Renowned musicians ready to get personal
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 10:38 am
Two renowned classical musicians are getting personal with foothills residents this weekend.
Juno Award-winning harpist Gianetta Baril and award-winning flutist Lucie Jones comprise the Looking Glass Duo and the twosome is planning an intimate performance for the Beneath the Arch Concert Series’ first concert of the year at the Flare ‘n’ Derrick Community Centre in Turner Valley on Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. Baril and Jones will be joined by Calgary musician Kyrill Kalmykov, originally of Russia, on cello.
“We are all so passionate about what we do that we share very eagerly with the audience,” said Baril. “They can expect an opportunity to be really up close and intimate with these three instruments and to really feel like they’re a part of the performance.”
Baril has performed in large concert halls before audiences of thousands of people but finds the smaller venues offer a more intimate feel.
“I love playing in the smaller communities because it’s a really different kind of experience from a big concert hall,” she said. “Any chamber music concerts we do we are always talking a little bit about the music. The audience really wants to know the performers personally and make a connection and for me it’s important as well.”
Few people know much about the concert harp and Baril plans to enlighten foothills residents about this unique instrument through song and education.
“Most people don’t know the concert harp has seven pedals,” she said. “For me it’s a great opportunity to bring what I’m passionate about to people who haven’t had an opportunity to experience it before. You get the sense that you are bringing something brand new to people.”
Baril studied music at the University of Toronto and was awarded the Eaton Graduation Scholarship for highest honours in the performance class.
Half of her music career was spent in Europe where she represented Canada at the World Harp Congresses in Vienna and Paris and performed solos for the Queen, Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana.
Since returning to Canada in 2001, Baril performed concerti with the Red Deer Symphony, the Banff International Summer Festival and the Symphony of the Kootenays as well as a wide variety of solo and chamber music recitals.
The harpist’s CBC recording of the Alberto Ginastera and Oskar Morawetz Concerti with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra won a Juno Award for the Best Recording of a Canadian Work and she released her solo album “Luminescence” in 2008.
It was while studying at the University of Toronto in the 1970s Baril and Jones met, but it wasn’t until 2004 when they began performing together. In 2009 they formed the Looking Glass Duo.
“Sometimes you meet other musicians who you really connect with, just the way they phrase and their preference to style of music, and Lucie and I just really clicked,” she said. “A lot of people think we are sisters because we are close to the same age and look similar.”
Jones, the winner of the University of Calgary Concerto Competition in 2005/06 and the 2008 National Flute Association Performers’ Competition, has been a featured performer with Calgary’s Kensington Sinfonia, a soloist with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian University College Orchestra and an extra player with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Baril and Jones are instructors at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University Conservatory, as well as clinicians for bands and orchestras in southern Alberta.
Although both have performed alongside Kalmykov, Baril said they have never performed as a trio and are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend.
“The flute and harp is a traditional combination,” she said. “The concert harp can have a very full sound, a much bigger sound than audiences are expecting to hear from the harp, but you add the dimension of the cello and it fits perfectly.”
Baril said the trio is offering a varied program with a combination of solos, duets and trios with a surprise performance not outlined in the program.
“I think the audience is going to enjoy it a lot,” she hinted.
Beneath the Arch Concert Series selection committee chairperson Suzanne Searle said she is excited to bring the three talented musicians together for the series’ first concert of the year.
“It will be a nice mixture of really beautiful classical music,” she said. “Gianetta is one of the best harpists in North America and they are all top-notch world class.”
Searle said the combination of talent and great acoustics promises for an entertaining afternoon.
The doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 3 p.m. on Jan. 13.
Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for children ages six to 12. Tickets are available in advance at Okotoks Natural Foods, Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Coyote Moon Cantina & Espresso Bar in Turner Valley and the Millarville General Store.