai Son

It was in Hanoi in 1974, as a student of his mother, that Dang Thai Son came to the notice of the visiting Russian pianist Isaac Katz. Subsequent studies at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and a first place standing and gold medal win at the 10th International Piano Competition in Warsaw launched an impressive international career.

In the 25 years since winning the Chopin Competition, Dang Thai Son has performed in over forty countries, with such distinguished orchestras as the Leningrad Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic.

Since 1987, Dang Thai Son has been a visiting professor at Kunitachi Music College in Tokyo and at present teaches at the Université de Montreal. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Melodya, CBS Sony, Victor JVC and Analekta.