Volume 10 Week 10

Saturday, March 4


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(Posted 4:30 p.m., Sept. 24)
Violin virtuoso wows Orléans audience
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Twenty-two-year-old German violinist Augustin Hadelich kicked off this year's Concerts Cumberland series with an awe-inspiring performance at Orleans United Church on Friday night accompanied by Canadian pianist Ian Parker. Fred Sherwin/Photo

In writing about past Concerts Cumberland performances, I've often said how lucky we are in the east end to have a group of volunteers who are willing to bring some of the best classically trained musicians in the world to Orléans.

On Friday night, they definitely outdid themselves by booking one of the best young violinists in the world in Augustin Hadelich to play at the Orleans United Church accompanied by gifted Canadian pianist Ian Parker.

Fresh off of winning the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis last Sunday, Hadelich demonstrated a level of virtuosity that belies his young age.

Just 22, Hadelich nearly died in a fire on his family's Italian farm in 1999. After a number of operations that including several skin grafts and months of painful rehabilitation, he moved to New York where he recently graduated from The Juilliard School.

Hadelich and Parker kicked off their performance with Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in D Major by Beethoven which Hadelich performed during the semi-finals in Indianapolis, and while the piece was excellently played it paled in comparison to what was to come.

After the duet, Hadelich left the stage, leaving Parker to perform "Gaspard de la Nuit", a piano solo written by Maurice Ravel in three movements. Parker is a tremendously powerful pianist, but his true gift is in his ability to balance power with grace as was evident in the first movement when he deftly created the sound of shimmering water.

After a short intermission, Hadelich took the stage to perform Sonata for Solo Violin by Bernd Zimmerman that was unlike anything I have ever heard before. In a word it was unbelievable. My only regret is that NAC conductor Pinkas Zuckerman, who sat in the back of the room during the first half of the concert, wasn't able to stick around to witness it himself.

As good as the Zimmerman piece was, the highlight of the evening came when Paker returned to his piano to accompany Hadelich for Sonata for Violin and Piano no. 3 in D Minor by Brahms. The combination of the two young geniuses playing the Brahms melody together was pure magic and showed a softer more lyrical side to Hadelich's virtuosity especially during the Adagio.

The dynamic duo capped their performance with an encore of Chopin's "Nocturne in C sharp Minor".

For winning the competition in Indianapolis, Hadelich received a cash prize of $30,000, a 24-carat gold medallion, the four-year loan of the 1683 ex-Gingold Stradivari violin and Tourte bow, a recording contract, a gold Fleur-de-Lys bow made by Berg Bows and more than 40 concert engagements including a domestic and international tour entitled "Pure Gold" with Chinese pianist Yingdi Sun.

It likely goes without saying, but Hadelich will be in high demand on concert stages and with established orchestras the world over. Unfortunately, Friday night's performance will be his last in Orléans. That's because the small group of people who first formed Concerts Cumberland back in 1993 to bring quality classical chamber music to the east end have decided to disband at the conclusion of this year's concert series.

The next concert will feature British cellist Michael Jones and classical Spanish guitarist Agustin Maruri who will be performing pieces from their recently released CD "Don Quijote y Dulcinea" at Orleans United Church on Saturday, March 4 .

Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and only $10 for students 25 and under. They can either be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by calling Suzanne McCully at 613-837-6104.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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