Celebrity concerts series highlights international performers


The McMaster Celebrity 2000-01 Concerts series, organized by the School of Art, Drama & Music, features a wide range of soloists, instruments and musical styles. From bagpipes, piano and cello, to early music, Celtic and jazz — the series covers the full musical spectrum.

The September concert, however, is notable for showcasing the three areas of study within the school. A Song of Lilith (Sept. 29) tells the legend of Adam's first wife through art, narrative and music. Written by Canadian author Joy Kogawa, who will deliver the narrative, the production features actor Moira Wylie, with musicians Erika Raum (violin), Clare Scholtz (English horn), Julie Baumgartel (violin), Kathleen Kajioka (viola) and Kristine Bogyo (cello).

“We're really excited about this production,” says Rose Riopelle, admininistrative co-ordinator for the school. “It's playing at some important venues across Canada so we're pleased it's coming to McMaster.”

Other featured performers in the series include Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son and Britain's Orlando Consort, along with Toronto-based bagpiper Rob Crabtree, PEI-born singer/songwriter Patricia Murray and Canadian Shauna Rolston (cello). The series ends with a piano concert by Valerie Tryon, McMaster's artist-in-residence.
Spiritwind (Oct. 20) features bagpiper Rob Crabtree and singer Patricia Murray. A regular performer and prize-winner at the world's major bagpipe competitions, Crabtree has also recorded albums and is co-founder of a bagpipe summer school. Murray, the first Canadian to take top honours in Gaelic singing (Silver Pendant Award, Royal National Gaelic Mod at Inverness, Scotland, 1997), composes and sings in the folk and Celtic traditions.

The four male soloists of the Orlando Consort (Nov. 1) specialize in performing medieval music. Since its founding in 1988, the group has made numerous recordings including The Works of John Dunstaple, which won the 1996 Gramophone award for early music.

Pianist Joe Sealy and vocalist Vivienne Williams offer an evening of jazz on Nov. 24. Williams is a former member of the vocal trio, Sway, whose 1988 “Hands Up” single reached #1 on the adult contemporary chart and was nominated for a Juno award. Musician, actor, composer, music director and recording artist, Sealy won a Dora Mavor Moore award for music direction in the Toronto production of Ain't Misbehavin.

Dang Thai Son (Feb. 9, 2001) is the first Asian to win the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Tenth International Chopin Piano Competition, held in Warsaw in 1980. He has since played in the major concert halls in over 40 countries. A Canadian citizen since 1995, Dang Thai Son was the only non-Polish artist invited to Warsaw to participate in a gala concert inaugurating the year of Chopin in 1999.

Rated as one of the five most important violists in the world, Rivka Golani brings her awesome technique and sensitive musicianship to McMaster on Feb. 23. She has performed with the foremost symphony orchestras around the world, has participated in leading chamber music festivals, and is in demand as a teacher. Golani is followed by cellist Shauna Rolston (March 16), who made her debut at the age of four, and who has been recording since age 16. Rolston is the youngest Pro Musicis International Award, and was named one of the Canadian Leaders of the Future by Maclean's.

All concerts are held in Convocation Hall(UH-213) and start at 8 p.m. Additional information about the McMaster Celebrity 2000-01 Concerts series is available from the School of Art, Drama & Music, ext. 27671.
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