Present Tense: Canadian Chamber Works for Flute, Cello and Piano

Michelle Cheramy, flute (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Nathan Cook, cello (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Philip Roberts, piano (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

1 June  2016 / le 1 juin 2016
2.00 – 2.30 pm
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre

What does Canadian music in the 3rd millennium sound like? These three works, all by “Gen X” Canadian composers and all written within about a decade of each other, are a snapshot of this country’s established contemporary composers’ voices. Not surprisingly, musical influences audible in these works reflect the composers’ (and, more broadly speaking, Canada’s) hyphenate cultural and musical identities: here are found echoes of jazz/rock, Chinese traditional music, and Bartok and Ligeti, in a program that is alternatingly muscular and ethereal. 

Caritas for flute, cello, piano (2001) Kati Agócs (b. 1975)
Bagatelles for flute, cello, piano (2016)  Dorothy Chang (b. 1970)
Flute vs Cello (2013)  Andrew Staniland (b. 1977)


Michelle Cheramy, flute

Flutist Michelle Cheramy is associate professor of music at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  With playing described as a “...fine blend of artistry and bravura” (Edmonton Journal), Michelle has appeared in recital across Canada and the US, as soloist with orchestras in Canada, the United States and Russia; she has also been featured in numerous radio broadcasts nationally on the CBC (Symphony Hall, In Performance, Two New Hours, The Signal). A past winner of the National Flute Association’s research competition and the Canadian Concerto Competition, Michelle holds degrees from UBC (B.Mus.), Indiana University (M.M.) and Rice University (D.M.A.). 

Nathan Cook, cello 

Cellist Nathan Cook has been praised for his “authoritative yet relaxed” playing, his “sweet and pliant” sound, and “the combination of vigor and beauty” in his interpretation (Houston Chronicle). Currently associate professor of chamber music at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Nathan has recently been a featured teaching and performing artist at festivals in Brazil and Honduras, and recent chamber music recitals have included appearances with trio partners Michelle Cheramy (flute) and Phil Roberts (piano) in Toronto, Washington DC, Guelph and St. John’s. Nathan received his masters and doctoral degrees at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he studied with Norman Fischer. 

Philip Roberts, piano 

Philip Roberts currently resides in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he has served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano Memorial University’s School of Music, as accompanist and vocal coach for the instrumental and vocal faculties at Memorial University, and as a much sought after collaborative pianist in the larger community. He is winner of the International Gold Medal at the Llangollen International Musical Eistenfodd in Wales and the Royal Bank-Debut Atlantic Award for Musical Excellence, and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in performance from the University of Montreal and an Honours Bachelor of Music from Memorial University.

Assurément iconoclaste!

Christiane Riel, soprano (University of Ottawa)
Laura Loewen, piano (University of Manitoba)

2 June 2016 / le 2 juin 2016
11.00-11.30 am
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre

A selection of French mélodies that represent the influence and emergence of a musical genre prevalent in the first half of the 20th century: songs that reflect a frenzied interchange of ideas, a fusion of the banal and the original where music, theatre and popular culture intersect and move in new directions all the while embracing change and modernity as its catalyst. 

La Guirlande de Marcelline (excerpts) Louis Beydts
         C'est moi  
         La Sincère   
         Ne parle pas  
         Un cri   
Chiromancie Henri Sauguet
         from La Voyante   
Je ne t’aime pas Kurt Weill
La Dame de Monte-Carlo  Francis Poulenc
Je te veux   Eric Satie


Christiane Riel, soprano 

En plus d’être appréciée pour la beauté de sa voix, Christiane Riel, est reconnue pour la générosité et l’intensité de ses interprétations. Les héroïnes de Puccini, Verdi et celles du répertoire romantique français sont au cœur même de sa carrière. Après des débuts triomphants avec la Canadian Opera Company, elle a mené une carrière internationale des plus remarquables, se produisant au Canada, aux États-Unis et en Australie. «Déchirante de vérité », son interprétation de Madama Butterfly suscite éloges et reconnaissance; elle incarne ce rôle dans plus de 18 différentes productions. Depuis 1997, Mme Riel se consacre aussi à l’enseignement vocal. Invitée régulièrement à donner des classes de maître dans les universités, conservatoires et pour les programmes de stages professionnels à travers le Canada, elle est également sollicitée par plusieurs programmes d’été pour son expertise, notamment à Opera Nuova et Highlands Opera Studio. À partir de 2009, elle est membre du corps professoral aux universités Wilfrid-Laurier, Western Ontario et plus récemment, elle occupe la poste de coordonnatrice du Secteur Vocale à l’Université d’Ottawa. 

Appreciated for more than the sheer beauty of her voice, Christiane Riel is recognized for the generosity and intensity of her interpretations. The heroines of Puccini, Verdi, and those of the French romantic repertoire encompass the very heart of her remarkable career. After a triumphant debut with the Canadian Opera Company, Ms. Riel has enjoyed an international career throughout Canada, the United States, and Australia. A "heartbreakingly believable" Madama Butterfly, Ms. Riel’s Cio-Cio-San is acclaimed worldwide in over 18 different productions. Since 1997, despite her professional engagements, she has devoted significant time to vocal instruction regularly giving master classes at universities, conservatories and young artists programs throughout Canada. Summer programs like Opera Nuova and the Highlands Opera Studio have also requested her expertise Since September, 2009, Christiane has become a member of the university teaching fraternity; firstly, at Wilfrid-Laurier University, then at Western University and most recently, with her appointment as the Head of Vocal Sector for the University of Ottawa. 

Laura Loewen, piano 

Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and in Europe, Asia and South America. Her performances are characterized by deeply thoughtful and challenging programming of repertoire and thorough preparation. Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, she is a professor of Collaborative Piano and the Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba’s Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music. She is a founding faculty artist of VISI (Vancouver International Song Institute), and is also on the faculties of the NUOVAopera training program in Edmonton, Alberta, the Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and RICE (Rio International Cello Encounter). 

Ms. Loewen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying/Coaching from the University of Minnesota, where she was a fellowship student of Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack. 

The Canadian Virtuoso: Works by Canadian Composers

Dr. Réa Beaumont, Piano

3 June 2016 / le 3 juin 2016
3.30-4.00 pm
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre

Garage Alice Ping Yee Ho
Shattered Ice  Réa Beaumont
Sonata: Sounds Walter Buczynski


Chinese-Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho’s work traces the desperate emotions of individuals frantically trying to excape from an underground garage.  The intense composition was used as the film score for Director Edmond Chan’s psychological thriller Garage, the top prize-winner at the Calgary International Film Festival.

Réa Beumont’s exciting Shattered Ice evokes the pristine northern landscape and cautions that man’s thunderous intrusion may destroy the fragile ecosystem of the Canadian Arctic.

Winner of the Queen Elizabeth Award, Polish-Canadian composer Walter Buczynski explores the piano’s sonic capabilities in his formidable Sonata: Sounds, a virtuoso work where all four movements are played without a break.

"Clearly aware of the secret that makes a piano recital engaging and interesting" (CMC), award- winning concert pianist Dr. Réa Beaumont has premiered more than 50 works in collaboration with some of Canada’s finest composers, including R. Murray Schafer, Barbara Pentland, Oskar Morawetz, Anton Kuerti, and Chan Ka Nin, plus pieces commissioned for her by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Frequently described as “beautiful” (Minnesota Public Radio), Beaumont’s critically acclaimed recordings continue to be broadcast worldwide. After the publication of her book Composer Barbara Pentland (2012), Beaumont was named "a world authority" in the field (CBC Radio 2).

Fast Forward: MusCan Contemporary Music 2016

2 June 2016 / le 2 juin 2016
8.00 pm
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre

TreDue Sextet (2010) James Harley
          for flute, clarinet, marimba/vibraphone, piano, violin, violoncello  
5 Impromptus + (2015)  Sean Clarke
          for flute, soprano saxophone and piano  
Nocturne "Kick at the Darkness" (2010) Troy Ducharme
          for saxophone and piano  
Feedforward * (2015) Naithan Bosse
         for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano & vibraphone  


In the Heart of Cosmos (2015) Dennis Deovides Reyes III
          for chamber ensemble and 4-channel fixed media  
City of Marbles (2014)  – octophonic electroacoustic music Alyssa Aska
Expressions III, on the Paintings of Gustav Klimt (2006) Greg Steinke
          for clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion & piano  


Fast Forward Ensemble
Gareth Jones, conductor
August Murphy, flute
Jiajia Li, flute
Ana Angelovska, flute
Stan Climie, clarinet/bass clarinet
Holly De Caigny, saxophone 
Jeremy Brown, saxophone
Nia Devetsis, percussion
Sandra Joy Friesen, piano 
Roger Feria Jr, piano
Edmond Agopian, violin 
Rena Far, violin
Lou Dunand-Vincent, cello

2016 Canadian University Music Society Student Composer Competition

* Naithan Bosse – First Prize,  + Sean Clarke – Honourable Mention

MusCan Office

MusCan is led by a committed community of volunteers from across Canada. You can contact our secretariat by mail, phone, or email.

10 Morrow Avenue, Suite 202
Toronto, ON
M6R 2J1
office [AT]