LSM Newswire

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spivakov and Kern Brings their North American Debut Tour to Toronto



"Brilliant bowing, wide shining tone, splendid intonation and a vibrato as sweet as molten sugar." – New York Times

"His playing was godlike, creating sound perhaps no other living violinist has ever before successfully attempted." – Daily News (New York)

“Kern's musicality radiates off the stage and saturates the hall, and it is joyously alive, immediately communicative, fragrantly sensual, and almost visual in its intensity. Whatever it is – call it star quality – music likes Kern the way the camera liked Garbo.” – Ronald Broun, The Washington Post

Legendary violinist Vladimir Spivakov and scintillating Van Cliburn-winning pianist Olga Kern perform together for the first time in Toronto as a duo. Show One Productions presents an unparalleled evening of romantic and 20thcentury masterworks, in their North American debut tour, Thursday, February 23, 2012, 8 p.m. at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W.

Tickets, $50-120, are available from the Koerner Hall box office, 416-408-2824 or More information is at

The program features two 19th century sonatas – Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor, and Franck’s Sonata in A – along with two 20th century favorites – Stravinsky’s Suite Italien, based on his ballet music for Pulcinella, his treatment of Italian baroque music; and Arvo Pärt’s poignant Fratres.

Show One has previously presented Spivakov and Kern in Toronto, but with Spivakov as conductor and Kern as soloist in piano concerti by Haydn and Shostakovich, at a sold-out concert (with seats on stage) with the Moscow Virtuosi in 2008.

The North American recital tour of Spivakov and Kern, which begins in January 2012, marks their first joint recital tour outside of Europe.


A violinist of “soulful refinement and technical finesse”, Vladimir Spivakov appears regularly as a recitalist and orchestra soloist in all of the major international music capitals. For over three decades, he has been one of the most acclaimed violin virtuosos of our time.

Winner of the Montreal International Competition in 1969 and the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970, Mr. Spivakov made his United States recital debut in 1975 and international engagements quickly followed. As a violinist, he has performed as soloist with the most important orchestras in the world, and collaborated with some of the 20th century’s most eminent conductors, including Svetlanov, Kondrashin, Temirkanov, Rostropovich, Bernstein, Leinsdorf, Ozawa, Maazel, Giulini, Masur, Chailly, Conlon and Abbado. Critics of the leading musical countries unanimously appreciate Spivakov’s deep insight into composers’ intentions, the richness, beauty and volume of his tone, his fine phrasing and nuance, his emotional impact on his audiences, and his refined artistry and intelligence. In addition to performing major traditional works, Mr. Spivakov has continually treated his audiences to new and innovative repertoire, both in chamber music and orchestral works. Mr. Spivakov plays a violin by Stradivari.


It is now 10 years since Olga Kern’s career took off with her gold-medal performance at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001. Her second catapulting triumph came in New York City on May 4, 2004, with a highly acclaimed New York City recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. In an unprecedented turn of events, she returned eight days later, for a recital in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, at the invitation of Carnegie Hall.

With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking young Russian pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. She has performed in recital or as a soloist with orchestra in many of the world's most important venues, in her native Russia, in Europe, Asia, North and South America – and South Africa, where she is Artistic Director of the Cape Town Festival.

Among her numerous recent North American appearances were co-presentations in March and April 2011 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Van Cliburn Foundation, honoring her Cliburn victory 10 years ago.

Ms. Kern records exclusively with Harmonia Mundi, and her highly anticipated Chopin Sonatas CD was recently released in 2010.

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Musicians In Ordinary Welcomes New Year with Baroque Concert



Too much partying over the holiday season?

The Musicians In Ordinary ease music lovers into the New Year in gentle elegance, with their annual New Year’s Day concert.

Soprano Hallie Fishel, lutenist John Edwards, violinists Edwin Huizinga and Christopher Verrette, and harpsichordist Lysiane Boulva in her MIO debut perform baroque music from Italy and elsewhere in Europe, Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue (Bay subway). The concert will be repeated Monday, January 2 at 8 p.m. Single tickets, $25, $20 for students and seniors, are available at the door. More information may be obtained from, by e-mailing or by calling 416-535-9956.

As an alternative to the traditional New Year’s Day fare of 19th century Viennese waltzes and polkas, The Musicians In Ordinary offer cantatas by Vivaldi and Alessandro Scarlatti, a trio sonata by Corelli, and John Edwards playing solo archlute music by Giovanni Zamboni.

John Edwards invites the public to enjoy their unique way to bring in the New Year: “I think the elegance and subtle shading of the Baroque sets us off from other musical offerings on New Year's Day, while still exhibiting the joy and exuberance so appropriate as we look forward to the New Year.”

Christopher Verrette has been a member of the violin section of Tafelmusik since 1993 and is a frequent soloist and leader with the orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University and has contributed to the development of early music in the American Midwest as a founding member of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble and Ensemble Voltaire (Indianapolis), and as a guest director with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. He collaborates with numerous ensembles around North America, performing music from seven centuries on violins, viola, rebec, vielle and viola d’amore. He was concertmaster for a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for an anthology soon to be released by Indiana University Press, and most recently collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream.

Edwin Huizinga has toured throughout Canada, Europe and Asia with Tafelmusik and performed with the Aradia Ensemble and I Furiosi. He has soloed with the Oberlin, Note Bene and San Francisco Baroque Orchestras, the San Bernardino Symphony, Sacramento Baroque Ensemble, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra. He has been guest concertmaster of the San Francisco Bach Chorale and guest director of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, toured with the Wallfisch Band under Gustav Leonhardt, and has been a guest artist at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Currently a member of the ensemble Passemezzo Moderno, in November 2011 he makes his Carnegie Hall debut with the Theatre of Early Music. Huizinga has a passion for bringing chamber music to the people and is a founding member of the Classical Revolution, which began in San Francisco in 2006. He is now developing a Toronto chapter, which will bring chamber music closer to the public. An avid improviser, Edwin can be found collaborating in many different genres in the artistic community.

Lysiane Boulva holds a Master in harpsichord from the Université de Montréal and a Master in Arts in early music and historical performance practice from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Netherlands (2010). She has performed in France, Belgium, Netherlands and in Canada, for concerts organized, among others, by the Festival Oude Muziek − Fringe Festival in Utrecht (NL), the Festival Alexandria (ON), the Amis de l’orgue de Rimouski (QC), the Concerts aux Iles du Bic Festival (QC) and as a guest artist with the baroque ensemble I FURIOSI (Toronto). Recipient of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship as well as a J. Armand Bombardier Internationalist Fellowship, Lysiane has studied with Fabio Bonizzoni, Kenneth Gilbert, Ton Koopman, Réjean Poirier and Blandine Verlet. She now pursues a Doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Toronto with Charlotte Nediger and Mary Ann Parker, during which she is specializing in French harpsichord music of the 18th century.