Welcome from Summer Solstice Music Director Patricia Tao

Patricia TaoWelcome to the fifth year of the Edmonton Chamber Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festival! As always, putting these programs together leads to new discoveries for me — new composers and works that I find exciting and hope to share with you. This year is no different, with works by Nino Rota, Lalo Schifrin, Saint-Saëns and others that were completely unknown to me.  I hope you enjoy the diverse and eclectic programs as well as the high caliber of the artists we have invited.

2012 marks the 150th anniversary of Debussy’s birth, and we celebrate his contributions in a concert devoted to French music on Friday evening. The original idea for Saturday evening’s program was to present the largely unheard chamber music of film composers, but when Stephen Prutsman told me he had written a score to accompany Sherlock Jr., I could not pass up the opportunity to have the composer perform it with a film screening. Steve’s score complements and highlights the artistry of Buster Keaton so well — I’m sure it will be a delight to those of all ages. Sunday’s recurring Summer Passion program explores the music of lesser-known composers (Villa-Lobos and Rebecca Clarke) along with one of the great masterpieces of Brahms.

I am pleased to welcome many new artists to the festival. Jessica Linnebach, one of the city’s great musical talents, returns to Edmonton in the midst of a busy summer, which includes performances and her wedding! Shauna Rolston, another prodigious Edmonton-born musician, helped inaugurate the first Summer Solstice Festival five years ago, and it is a privilege to have her perform for us again. Four distinguished and award-winning American artists; Stephen Prutsman, Daniel Phillips, Tara Helen O’Connor, and Brian Chen grace our stage for the first time. Finally, it is a great pleasure to welcome three musicians from the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Nora Bumanis, Julianne Scott, and Charles Pilon, as well as ever-popular returning musicians Jasmine Lin, Marina Hoover, and Jacques Després.

A new initiative of the Edmonton Chamber Music Society is the establishment of a scholarship to be awarded annually to an outstanding performer at the University of Alberta. Through auditions, the music faculty has selected one musician to perform a pre-concert recital during the Summer Solstice Festival. This year’s winner is Yoana Kyurkchieva, a doctoral student of Dr. Jacques Després, whom you will have the opportunity to hear before Saturday’s festival concert.

We have three wonderful concerts to present to you this summer. During the regular season, ECMS presents recitalists and formed chamber groups of great distinction. I hope you will join us as we embark on another tremendous season with recitals by Ben Heppner, pianist Marc-André Hamelin, the Tokyo String Quartet with Jon Kimura Parker, and others.

Patricia Tao
Music Director | Summer Solstice Festival

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