Friday, 12 August 2016

Satisfying Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget –The Tuckamore Young Artists Concerts

The concerts featuring the Tuckamore Festival's Young Artists have to be one of the best values in town.  These concerts are held at the historic St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, affectionately known as "The Kirk", which has lovely acoustics, carved interiors and original stained glass windows.  It is a perfect setting for an aesthetic experience such as the lunchtime concert series.  This Wednesday, I attended the first in the young artists series and wow did we get a whole lot of music for a suggested donation of $5!

Five musicians, from four provinces and the United States, each played.  No one in the audience knew in advance what was going to be on the musical menu.  We were just there because we knew we could count on the quality of talent and skills.  No to mention, it is exciting to be a part of nurturing tomorrow's classical musicians. Afterwards, I asked several people in the audience what their favourite pieces or performers were and everyone picked differently.

One woman said that she favoured Jade Ley's lyrical interpretation of Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu.  Another was impressed by the stage presence of Nina Weber, who played Bach's Sonata for solo violin in A minor.  One gentleman pointed out that Noah Schuster on cello, who played Tchaikovsky's Variation on a Rocco Theme was the toughest act to follow while another Tchaikovsky fan thought highly of Amanda Cassano's rendition of Mélodie.  I picked Luis Ramirez and his committed performance of Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No.7 because I think it is fiendishly difficult to play well as it twists and turns between the playful, brooding and unsettling moods.

Watch for the upcoming Saturday night concert Young Artists at Play at the Suncor Energy Hall ($15/10) and more 12:30 afternoon concerts at The Kirk next week.