Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents

Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue

Paul Merkelo, trumpet

Paul Merkelo has been hailed as ‘the new Maurice André’ by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is recognized as ‘a spectacular soloist… a most impressive master of his instrument’ (Montreal Gazette) who ‘knows no limits’ (Der Spiegel online – Germany) with ‘unusual lyrical gifts’ (Gramophone). Principal trumpet with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1995, he has been featured frequently with the OSM, including tours to South America and at the Lincoln Center in New York, and is the first member of the orchestra to be invited to record a debut solo album with the orchestra (French Trumpet Concertos – Kent Nagano).

André Moisan, clarinet

André Moisan began playing the clarinet … in hiding! Initially he concealed the activity from his father, who was in fact a clarinetist with the OSM. Once his secret was out, he studied the instrument with Robert Crowley, Victor Sawa, Larry Combs, Karl Leister and Gilles Moisan, his father. His first concert with the OSM was in 1977, playing the tenor saxophone part in a performance of Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé suite under the direction of Andrew Davis. His fondest music-making memory was created during the OSM’s recent tour of Quebec’s Far North, improvising to Kent Nagano’s storytelling of Japanese tales to groups of children in Kuujjuaq. André Moisan tours extensively as a soloist and continues to cultivate his strength as an orchestral conductor.

Matt Herskowitz, piano

Uniquely combining the superlative technique of a classical virtuoso with his prowess in jazz, world music and free improvisation, pianist, composer and arranger Matt Herskowitz has carved out a unique and personal voice in music. Over the course of the last decade, Matt has produced a series of critically-acclaimed recordings, premiered his works in settings from New York’s Central Park to Germany’s Köln Philharmonie, collaborated with top classical, jazz and pop artists, and has performed at music festivals across the globe.

Éric Lagacé, bass

Éric Lagacé was born to an organist father and a harpsichordist mother. His daily bread, from his most tender age, has been mainly the music of J.S. Bach, that he heard performed live in his family house. After having infructuous results as a guitar, violin, oboe and tuba player, he finally picked-up the double-bass as a teenager and turned towards music of his time, namely jazz. Not neglecting classical music studies, Éric Lagacé quickly became in demand in the Montréal area in both jazz ensembles and classical orchestras. He started playing professionally at the age of 19, and remains until now one of the most versatile and most appreciated bass player in Canada.

Wali Muhammad, drums

Barbican String Quartet

First prize winners of the 2019 Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition as well as the 2018 St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition, the Barbican Quartet are quickly establishing themselves internationally. Based in London, the quartet consists of violinists Amarins Wierdsma and Kate Maloney, violist Christoph Slenczka and cellist Yoanna Prodanova. They made their Wigmore Hall début in 2017 thanks to the Maisie Lewis Award, and were 2020 St John Smith Square Young Artists and 2016 Park Lane Group artists. In 2018 the Royal Philharmonic Society awarded them the Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize.  The Barbican Quartet has appeared in such festivals as Peasmarsh Festival, Vibre! Quatuors à Bordeaux, Zeist Muziekdagen, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, IMS Prussia Cove and Aldeburgh. Their performances have been broadcast on NPO Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3.

Amarins Wierdsma and Kate Maloney, violins 
Christoph Slenczka, viola
Yoanna Prodanova, cello

Three Preludes 
Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Éric Lagacé)
My funny Valentine 
You don’t know what love is 
The very thought of you 

Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 3:30pm
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