This intriguing concert features the following performers. It will be released as a Youtube Premiere on February 9 at 12:30pm. Join us and enjoy the chat.
Judith Davenport, viola
Peter Shackleton, clarinet
Anna Ronai, piano
Alan Hovhaness Chahagir for Viola Solo, opus 56A
This expressive solo work for viola was written as Hovhannes was turning away from Western European music and beginning to immerse himself in his Armenian heritage, particularly the music and its modes. Hovhaness’s work for solo viola, Chahagir, means “Torch Bearer.” It holds significant meaning in the Armenian Orthodox Church, as they proclaim themselves to be torch bearers for their faith. The dark, rich tone of the solo viola is well-suited to the somber mood of the piece, which has an overall processional feel.
Rebecca Clarke Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola
Written in 1941 for her brother and sister-in-law, Clarke modestly described her “Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale” as (quote): “… very unpretentious: a short, unassuming little prelude… The second movement should sound very spirited… The third movement, Pastorale, is rather melancholy and nostalgic…” Much of Rebecca Clarke’s music remained unpublished during her lifetime, with renewed public interest in the ‘70s and the establishment of the Rebecca Clarke Society in 2000 to promote the performance of her music.
Max Bruch Selections from Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano
One of Bruch’s most well-known chamber works is his collection of Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, op. 83 written in 1910 for his twenty-five-year-old son, Max Felix, who was just beginning his career as a professional clarinetist. By pairing the rich, mellow colours of the clarinet and viola, Bruch gives us a set of short miniatures full of lyrical melodies and romantic harmonies.
Judith Davenport is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with members of the Penderecki String Quartet. She has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra, continuing her summer studies in Banff, at the Orford Arts Centre and has participated in a number of QuartetFests at Wilfrid Laurier University. An avid chamber musician, Judith has performed on series such as the Stratford Summer Music Festival, KWS’s Baroque and Beyond, Leith Summer Festival, Perimeter Institute’s Bistro Series, Festival of the Sound, and the KWMS to name just a few. She is currently a member of the INNERchamber String Quartet.
As an educator, Judith is very active in the Kitchener-Waterloo community teaching at Wilfrid Laurier, University of Waterloo (Conrad Grebel), as well as maintaining a small private studio. Judith is part of the resident faculty for IMC (Interprovincial Music Camp) and City of Lakes Strings Retreat at the Canadian Ecology Centre. She is a long time coach for the KW Symphony’s Youth Orchestra program and is in high demand as a clinician across Southern Ontario.
Judith has held the position of Associate Principal Viola with the KWS since October 2002 and maintains an active freelance career across Southern Ontario. She lives in Kitchener with her husband Jeff and their small but mighty Scottish Terrier Gus.
Peter Shackleton is principal clarinetist of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and a member of Music in Common and INNERchamber. He has served as principal clarinetist of Orchestra London Canada, and has performed with Tafelmusik (on historical clarinet) and Les Violons du Roy, as well as with the Milwaukee Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Stratford Festival Orchestras. Peter is currently on the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University and in the past has held teaching positions at Western University and Lakehead University. Awarded First Prize at the 27th CBC Radio Competition, he has performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra (Vancouver), Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik. Peter received his Honours Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and a certificate in Chamber Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Anna Ronai has performed at major venues in Europe, North America and China, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, Gläserner Saal, Musikverein, and Schubert Saal, Konzerthaus in Vienna. Anna has collaborated with distinguished singers as Brigitte Fassbaender, Michelle Breedt, Bernarda Fink, Robert Holl, and Members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Anna is a graduate of the Music University of the Arts Vienna, where she earned two Masters degrees, one in Piano Performance and the other in Collaborative Piano. She maintained positions at the Vienna and Innsbruck Conservatories, and a faculty position for piano, piano chamber music at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna. She has played for master-classes with esteemed artists including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Linda Watson.
In Fall 2020 Anna joined Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo as the piano instructor, where she has also been an instrumental accompanist since 2019. She is an active performer at concerts and recitals across Ontario and abroad. Performances with the Trio d’Argento include “Music Toronto” (the world-premiere of ”Manidoog” by native composer Barbara Croall). In collaboration with Vienna based Flutist Ulrike Anton and the “Exil.arte” Institute in Vienna she played several concerts at the Holocaust Education week in Toronto and at University of Ottawa. Anna also actively collaborates with Jim Mason and the Wellington Wind Ensemble and Gallery Players, in various recent Chamber Music recitals in the region. Anna is also a Vocal / Opera Coach at Wilfrid Laurier University.