Season Description 2015-16
The University of Saskatchewan Amati Quartet performs on four rare string instruments crafted in Italy in the seventeenth century by members of the Amati family. Experience these exquisite Amati instruments in the spectacular setting of Knox United Church on October 12th, January 9th, March 26th, and April 30th - with Marla Cole (violin), Rudolf Sternadel (violin), Geoff Cole (viola), and Terence Sturge (cello), the musicians of the Amati Quartet who are now in their thirteenth season.
Concerts are at 2:00pm and at 7:30pm at Knox United Church
Tickets available from the Remai Arts Centre box office: (306) 384-7727
Please see website for more details: www.amatiquartet.usask.ca
Dates, repertoire, and artists are subject to change.
October 12th, 2015: Baroque Celebration
Guest artists: William Boan violin, Carmen Cole – violin, Miles Cole – cello, Solveig Deason – violin, Emmett Fortosky – double bass, Amos Friesen - cello, Silas Friesen – trumpet, Simone Friesen – violin, Zäide Masich – cello, Samuel Milner – violin, Renée de Moissac - harpsichord, Heather Wilson - viola
Telemann - Concerto in D for Trumpet and strings, TWV:D7
Vivaldi - ‘The Four Seasons’ Concertos for Violin and orchestra, Op. 8
‘Autumn’ , Concerto in F major
‘Winter’, Concerto in F minor
Vivaldi - Concerto for Three Violins in F major, RV551 –
Monn - Cello Concerto in G minor
Popper - Requiem for Three Cellos, Op. 66
Elgar - Serenade, Op. 20
Season Thirteen begins with the third annual Thanksgiving Monday concert devoted to showcasing sensational young musicians in Saskatoon performing Baroque concertos. Repertoire includes some of the most popular Baroque favorites such as Autumn and Winter from the Four Seasons, as well as the more obscure but gorgeous music by Monn and Popper. Elgar’s Serenade is the most frequently performed of all his music.
With concerts in January, March and April of 2016 the Amati Quartet promises to charm audiences with some of the greatest gems of the string quartet repertoire as well as featuring two guest artists: pianist Godwin Friesen and violist Heather Wilson.
January 9th, 2016:
Guest artist: Heather Wilson – viola
Haydn - String Quartet in B minor, Op. 64, No. 2
Mozart - String Quintet in G minor, K.516
Glass - String Quartet No. 2, ‘Company’
Talented Saskatoon based violist, Heather Wilson, joins the Amati Quartet to perform Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor. Mozart loved to play the viola and his four quintets with two violas showcase the rich tonal capabilities of the instrument. The G minor quintet has three movements of intense pathos but ends with a jubilant finale. Op 64, No. 2 in B minor is yet another example of Haydn’s wit and humour. The hypnotic and atmospheric music of Philip Glass will persuade those who are in doubt that they really do like modern music!
March 26th, 2016
Guest artist: Godwin Friesen – piano
Bach - Harpsichord Concerto in D minor , BWV 1052
Mendelssohn - String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No.2
Beethoven - String Quartet in B flat, Op. 18, No.6
This concert features the brilliant young pianist, Godwin Friesen, performing Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in D minor. At just age 16 Godwin recently won the senior piano Kinsmen Competition in the 2015 Saskatoon Music Festival, as well as winning first place the National Music Festival in August of 2015. Mendelssohn was responsible for the revival of Bach’s music in 1829 for which we are eternally grateful. Mendelssohn’s E minor String Quartet , Op. 44, No. 2 was written while he was on his honeymoon. Beethoven’s Op. 18, No.6 provides an early introduction to jazz and features a finale that alternates between total melancholy and the dance of life making this quartet the most unique in his group of six opus 18 quartets.
April 30th, 2016
Haydn - String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20, No. 3
Schubert - String Quartet in A minor, Op. 29, ‘Rosamunde’
Dvorak - String Quartet in G major, Op. 106
Haydn’s Op 20, No. 3 in G minor is one of his gems that finishes with fantastic Gypsy undertones. Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ Quartet is subtle, delicate, and filled with the lyricism that we expect of Schubert. Upon Dvorak’s return to Czechoslovakia he composed his G major quartet, Op.106. With its Slavic sentiment throughout - it is the music of Dvorak that we know and love, and ends with great exuberance.
Guest Artist Bios
William Boan, violinist, became the Assistant Concertmaster of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra at the age of seventeen. Regularly competing at the provincial, national, and international levels, he won second prize in strings at the Canadian National Music Festival in 2015. He also won first prize in the 2015 Provincial Shurniak Concerto Competition, earning him the opportunity to give his debut as soloist with both the Saskatoon and Regina Symphony Orchestras, scheduled for 2016-17. Another of William’s upcoming Saskatoon performances is on November 12, 2015, when he will be performing as soloist with the Moscow Ballet, as their “Musical Wunderkind.” William currently studies Violin Performance at the University of Saskatchewan, in the studio of Professor Robert Klose. Additionally, for the past two summers he has attended the Meadowmount Summer Music Institute, New York, studying with Sally Thomas and Ivan Ženatý.
Carmen Cole, age 15, is a grade 10 student at St. Joseph High School where she enjoys playing flute in the school band. She is bilingual having been in French Immersion since kindergarten. Currently, Carmen studies violin with her mother, Marla Cole, is the concertmaster of the Saskatoon Strings, and also plays with the Saskatoon String Ensemble. Carmen has participated in and won scholarships in the Saskatoon Music Festival in both violin and flute. She is an accomplished dancer in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and flamenco having been with Studio One since the age of four.
Miles Cole, age 13, is a grade 8 student at St. Edward School in the Ecojustice program- an approach that analyzes the increasing destruction of the world's diverse ecosystems, languages and cultures by the globalizing and ethnocentric forces of Western consumer culture. Miles studies cello with Bernadette Wilson and has enjoyed playing in the Saskatoon Strings for the past two years, and also plays in the Saskatoon String Ensemble. He has participated in the Saskatoon Music festival for four years receiving numerous awards and scholarships each year. Miles’ newest interest is BMX bike racing and he recently competed in a national competition in Calgary where he won two silver medals.
Solveig Deason, age fifteen, is a passionate violinist, pianist, and vocalist, and is honored to be a returning guest artist with Amati Quartet. This past April, Solveig joined the League of Astonishing Strings on a tour through China, performing at some of the most prestigious concert halls in the country, including the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Having always shown a great interest in music, she began studying violin at the age of four, with piano and voice following shortly after. Solveig performed with the Saskatoon Strings for several years including many solo performances on violin. She has competed in the Saskatoon Music Festival since a very young age and has recently made it to the provincial level. She participates in all three disciplines and continues to receive many certificates and scholarships each year. She has received high honors in her Royal Conservatory Exams, including two gold medals for the highest provincial mark in voice. She has completed her grade 8 RCM exams in piano and violin and grade 7 in voice, as well as basic harmony. She continues to study violin with Joanie Savage, piano with Bonnie Nicholson, and voice with Marilyn Whitehead. Solveig is also an enthusiastic member of the Fireside Singers, currently in her eighth year. Solveig resides in Saskatoon as a grade 10 student at Evan Hardy Collegiate. Her hobbies include basketball, guitar, and ukulele.
Emmett Fortosky is a 20 year old Upright Bass player who is currently in his third year of studying Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan. Priding himself on his diversity of music tastes, Emmett plays in a variety of different groups throughout Saskatoon, as well as previously being the Principle Bassist in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra for two years. In these groups as well as others, Emmett delves into genres such as jazz, rock, blues, classical, indie, pop, and many more, all while maintaining a strong background in classical training with over ten years of private lessons on the Piano and Upright Bass. As an exciting young musician, Emmett hopes to continue to improve his abilities and make his mark on the music scene in Saskatoon and beyond.
Amos Friesen is in grade 10 at Aden Bowman Collegiate and has played cello for 8 years. He is a three-time winner of the provincial class for intermediate cello in the Saskatchewan Music Festival. Currently in his second season with the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, Amos participated in the Prairie Cello Institute in Regina in August 2015 under the direction of Simon Fryer. He has performed regularly as a member of the Caspian Trio and the Friesen Family Band.
Godwin Friesen received first place in piano at the National Music Festival in Edmonton in August 2015. A student of Bonnie Nicholson, he was awarded top intermediate pianist in the Saskatchewan music festival in 2013 and 2014 and top senior pianist in 2015, where he placed second overall in the Grand Awards Competition. Godwin also won the Lyell Gustin and Kinsmen competitions in 2015. Last summer, he had the privilege of spending a week at the Orford Music Academy in Quebec as a member of Jane Coop's studio. He is currently in his graduating year at Walter Murray Collegiate and plans to pursue post-secondary studies in piano performance after high school.
Silas Friesen is in his final year of a degree in music performance at the University of Saskatchewan, studying with Dean McNeill. He was the winner of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2013 and the Guy Few Brass Award in 2015 for the top senior brass player in the Saskatchewan provincial music festival. Last summer Silas participated in the prestigious WASBE Conference in San Jose as first trumpet in the U of S Wind Orchestra. Silas is also fluent in the jazz idiom, as a core member of the U of S Jazz Ensemble and participant in the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra and other groups. An active bandleader, composer, and arranger, Silas has produced several charts for the SJO and performed in the 2015 Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with his group the Mix’tet.
Simone Friesen has been involved in music from an early age, singing and playing violin in the Friesen Family Band, an eclectic folk group that toured across Canada. As a member of the Caspian Trio with her siblings Godwin and Amos, she has presented numerous recitals over the past three years. She plays first violin in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra and is in her second year of study with local teacher Robert Klose. In 2013, Simone won the Instrumental Rose Bowl at the Sask Valley Music Festival for the best overall instrumental performance. She enjoys teaching violin to beginning students and is beginning a degree in music performance at the University of Saskatchewan this fall.
Saskatchewan-born cellist, Zaïde Masich, is thrilled to perform with the Amati Quartet again this year. Zaïde has appeared on numerous occasions with the Battlefords’ Children’s Choir, the Chapel Gallery Singers, and Kamala Choir under the direction of Diane Gryba and Joanne Kaspar. She performs annually at the Battlefords’ Kiwanis Music Festival where she has earned numerous awards and scholarships. Zaïde has performed with Quatro Corde as well as the International String Ensemble of the Battlefords under the direction of Erin Foreman. Zaïde recently earned First class honors (cello-level 8, piano- level 6) and First class honors with distinction (advanced theory rudiments) through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She continues to study with cellist Terence Sturge who has been her mentor and teacher for the past 12 years. Zaïde is currently enrolled in the French Immersion program (Grade 11) at John Paul II Collegiate in North Battleford. She enjoys reading, drawing, playing the flute, singing, and is an avid manga enthusiast. Zaïde wishes to thank the Amati Quartet for this great opportunity to grow as a musician and to share her love of music with others. Zaïde is grateful to her family and friends for their support!
A native of Saskatoon, Samuel Milner began playing violin at the age of five, studying eleven years with Philip Kashap, two years with Michael van der Sloot, and two years at McGill University with Jonathan Crow. He was the winner of his age category in the Canadian Music Competition National Finals twice (2007, 2005) and the winner of the 2009 Saskatchewan Concerto Competition. Sam was runner-up in the 2010 McGill Classical Concerto Competition and the recipient of the Lloyd Carr-Harris scholarship from McGill University. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon’s Prairie Virtuosi, and McGill’s Beethoven Orchestra. In addition to his musical interests, Sam enjoys studying mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan, playing frisbee (much too late) on Friday nights, and working at Camp Kadesh on Christopher Lake each summer.
After obtaining an ARCT in piano performance, Renée de Moissac graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music in harpsichord performance. She then completed an ‘Advanced Music Performance Studies’ (AMPS) graduate diploma in organ and harpsichord from Concordia University in Montreal, studying with Bernard and Mireille Lagacé. Renée is presently the organist at Christ Church Anglican and the Artistic Director of the ‘Klavier Concerts’ series, presenting solo keyboard music of the Renaissance, Baroque and 20th – 21st centuries, with a special focus on the music of J.S. Bach and of Olivier Messiaen. She is also the music coordinator at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral, where she initiated the ‘Organ Concerts’ series. In 2012-13 Renee was the recipient of a grant to present ‘Four Seasons of French Solo Keyboard Music’ of the French harpsichordists Chopin, Debussy, and Messiaen. Renée is a frequent performer in chamber music and larger ensembles, both in early and contemporary music. She has performed with the SSO, Prairie Virtuosi, and was harpsichordist for Purcell’s ‘King Arthur’ co-produced by the Amati Quartet and Saskatoon Opera. Renée has had the pleasure of playing in concert with some of the finest musicians in Saskatoon.
Born in Saskatoon, Heather Wilson began her violin studies at the age of four. She switched to the viola and studied with James Legge until her enrolment in post-secondary education. She has since earned her Masters of Music in viola performance from McGill University where she studied with André Roy, Philip Dukes, and Wolfram Christ. During her post secondary studies at McGill University, she was the recipient of several scholarships including two Schulich Scholarships, a Maurice Pollack Foundation Scholarship, an Ethel Jamieson Ivey Award, a Dilys & Eric Burt Fund Scholarship from the Saskatoon Symphony, and a Saskatchewan Premier’s Centennial Arts Scholarship. Heather has performed with numerous orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Banff Festival Orchestra, the Saskatoon Opera, the Prairie Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and is currently a member of the Saskatoon Symphony. She has also enjoyed summer master classes at the Orford Arts Centre and the Toronto Summer Music Festival. She has performed as a soloist with the Prairie Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Harmony Chamber Orchestra, and as principal violist of the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. As an avid chamber musician, Heather began her career with the"Mesh Quartet" which won first place at the Canadian Music Competition finals. Since then, she has appeared as guest artist with the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival, the Amati Quartet, and the Southern Manitoba Concerts series. She has recently been collaborating with Saskatoon pianist Christina Tong, and presenting concerts in the Saskatoon community.
*All repertoire, dates and artists are subject to change