Torontonian Tamara Bernstein explains it all in an essay included in the competition programme, where Banff competition director Barry Schiffman recalls the day when he and fellow St Lawrence String Quartet founding violinist Geoff Nuttall listened to a recording of quartets by Joseph Haydn performed on period instruments by Austrians, the Quatuor Mosaïques.
The evolution of the orchestra is not a quick or simple story: It took American music history scholars John Spitzer and Neal Zaslaw 15 years to research, write and rewrite The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution, 1650-1815 (Oxofrd University Press, 2004). but I thought it would be fascinating to scape together a quick evolutionary sketch.
Sherkin’s was a Steingraeber & Söhne baby grand, a high-end piano packed with goodies to raise the highest of brows. Thanks to his sponsor, Grand Piano House Inc., he will have a full concert-size instrument to work with whenever he plays at the Jane Mallett Theatre this season.