Upcoming Concert (2019)
Featured Performers – December 14th
Amy Hillis has "a rich, warm sound and has mastered the violin with such ease, that it is impossible to ignore her passion in performance" (Ludwig Van Montréal). Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Amy collaborates with musicians from around the world in order to explore new approaches to classical and contemporary music. In 2019-2020, Amy will perform across Canada with pianist, Meagan Milatz as part of the inaugural Pan-Canadian Recital Tour in partnership with Jeunesses Musicales Canada, Prairie Debut and Debut Atlantic. Amy was a 2017 artist-in-residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, a residency awarded by the Conseils des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. She is also the winner of the 2018 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, the 2017 McGill Concerto Competition, the Sylva Gelber Foundation Music Award, and a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Her principal teachers have been Axel Strauss, Ian Swensen, Denise Lupien and Eduard Minevich. Amy is a member of the Montreal-based SOMA Quartet as well as first violinist and manager of the prairie-based Horizon String Quartet. She performs on the 1902 Enrico Rocca violin, on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
Canadian-Dutch cellist, Carmen Bruno is a multifaceted musician who is quickly establishing herself as one of Canada’s most versatile emerging artists. As a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, she has performed across Europe and the Americas. Carmen spent her formative years in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam in 2015. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at McGill University with professor Matt Haimovitz, where she also earned her Master’s degree in 2017.
An ardent performer of new music, Carmen will premiere two commissions in 2019. The first, alongside her sister, Yolanda Bruno, is a duo for violin and cello by Ottawa-based composer Kelly-Marie Murphy. The second, a trio for violin, cello, and percussion by Mark Duggan, was commissioned by Zac Pulak with financial support form the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council, and will be premiered by trio [no]relation (Bruno, Bruno, Pulak). Besides performing, Carmen is becoming increasingly involved in the field of social justice and music education. Most notably, she recently completed a nine-month graduate certificate in social entrepreneurship, cultural agency, teaching artistry, civic leadership, and organizational management as a member of the 2018 Global Leaders Program cohort, which brought her to Panama and Chile.
With the SOMA string quartet, she has collaborated with composers in Italy and Canada, and offered numerous educational performances for young audiences. As an orchestral musician, Carmen toured the Caribbean in 2014 with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and was invited to play as a featured soloist with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on their nationwide tour the following year. Since then, Carmen has performed in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, as well as the McGill Chamber Orchestra. Carmen plays an Italian cello, 1884, made by Giuseppe Tarasconi in Milan, and an Emmanuel Bégin bow, graciously loaned to her by CANIMEX INC. from Drummondville (Quebec) Canada.
Canadian Pianist Carson Becke has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, including performances in Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean. He is also the artistic director of Pontiac Enchanté, a concert series in Luskville, Quebec. After moving to the United Kingdom in 2005 to study at the Purcell School, Carson completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he worked with Tatiana Sarkissova.
Following studies in London, he completed an M.Phil. degree in performance and musicology at the University of Oxford, supported generously by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation of Canada. Currently, Carson is reading for his doctorate (D.Phil.) in music at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. His research, concerning Richard Strauss’s piano music and pianistic performance style, is supervised by Professor Laura Tunbridge. He is grateful for the support of the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Foundation towards his doctoral studies. Alongside his research on Strauss, he is working on a multi-album recording project featuring Strauss’s piano, chamber, and art song repertoire. The first two of these albums are available on iTunes (an album of lieder with mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta, and a solo piano album). He is on faculty at the Purcell School of Music, where he teaches musicianship.