Amici Chamber Ensemble
Venue: Mazzoleni Concert Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W
Box Office: 416-408-0208
Office Address: P.O. Box 47512 Don Mills 946 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto ON, M3C 3S7
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Amici Chamber Ensemble celebrates 30 years as one of Canada’s finest and most distinguished chamber music ensembles. Artistic Directors clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian invite some of the finest musicians to join them in innovative and eclectic programming, celebrating friendship through music.
Amici Chamber Ensemble’s annual concert series has featured world-renowned musicians as frequent guests, including James Ehnes, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Lara St. John, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Russell Braun, Michael Schade, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Andre Laplante, Jonathan Crow and James Sommerville. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered over twenty works by Canadian composers, among them Allan Gordon Bell, Chan Ka Nin, Brian Cherney, Malcolm Forsyth, Jacques Hétu, Alexina Louie and Jeffrey Ryan.
Alongside numerous broadcasts of their concerts on national radio, Amici Chamber Ensemble’s recordings have placed them firmly among the world’s best chamber musicians and garnered the ensemble two JUNO awards, most recently the 2013 Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble for Levant. Other prestigious honors include several JUNO award nominations, including a 2011 nomination for the ATMA Classique disc “Armenian Chamber Music“. Two recordings of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time highlight their critically acclaimed discography.
The Folks Behind It All
Joaquin Valdepeñas is principal clarinetist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is regarded as one of the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. Active as soloist, chamber musician and conductor, Mr. Valdepeñas has performed at festivals & concert series throughout the world.
David Hetherington, assistant principal cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, teaches cello and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School. Mr. Hetherington plays his 1695 cello made by Giovanni Grancino of Milan “with rare delicacy and clarity”.
Pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian is hailed as a “keyboard acrobat” of “crystal virtuosity” by the press. He is regularly invited to appear as soloist and chamber musician in North America and Europe. Lately, he has been gaining much praise as composer and arranger.
November 12th, 3pm
Join Amici as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a live performance and album release of our newest recording project — Inspired by Canada — Notre Pays!
Featuring Canadian soprano Mireille Asselin performing an eclectic mix of musical gems which capture the spirit of our great country, including hits by the best ambassadors of Canadian song such as Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Claude Léveillée, in new arrangements by Serouj Kradjian. Experience Cohen’s Hallelujah like you’ve never heard it before!
- Leonard Cohen Hallelujah
- Joni Mitchell A Case of You
- Claude Léveillée Les Vieux Pianos
- Gilles Vignault Mon Pays
- Ralph Vaughan-Williams 49th Parallel: Prelude
- Scott Joplin/ Serouj Kradjian Maple Leaf Forever Rag
- Ernest Seitz The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
- Serouj Kradjian Chants du Québec
- Antoine Gérin-Lajoie Canadien Errant
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January 28, 3PM
Richard Strauss was mostly known for his operatic and orchestral masterpieces. Amici explores his masterful yet lesser known chamber music works: his Piano Quartet, the Duett Concertino (in its new chamber version), and Lieder favourites like “Morgen” and “Zueignung”, in new arrangements and featuring Canadian soprano Sasha Djihanian.
- Duett Concertino
- Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13
- Die Nacht
- Traum durch die Dämmerung
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February 25, 3PM
Amici presents the remount of our Juno Award-winning recording, Levant. Take a musical journey with us through the Middle East as we explore the fascinating and mystifying sounds and colours of Levant, the “region of the rising sun”. This program features violinist Lara St. John in an eclectic selection of works by composers whose paths might not have crossed had it not been for their source of inspiration: the cradle of ancient civilizations.
- Rabih Abou-Khalil Arabian Waltz
- Aleksandr Glazunov Rêverie orientale
- Osvaldo Golijov Levante
- George Gurdjieff Armenian Song, Sayyid Song & Dance No. 29, Sayyid Song and Dance No. 10
- John Farah Ah ya Zayn
- Sergey Prokofiev Overture on Hebrew Themes, for clarinet, string quartet & piano, Op. 34
- Marko Tajcevic Seven Balkan Dances
- Gayane Tchebodarian Piano Trio
- Solhi al-Wadi Trio for piano, violin and cello
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April 27, 8PM
Amici has been making music for 30 wonderful years and we celebrate this auspicious occasion by partnering with The Royal Conservatory of Music to present our final concert showcasing three B’s; Beethoven, Brahms and Bernstein, in Koerner Hall. We are joined by award-winning students from the Glenn Gould School, some of our favourite instrumental colleagues, dear friend Yehonatan Berick and internationally renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.
- Ludwig van Beethoven Rondino
- Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet
- Leonard Bernstein Arias and Barcarolles, Candide, West Side Story