Channelling the French Connection


By Communications Staff
Thursday, November 26, 2009
If a trip to France this fall isn't on your agenda, the Don Wright Faculty of Music has a perfect alternative. On Sunday, Nov. 29 students and faculty members offer two opportunities to hear fine French music performed by some of the top talent in the city.
At 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall, the University of Western Ontario Symphony Orchestra celebrates the French Connection with a program of Debussy’s La Mer, Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnol and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
Pianist John Hess is joined by other faculty members at 7 p.m. in the Paul Davenport Theatre for part two of the French Connection. The program features singers Anita Krause, Sophie Roland, Patricia Green, with Fiona Wilkinson, flute, and a string quartet.
Some of the most beautiful songs will be heard at the evening concert when the works of Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Loeffler, Poulenc and Chausson will be performed by several members of the faculty.
This is the second of a new Paul Davenport Theatre Series in the renovated theatre in Talbot College.
“The goal was to use as many faculty members as possible, but not to have a hodgepodge program,” says Hess.  “We want the audience to continually hear new people. The series offers total variety in music and performers. If you don’t like what you hear, wait until the next piece and it will change. It’s performance at its highest level but it’s not stuffy. It’s very inclusive.
“People get to sit in the Paul Davenport Theatre, which is beautiful. They’re close to the performers so there is an immediacy and a visceral connection to the artist.”
For both concerts:
  • Tickets are $15 adults; $10 students and seniors
  • Available in advance through Orchestra London at 519-679-8778 or cash at the door.
  • Parking is available across from both venues. See for details.
  • Both venues are wheelchair accessible.
The faculty continues to turn up the heat with several other concerts featuring music from around the world.
Zoltan Kalman on clarinet and Brenda Joyce on piano present “Virtuoso Clarinet” in von Kuster Hall, Music Building on Friday, Nov. 27.
Kalman was born in Hungary. He received his training at the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy of Music. After graduation, he spent a year as principal clarinettist with the Hungarian State Orchestra, where he played under the baton of such luminaries as Sir George Solti, Giuseppe Patane and Leonard Bernstein.

From 1983-1989, he served as principal with the Budapest Opera Orchestra. He was a founding member of one of Hungary’s foremost wind quintets, Aquincum. Since arriving in Canada in 1989, he has appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles in Ontario, including the Georgian Bay Symphony, Symphony Hamilton, Niagara Symphony, Boris Brott Summer Music Festival Players and the Gallery Players. He joined Trio Canada for a performance of the Weber Clarinet Quintet which was broadcast by Toronto’s CJRT.

Kalman is principal clarinettist with both the Niagara Symphony and Symphony Hamilton, and appears regularly with the Brantford Symphony, Mississauga Opera Company, and Scarborough Symphony.

In addition to his career as a musician, he also teaches clarinet, saxophone, a woodwind techniques course, conducts the wind ensemble at Brock University, and teaches clarinet at McMaster University.

October 2006 marked the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising, a defining moment in both Hungarian and Canadian history. Kalman was selected by the National Art Centre as one of 50 Hungarian-Canadians who have made a singular contribution to Canada. His special portrait has become part of the permanent collection at the Portrait Gallery of Canada.
The Jazz Ensemble, featuring guest Barry Usher on saxophone, will be exploring swing music from the New Orleans days to the Joplin era, big bang and bebop on Friday, Nov. 27. “That Thing Called Swing” is a free concert in the Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College and begins at 8 p.m. Music by Sammy Nestico, Thad Jones and Gordon Goodwin will be featured.
Also on Friday, St. Cecilia Singers and UWO singers will perform a free concert at St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica (196 Dufferin Ave.) at 7:30 p.m.
Get in the spirit on Tuesday, Dec. 1, as Les Choristes and Chorale present a Christmas program, featuring works by Canadian, American and Latvian composers, at 12:30 p.m. in von Kuster Hall, Music Building.
Harkening back to the classics, the Wind Ensemble will perform “Patronage – Politics – Passages” in the Paul Davenport Theatre on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
The concert will feature works by Bach, Honegger, Noble and Wilson.
Wrap up the end of the semester with some holiday cheer at the Grad Club on Friday, Dec. 4. The Jazz Ensemble will entertain guests for an end-of-term celebration beginning at 9 p.m.

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