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Chamber Music Festival returns to Westman – Brandon Sun

todayAugust 10, 2023 7

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Classical music lovers across Westman will get the chance to take in some top-notch performances at the 18th annual Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival, happening later this month.

This year’s festival celebrates the double anniversary of composer and pianist Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, commemorating 150 years since his birth and 80 years since his passing.

The festival gets started with the “Soirée Rachmaninoff” on opening night on Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall at the Brandon University School of Music. The evening will feature tribute performances dedicated to Rachmaninoff from father-son pianists Alexander and Daniel Tselyakov.

Alexander began his concert career with the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Soviet Union at the age of nine, going on to win one of the leading prizes at the prestigious VIIIth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Second International Music Competition of Japan, the Ibla Grand Prize International Piano Competition, the Mazara del Vallo International Piano and Orchestra Competition in Italy, the Israel Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition.

Alexander studied with Lev Naumov, custodian of the Heinrich Neuhaus methods that are credited with producing many extraordinary 20th Century Russian keyboard masters such as Gilels and Richter, at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

He has also performed frequently with leading orchestras, including the Leningrad Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Symphony and the State Belarusian Philharmonic. He has appeared with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Symphonique de Québec, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia and more.

While still in Russia, Alexander was appointed concert solo pianist with the Belarusian State Philharmonic and Assistant Professor of Music at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. In 1994, he emigrated to Canada and made his debut at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Active as a chamber musician, Alexander collaborates with many leading Canadian musicians and is artistic director of the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival and the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival. He lives in Brandon, where he has held a full-time position as professor of piano at Brandon University since 2003.

Daniel, Alexander’s son, began his piano studies at age five and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree at the Oberlin Conservatory with Angela Cheng and a Master of Music degree with pianist Jimmy Brière at the Université de Montréal. He also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Dr. Ning Lu from the University of Utah, where he taught.

Daniel has won numerous scholarships, trophies and awards, including top prizes in the Utah MTNA competition, the International Livorno Piano Competition, the McLellan Competition and more.

By the age of 12, Daniel had performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as a soloist with the Penderecki String Quartet. He was also the youngest musician ever to be invited as a guest artist with the Virtuosi Concert Series.

Daniel has appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Sinfonietta and the San Luis Potosi Symphony Orchestra Mexico. In April 2014, he debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As a chamber musician, he has shared the stage with James Ehnes on violin, Angela Chen on piano, the Rolston Quartets, the Borealis String Quartet and the Penderecki String Quartet.

<p>Pianists Alexander Tselyakov and his son, Daniel (below left), will perform at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival later this month. Soprano Lea Weilbrenner (below right) will perform at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival’s coffee concert on Aug. 26 at the Erickson Lutheran Church. (Submitted photos)</p>

Pianists Alexander Tselyakov and his son, Daniel (below left), will perform at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival later this month. Soprano Lea Weilbrenner (below right) will perform at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival’s coffee concert on Aug. 26 at the Erickson Lutheran Church. (Submitted photos)

The program for the Soirée Rachmaninoff will highlight the versatility and depth of Rachmaninoff’s musical contributions, and will feature arrangements of Bach’s Violin Partita No. 3, Tchaikovsky’s Lullaby and a selection of Rachmaninoff’s own preludes and etude-tableaux. Pieces like Moment Musical in E Minor will also be played.

The coffee concert will return on Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. at the Erickson Lutheran Church, blending humour and entertainment and highlighting light classical works, musicals, tango and jazz-style musical moments. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be served.

Lea Weilbrenner, winner of the first prize of Prix d’Expression musicale of Marianapolis College in Montreal, will perform at the coffee concert, making the most of her acting skills and voice.

Originally from Montreal, Weilbrenner graduated and finished her master’s degree in 2014 under the tutelage of Prof. Thérèse Sevadjian and Aline Kutan at Schulich School of McGill University.

Weilbrenner has performed in the roles of Elisetta from Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto with the Baroque Mont-Royal Company, Belinda (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell), accompanied by the Ensemble Vivace, and as a soloist for Broadway sur le Plateau with the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada and for the Otakuthon Festival.

Weilbrenner has also been invited to sing for Shakespeare’s Festival in Berlin, for Yellowknife’s Ramble and Ride Festival, and has sung with the Joliette Youth Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de la Métropole and with the ensemble Les Méandres.

As a chorister, she sang for ensemble Art-Choral, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal, for the prestigious Théâtre du Nouveau Monde company, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the Montreal Opera and more.

Weilbrenner is also very fond of new music, having participated in the creation of many operas, including Another Brick in the Wall and La Beauté du Monde, Miguela and L’Homme qui rit. She wrote her own cycle for solo soprano and clarinet.

Also on Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m., a concert will be presented at the church that features candlelight and music.

The festival will conclude with the Young Artist’s Initiation Rachmaninoff Celebration on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. at the church. The concert will showcase young pianists Vivian Yin, Sophia Ye, Joy Sunqiaoyi Zhang, Zhuo Song, Jia Zhang, Haocheng Gong, Xingduan Qiao, Wanting Ren and Darina Layrukhina.

Tickets for all events are available at the door and at clearlakefestival.ca.

» mleybourne@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @miraleybourne





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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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