Mary-Katherine Finch, violoncello
Wallace Halladay, saxophone
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Ryan Scott, vibraphone
Allison Wiebe, piano
Contact Contemporary Music members Mary-Katherine Finch and Wallace Halladay curate a concert of music for saxophone and violoncello. From beauty to vulgarity, and from the sacred to the profane, these two virtuoso musicians present an intimate programme at Gallery 345.
One of the Soviet composer Edison Denisov’s last works highlights the lyrical qualities of the two instruments. As Denisov said, "Beauty is the principal factor in my work. This means not only beautiful sound…but beautiful ideas as understood by mathematicians.” The programme includes the works of Russian followers of Denisov: the religious transcendence of Vustin (with guest percussionist Ryan Scott), and the stoic expressionism of Karassikov (with CONTACT pianist Allison Wiebe).
The music of German Helmut Oehring is some of the most interesting to emerge from East Berlin – with late training in classical music, this electric guitarist explores sound and vulgarity in his musical description of Fred Leuchter - Holocaust denier and designer of instruments of capital punishment. Allison Wiebe will spend the intermission preparing the piano to join the duo again.
Saxophonist Wallace Halladay captures the qualities of the modern virtuoso, being at home in numerous styles, from the traditional to jazz and beyond. A specialist in the performance of contemporary music, he has commissioned and premiered numerous works. A soloist with the Vancouver Symphony and Esprit Orchestras, he also inaugurated the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's "Intersections" Series. He recently worked with Philippe Leroux on the North American premiere of his saxophone concerto in Montréal. He recorded the two saxophone Sequenzas of Berio and the Colgrass concerto for NAXOS and is in demand as a performer with new music groups across Canada and the US. Wallace holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, and studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Arno Bornkamp. Wallace was the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, the first woodwind player to be awarded in its 25-year history. Wallace is a Conn-Selmer Artist and plays Selmer (Paris) saxophones.
Cellist Mary-Katherine Finch holds both Bachelor and Master degrees in performance from the University of Toronto. She performs frequently in recital with pianist Ron Greidanus. Playing an authentic baroque cello, she has appeared with Aradia, Baroque Music Beside the Grange, Grand River Baroque Festival and Toronto Masque Theatre. In the area of new music, she regularly collaborates with the ensembles Toca Loca and Ergo, and has premiered several chamber works of Canadian composers. Mary-Katherine frequently plays with the larger ensembles of the Mendelssohn, Isler, Amadeus and Elora Festival Choirs.