Amati Quartet Schedule

  • Monday, October 10th, 2016
  • Saturday, November 5th, 2016
  • Saturday, March 18th, 2017
  • Sunday, April 9th, 2017

2016-2017 Season Brochure

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Season Description 2016-17

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 10th, November 5th, January 14th, and March 18th - 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 fourteenth season.

Featured throughout the season is repertoire that can also be found on the Amati Quartet’s new CD containing ten individual string quartet movements by Joseph Haydn as well as the Piano Trio in G, the ‘Gypsy Rondo’ with pianist Samuel Deason.

Season Fourteen begins with the fourth annual Thanksgiving Monday concert on October 10th devoted to showcasing sensational young musicians in Saskatoon performing double concertos: William Boan, Carmen Cole, Solveig Deason, Amos Friesen, Simone Friesen, Emmett Fortosky, and Brandon Johnson. Also participating are three former members of the Amati Quartet: Evan Barber, Peter Hedlin, and Luke Hnenny.  New to this traditionally Baroque concert are four short works by living composers:  Steve Reich, Ludovico Einaudi, Philp Glass, and Arvo Pärt. The majestic Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart will be performed by Marla and Geoff Cole in a version for string sextet. The grand finale is Grieg’s Holberg Suite for string orchestra in which the Baroque dance forms are transformed with sparkling romantic spirit.

The second concert follows soon after on November 5th with two rarely heard Haydn quartets. The Adadio movement of Op. 54, No. 2 is an unusual composition from Haydn suggesting a passionate Hungarian lament. Haydn’s Op. 1, No. 3 is a delightful early work that starts with a beautiful duet for the two violins in the opening Adagio movement. The mystical music of Quartet No. 3 by Philip Glass is from the composer’s own score to a film about the life of Yukio Mishima. Beethoven’s last complete work was the String Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3. The lyrical, enchanting and eloquent string quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3 is one of the first quartets composed by Beethoven after his comprehensive study of the quartets of Haydn.

On January 14th we present three famous quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Haydn’s Op. 77, No. 1 contains two movements with nationalistic themes – the first movement a Hungarian recruiting song, and the last movement a Croation round dance. Mozart’s brilliant Quartet in D minor, K.421 is operatic in nature – complete with scenery, characters, ironic asides, laughs, hiccups, and sighs. Tchaikovsky’s first quartet is the first noteworthy Russian chamber music, it contains one of classical music’s greatest hits – the Andante, and according to Tchaikovsky’s own diary it moved Tolstoy to tears.

Spectacular Saskatoon born pianist Samuel Deason joins the Amati Quartet to perform two iconic works for piano and strings on March 18th. The Schubert Quintet, nicknamed ‘The Trout’ after one of Schubert’s own songs, has a distinctly Hungarian Gypsy flavour in the finale, as does the Brahms Piano Quintet in G minor. Rounding out the program is Haydn’s Op. 20, No.4 with the Minuet movement titled ‘in the Gypsy style’.

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
‘Passion for Haydn’ CD will be for sale at all concerts for $20 each.
Please see website for more details:
(All dates, repertoire, and artists are subject to change.)

Rescheduled Concert:

Sunday April 9th, 2017 at 2:00pm only 
At St. John's Cathedral, 816 Spadina Crescent 
This concert is rescheduled from January 14th. 
All tickets from January 14th can be used for this new date. 
Haydn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky - Andante, and Puccini - Crysanthemums 

Past Seasons

Guest Artist Bios

william boan

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 National Music Festival in 2015. He was a finalist and received an honourable mention in the 2015 George Gershwin International Music Competition, New York. He won first prize in the 2015 Provincial Shurniak Concerto Competition, winning him the opportunity to give his debuts as soloist with both the Saskatoon and Regina Symphony Orchestras. In 2015, William performed as soloist with the Moscow Ballet, as their Musical Wunderkind. For the past two summers he has attended the Meadowmount Summer Music Institute, New York, studying with Sally Thomas and Ivan Ženatý. William currently studies Violin Performance at the University of Saskatchewan, in the studio of Professor Robert Klose.

Carmen Cole

Carmen Cole, age sixteen, is a grade 11 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 a member of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, 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. 

solveig deason

Solveig Deason, age fifteen, is a passionate violinist, pianist, and vocalist. Having always shown a great interest in music, she began studying violin at the age of four, with piano and voice following shortly after. Last year,       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. Solveig also performed with the Saskatoon Strings for several years. She has competed in the Saskatoon Music Festival since a very young age, leading her to the provincial level. She participates in all three disciplines and continues to receive 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 violin and voice, as well as grade 10 in piano. She continues to study violin with Marla Cole and piano with Bonnie Nicholson. Solveig is also an enthusiastic member of the Fireside Singers, under the instruction of Marilyn Whitehead. Solveig resides in Saskatoon as a grade 11 student at Evan Hardy Collegiate. Her hobbies include traveling, photography, and guitar.  

Emmet Fortosky
Emmett Fortosky is a 21 year old Upright Bass player who is currently in his fourth 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, country, classical, indie, pop, and many more, all while maintaining a strong background in classical training with over ten years of private lessons on the Upright Bass. As an exciting young musician, Emmett has subbed regularly with the Saskatoon Symphony this past year, worked as a sessional musician, and toured Western Canada. He plans to continue his forward momentum in the years to come.


Amos Friesen is in the Media School program in grade 11 at Evan Hardy Collegiate, and has played cello for 9 years. He is a four-time winner provincial winner for intermediate cello in the Saskatchewan Music Festival. Currently in his third season with the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, Amos performed two movements of the Monn cello concerto at last fall’s Amati concerts, and performs regularly as a member of the Caspian Trio and the Friesen Family Band.


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. She has performed and competed for four years in the Caspian Trio with siblings Godwin and Amos and plays first violin in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. In 2013, Simone won the Instrumental Rose Bowl at the Sask Valley Music Festival for the best overall instrumental performance. She was the soloist for “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at last fall’s Amati concerts. Simone enjoys teaching violin to beginning students and is presently continuing a degree in music performance at the University of Saskatchewan and beginning a second violin position in the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

brandon johnson

Brandon Johnson is currently studying violin performance at the University of Saskatchewan under Professor Robert Klose. In 2016 he was fortunate to serve as co-concertmaster for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra conducted by Richard Carnegie. In the spring of 2017 he will be the featured soloist with the Youth Orchestra. Brandon has participated in the music festival for 10 years and has won numerous certificates and scholarships.  An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys hiking, canoeing and camping in the wilderness. He is grateful for this opportunity to play with the Amati Quartet . 

Renee de MoissacAfter 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.

Heather Wilson

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.

Sam DeasonCanadian pianist, Samuel Deason has distinguished himself as a fearless musician having made his concerto debut as the first concerto soloist with orchestra in Koerner Hall’s inaugural season in Toronto – performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under Peter Oundjian.  He has performed concerti by Liszt­Busoni, Gershwin, Khachaturian, and Shostakovich with orchestras across North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. 

Samuel was a prizewinner of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (UK) and the Kerikeri International Piano Competition (New Zealand). Born in 1988, Samuel has studied with Bonnie Nicholson, Marc Durand, Menahem Pressler, and Boris Slutsky.


Amati Quartet Alumni

Evan Barber

Evan Barber began his violin studies at age three under Philip Kashap. He has been a member of various groups, including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Amati String Quartet, and Saskatoon Symphony. He has been broadcast on CBC radio, and has performed in Italy and across Canada with these ensembles. Outside of music, he has degrees in biochemistry and medicine, and is currently doing general surgery residency at the U of S. On the side, he still enjoys performing with the symphony, Prairie Virtuosi, and other groups.

Peter Hedlin

Cellist, Peter Hedlin studied with the Lafayette String Quartet at the University of Victoria while playing with the Evovae String Quartet.  Upon returning to Saskatoon, in 1998, he joined the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and has recorded several times with CBC as a member of various chamber ensembles.  From 2004 until 2010 he was the cellist in the University of Saskatchewan Amati String Quartet.  He is currently working as a resident in the department of Anesthesiology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Luke Hnenny

Luke Hnenny was born and raised in Saskatoon.  He began violin lessons at age four with Karen Bindle, and subsequently studied with Lillian Payzant and Julia Ruby.  He played in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, and was a member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as well.  A member of the University of Saskatchewan Amati String Quartet, he traveled to The Netherlands in 2005 with quartet mates Marla and Geoff Cole, and Peter Hedlin.  He is currently a member of the piano trio “The Hemostatics” with Carman Rabuka and Thomas Yu.  Luke currently practices neurosurgery in Regina, and is looking forward to moving his practice to Saskatoon in November of 2016.  

*All repertoire, dates and artists are subject to change