As Though With Eyes Closed
Paul Pulford (cello) and Cheryl Duvall (piano)
Bekah Simms — wires at rest (tend to tangle) (2015/6)
Michael Vincent Waller — Anthems (2014) and Lines (2016)
Nick Storring — Vale (2016)
Linda Catlin Smith — Ballad (2005)
January 12th & 13th, 2017 | 8PM sharp | Canadian Music Centre
Tickets : $15 regular, $10 (student/ senior/ artsworker)
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About the program
Linda Catlin Smith's contemplative 45-minute work "Ballad (2005)" is breathtaking—nothing short of a twenty-first century masterpiece. Unfortunately, like many great works of the 25 years, it hasn't seen a repeat performance since its premiere, which (on a more fortunate note) was recorded and released commercially on Maria De Alvear's World Edition label. This generously introspective work will now, finally be seeing a remount thanks to the tireless commitment of Pulford and Duvall.
The other half of the program features four shorter works. NYC-based Michael Vincent Waller's transparent vignettes might invite comparisons to Howard Skempton or Erik Satie while Bekah Simms, is known for a richly-textured approach that extends instruments beyond their traditional capacity yet maintains a strong sense of lyricism. I was circumspect about writing for cello and piano, an instrumental combination that saturated my early years. Yet inspite of this challenge, I feel as though I produced one of my most dynamic recent works.
Paul Pulford studied with American cellist George Neikrug and with Scottish cellists Peggie Sampson and Joan Dickson. He has played in the BBC Scottish Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Austin (Texas) Symphony, and was principal cellist of the Toronto Chamber Players and Irish Pro Musica Ensemble. As a soloist he has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Banff Festival Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, RTE (Ireland) Symphony, and the Irish Pro Musica Ensemble. He has performed extensively as a recitalist and has recorded the complete Beethoven and Brahms sonatas with fortepianist Boyd McDonald.
“Despite the many big-name cellists who recorded this music, Pulford and McDonald have completely blown the competition out of the water.” Continuo Magazine (USA) on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas
Pulford has spent the majority of his years as a cellist in chamber ensembles that include: Penderecki Quartet (1990-2003), Orford, Brunswick and University of Alberta String Quartets; the Galliard Ensemble; new music groups Blue Rider Ensemble (1990 – present), ARRAY New Music and NUMUS Ensemble.
Cheryl Duvall is multifaceted pianist with a penchant for musical risk taking and adventure. Equally comfortable in many different musical roles, she regularly appears as a soloist, collaborative pianist, adjudicator, teacher, producer and panelist and has toured and performed throughout Canada, Europe, Argentina and the U.S. Cheryl’s strong affinity for boundary-pushing and innovative music making led her along with friend and violinist, Ilana Waniuk to co-found the Toronto-based Thin Edge New Music Collective, “One of Toronto hottest and bravest new music collectives” (Michael Vincent - Musical Toronto), now in their sixth season. In her role as Co-Artistic Director of TENMC, she has been at the helm of many large scale collaborative projects, including ‘Raging Against the Machine’, a collaborative concert, touring and recording project with Montreal-based Ensemble Paramirabo, and ‘Balancing on the Edge’, a radical collaboration integrating new music with new circus practices into a unique and thought-prokoving production. Under the leadership of both Ilana and Cheryl, TENMC has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works for chamber ensemble to date with 15 more slated for their upcoming season and have garnered an exceptional international reputation through tours to Italy, Switzerland, Argentina and across Canada.
Recently, she was shortlisted as the finalist for the 2016 K.M. Hunter Artist Awards in Music through the Ontario Arts Council and Foundation and in 2009, she was awarded a SSHRC grant for her pedagogical research. Cheryl completed an Honours Bachelor of Music, majoring in Piano Performance and Theory and a Diploma of Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as a Master’s of Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Toronto. Her main teachers and influences include Guy Few, Chris Foley, Midori Koga, Carmen Piazzinni, Nina Tichman, Henri-Paul Sicsic, and Anya Alexeyev.