Ludwig Van’s Q&A series is comprised of a bank of questions aimed at artists who have made a serious mark on Toronto’s music scene. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.
Toronto-born pianist, educator, and composer Rea Beaumont is an artist dedicated to discovery. Her creative practice centres at the forefront of Canadian piano repertoire, and includes collaborations with R. Murray Schafer, Barbara Pentland, Oskar Morawetz, Jordan Nobles and Jordan Pal.
Beaumont is an alumnus of the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, RCM, Eastman School of Music, and The Banff Centre for the Arts, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano and Conducting.
Her critically acclaimed album, Timeless features works by Philip Glass, John Adams, Jordan Nobles, Srul Irving Glick, Rea Beaumont, Jordan Pal. Full details here.
What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?
1. I am a Torontonian, this is where I grew up and it is my home town with the people closest to me.
2. The city is continually evolving with new buildings, ideas, and traditions.
3. Toronto has one of the best arts and entertainment scenes and it is great to be a part of it.
What are three things that Toronto doesn’t have but should?
1. A large, downtown park, like New York City’s Central Park where people can gather on the weekend and it becomes a traffic-free zone on Sundays
2. Infrastructure that keeps up with the rate of development
3. A female Mayor in the next election
Name your favourite concert hall/venue anywhere.
Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera House.
Your favourite sound?
Music — great music of all kinds and genres.
Your least favourite sound?
Amber Alert, not just the sound but for what it represents.
The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair?
Platinum highlights. Sooo bright.
What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto?
1. I would add relief lines at the main interchange subway stations, one at St. George and the other at Bloor-Yonge.
2. Air conditioning in the subway and on the platforms during the summer.
3. I would do more to protect accessibility at the waterfront. I was in Chicago last year and it is a great example of a pedestrian and bike-friendly space.
Your first three record store purchases
Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii; Maria João Pires Mozart Piano Sonatas; Glenn Gould Bach Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1.
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice; Stephen Leacock Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town; W.O. Mitchell Who Has Seen the Wind.
Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure?
I just returned from performing in our nation’s capital, Ottawa. It was a great place to visit and I would definitely like to go back.
What is your biggest phobia?
Very small airplanes. If I can see the pilot, the plane is too small!
The different career path that you could have gone on?
I was always interested in International Relations and was accepted into a program but I chose music. It could be why my solo albums all highlight global social issues.
Television show that you could tolerate re-runs of?
Seinfeld. They covered every subject you can think of!
The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?
What is the best thing about your work?
That I love it! It is an opportunity to discover great repertoire and share it with others. Plus, I have met a lot of great people along the way.
Three pieces, songs, or arias that you could listen to on repeat for an hour?
Ravel: Adagio assai from the Piano Concerto in G
Monteverdi: “Vi ricorda o boschi ombrosi” from L’Orfeo
Saint-Saëns Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah because it was a favourite of mine to conduct as an opener.
What sport did you give up and why?
It’s not a sport but it often feels like one because of the combination of strength, endurance and artistry — ballet. I studied ballet from age 3 but gave it up in my late teens because I was better at piano than dance, but I really enjoyed ballet.
Your favourite word?
Holus-bolus. I first heard the expression when conductor Kerry Stratton, who passed away this year, interviewed me on the radio and I think it is a fabulous word.
Your least favourite word?
Forthwith. Are we going forth or going with?
What is the one animal that scares you the most?
The one that is chasing me.
If you had a motto, what would it be?
My Twitter bio includes the motto: “As the world becomes smaller, you have to think bigger.” With billions of people in the world, you have to create your own niche, your own voice, and live your life to the fullest.
To read more from our Q&A Series, click HERE.