Almonte in Concert launches 2018-19 season with stellar performances

by Edith Cody-Rice

Almonte in Concert launched its 2018-19 season last Saturday with splendid performances by artists James Parker and his protegés Brian Mangrum on horn and Boson Mo on violin.

Jamie Parker, a soloist and chamber musician is the pianist for Canada’s foremost ensemble, the Gryphon Trio. He has critically acclaimed performances with major Canadian symphonies and has garnered two JUNO recording awards and many other nominations. He has a long association with Almonte in Concert.

The evening began with the naming of Almonte in Concert’s Steinway grand piano in honour of James (Jamie) Parker, who selected the piano in New York’s Steinway factory in November of 2002. Rather than present Mr. Parker with a plaque which would gather dust on a shelf, Almonte in Concert president Michael MacPherson ceremoniously handed over some  Cocoa Loco, a Double Chocolate Milk Stout brewed by Almonte’s Crooked Mile Brewery.

Micahel MacPherson presents Jamie Parker with Crooked Mile Brewery beerThe program featured five works:

  • La puerta del Vino from Preludes, Book 2, No. 3 by Claude Debussy
  • Intermezzo from 6 Klavierstucke, Op. 118, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms
  • Adagio and Allegro for Horn and Piano. Op 70 by Robert Schumann
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major by César Franck
  • and Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano in E-flat Major, Op 20 by Johannes Brahms
Jamie Parker plays la puerto del vino by Claude Debussy.

The selection showcased the virtuoso talents of the young musicians and gave each an opportunity to exhibit their considerable abilities.  Brian Magram gave nuanced performances and Boson Mo was simply superb throughout the evening.  The final Brahms work, written during a period of great sadness in Brahm’s life, was emotionally and movingly performed.

left to right: Boson Mo and Brian Mangram prepare to play

The result was a satisfying evening of music which concluded with a standing ovation for the artists. Bravo the artists and Almonte in Concert