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.
September 25, 3 pm
Amici is pleased to present our fundraising gala in the elegant University Club of Toronto. The evening will begin with wine and hors d’oeuvres surrounded by Group of Seven paintings. The party will then move upstairs for a true intimate chamber music concert enjoying this music as it was originally intended to be heard. Following the concert, guests will enjoy a 3-course candlelight dinner prepared by French Chef Patrick Desmoulins. The evening will finish off with a spectacular dessert buffet with Amici’s artists.
- Francis Poulenc – L’Invitation au Château
- Maurice Ravel – Sonata for violin and cello
- Francis Poulenc – Clarinet Sonata
- French Canadian songs from Amici’s recording Inspired by Canada/ Notre Pays
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November 18, 3 pm
As a reflection of our global city, Amici presents a concert with a Spanish, Arabic and Jewish focus. Our exploration of Convivencia or co-existence, an academic hypothesis regarding Spanish history in which Muslim, Christian and Jewish people lived in harmony, is a natural interest for expansion following our successful Juno-winning Levant recording. Featuring soprano Katy Clark with virtuoso Persian percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand, performing new arrangements by Serouj Kradjian.
- Alexander Zemlinksy – Trio
- Maurice Ravel – Kaddish
- Albert Guinovart – Fantasia sobre Goyescas
- Manuel de Falla – Siete canciones populares españolas
- Serouj Kradjian – From Jerusalem to Andalusia
- Paco de Lucia – Zyryab
- Rabih Abou-Khalil – Arabian Waltz
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February 10, 3 pm
Amici presents a grand celebration of the renowned masterworks of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most prolific and influential composers of the classical era. Including a performance of one his greatest masterpieces, Gran Partita, with thirteen wind instrumentalists on stage, this will be the musical highlight of the year! Featuring many of Amici’s longtime collaborators and friends from the TSO alongside several stunningly talented students from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
- Gran Partita
- Piano Trio, K. 548
- Young Composers Program Composition
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March 31, 3 pm
A unique program featuring the mystical juxtaposed with the macabre and an exploration of the overwhelming opposite feelings that come to all of us on a daily basis, expressed in a musical way. Inspired by Amici’s past Levant concert in which the audience participated by meditating through Gurdjieff’s Sacred Dances, in order to experience the music in a new, spiritual way.
- Malcom Forsyth – Phantom Sketches for violin, clarinet and marimba
- Steen Anderson – Beside Besides for cello and percussion
- Camille Saint Saëns – Dance Macabre, violin and piano
- George Gurdjieff – Sacred Dances
- Alexander Arutiunian – Suite for Clarinet, violin and piano
- Alban Berg – Four Pieces Op. 5 for clarinet and piano
- Sarah Hopkins – Reclaiming the Spirit, solo cello
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April 28, 8 pm
A composer focused program, presenting innovative works that represent Beethoven’s genius at the highest level. Widely accepted to be one of the most famous and influential composers of all time, Beethoven vividly revealed the power of music to convey a philosophy of life and dominated the transition between the classical and romantic eras of western music.
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Trio Op.1 No.1
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Violin sonata No.10 Op. 96
- Chan Ka Nin – I think I shall never see