NOCCA presents the Sords-Severn-Duvall Trio in An Evening Celebrating Beethoven on Dec. 1 featuring violinist Andrew Sords, cellist Luke Severn and pianist Cheryl Duvall. (Submitted photos)

North Okanagan group brings in young talent to celebrate Beethoven

NOCCA presents An Evening Celebrating Beethoven Dec. 1

The 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth is being honoured with some sweet harmonies in Vernon.

An Evening Celebrating Beethoven will be presented by the youthful international trio of American violinist Andrew Sords, Australian cellist Luke Severn and Canadian pianist Cheryl Duvall on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre. These three solo artists will join forces to present a program including both Beethoven’s foreboding C minor trio and the profound Archduke trio, Brahms’ lively Hungarian Dance #6 arranged for trio, Ravel’s rhapsodic Tzigane for violin and piano, and “…when the world was young” for cello and piano composed by the trio’s cellist, premiered in 2018. This is a program designed to display the virtuosity of the performers, the mastery of the composers, and the timelessness of this superb music.

Sords has a celebrated career as one of the most prolific soloists of his generation. Having appeared on four continents as a concerto soloist and with his piano trio, Sords has been cited for combining visceral virtuosity with a ravishing tone, while international critics endorse Sords as “a fully formed artist” (Kalisz-Poland News), “utterly radiant” (Canada’s Arts Forum), and “exceptionally heartfelt and soulful” (St. Maarten’s Daily Herald). In 2019/20, Sords will tour with the Beethoven sonata cycle, piano trio cycle, Triple Concerto, and Violin Concerto in celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary. These appearances will include Australia, Mexico, British Columbia, the Caribbean, Yukon Territory, and across the United States.

Born in Newark, Delaware, Sords was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and asked for piano lessons at age five. A year later he began studying violin, continuing his studies at the ENCORE School for Strings, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Southern Methodist University. As a teenager, Sords garnered prizes from concerto competitions, and has since collaborated with 300 orchestras worldwide.

As a cellist, composer, and musical director, Severn possesses a musical voice of great versatility and passion. Noted for his expressive performances and dynamic and engaging personality he is emerging as an artistic tour de force in the Australian musical landscape. A protégé of Russian cellist Karine Georgian, Severn holds a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from Monash University in Melbourne. Luke is a passionate educator and enjoys teaching in his private studio as well as directing many community music initiatives in Melbourne.

As a soloist, Severn is a champion of both the standard concerto literature and new works for cello and orchestra. A highly sought-after chamber musician, Severn has performed in festivals and chamber music series throughout Australia, Europe and North America.

As a composer, Luke’s works represent a deep level of empathy towards time, place and emotions, with a particular focus on the intimacy of chamber ensembles. 2018 marked the premieres of two new chamber works, “Beneath the Surface” for soprano and string quartet and “…when the world was young” for cello and piano. Both works represent a personal reflection on changes experienced through life, both in love and loss and the shared experience of a changing environment.

Duvall is a 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, the U.S and Japan. Duvall’s strong affinity for boundary-pushing and innovative music making led her to co-found the Toronto-based Thin Edge New Music Collective, now in their eighth season. TENMC has commissioned and premiered over 60 new works for chamber ensemble with 9 more slated for their upcoming season, and have garnered an exceptional international reputation through tours to Japan, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina and across Canada.

As a person who is constantly inspired through collaboration and community building within the arts, Cheryl regularly collaborates with many arts organizations, instrumentalist and vocalists. Besides performing, she maintains a full private piano studio, adjudicates piano competitions across Canada and appears as guest speaker in university classroom and festival panels. 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.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for youth through the Ticket Seller 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.

Submitted by Janet Parkins, with the North Okanagan Community Concert Association

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