MUSIQUE ROYALE presents
Tuesday, Dec 18th, at 7:30 pm
With Blackwood Duo
Jeff Reilly, bass clarinet and Peter-Anthony Togni, piano
and guest Janelle Lucyk, soprano
St. David’s Presbyterian, 1544 Grafton St, Halifax
$20 advance: by phone 902 692 8081, and online (musiqueroyale.com). $25 at the door.
Delve into the positive power of Christmas – in an atmosphere of depth, reflection, lyricism and celebration of intense beauty. Music that boldly shifts down into the heart of space, openness, and contemplation and for just over an hour, gives you a chance to go slow during a fast time with Blackwood Duo and Janelle Lucyk.
The wide ranging performance experience of Peter-Anthony Togni and Jeff Reilly in their duo, Blackwood, includes hundreds of concerts touring Russia, China, Europe and North America performing in a range of contexts: jazz, contemporary classical, choral, orchestral, string orchestra, and Gamelan orchestra. The glue that holds them together is a common love of improvisation, a passion for taking musical risks, and a deep desire to to connect with their audience.
Hear your annual Christmas favourites in a new interpretation. O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Coventry Carol and Silent Night will be interpreted with deep praise and appreciation. Selections from Reilly’s captivating new work To Dream of Silence, and Togni’s NS Masterworks award-winning Responsio are featured alongside Advent and Christmas music.
Information on the artists:
Janelle Lucyk (soprano) graduated in 2014 with distinction from the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in Belgium where she performed with three choirs, debuted Lux Aeterna, written for her and the Brussels Chamber Choir by Jan Moeyaert, and formed Voces Desuper, an ensemble performing regularly in the magnificent Cathédrale de Saints-Michel-et-Gudule, and especially at the Te Deum ceremony for the King and Queen of Belgium. Following, she completed her Masters in Management at Durham University in the UK and there she won the role of Susanna in Durham Opera Ensemble’s 2015 performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro for which she was awarded the Best Soloist by Music Durham, and Best Female Soloist by her peers at the DOE.
Moving back to Canada, Janelle was captivated by Nova Scotia’s flourishing music scene. Janelle has had the good fortune of working with Paul and Nick Halley, and the rare gem of Canadian choral excellence they have created. She featured in CPE Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Laudate Pueri with Ensemble Regale and The King’s Chorus, in addition to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Selva Morale e Spirituale with the Kings Chapel Choir. Winter 2017 brought performances of Messiah with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Per Sonatori (SK) and performing Mary in the Boar’s Head Festival. 2018 projects in Canada and the UK included Daniel Taylor’s Trinity Choir & Theatre of Early Music, Tribute to Les Six with Simon Docking, new arrangements of Nova Scotian Folk Song with Nick Veltmeyer’s Aureas Voces, and New Jazz with Peter-Anthony Togni and Rob Stevenson.
Jeff Reilly leads a multifaceted life as a bass clarinetist, composer, conductor, a CBC radio music producer, and as a radio documentary maker. A recording artist for the prestigious German label ECM, he has performed with choirs, orchestras and chamber groups, in music festivals, cathedrals and concert halls around the world – with his trio Sanctuary he has performed in Shanghai, Paris, London, New York, St Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Sochi, Toronto, Montreal and more.
The pure emotional accessibility of his rich, lyrical performance and compositional style reminds us that extended techniques, avant-garde sonorities and complex forms of notation can be executed within the service of musicality and sensitivity. Receiving 4 Juno nominations, an ECMA award as well as 4 ECMA nominations, his approach to music blurs any simple distinctions between improvisation and composition, and does so with a musicality and sensitivity that reminds us that such distinctions are moot. Jeff has commissioned many large-scale works that feature bass clarinet, including Eriks Esenvalds, Christos Hatzis, David Mott, Peter-Anthony Togni, and Barry Guy.
Peter-Anthony’s music is spiritually rooted and contemplative, ranging from the ethereally quiet to the explosive outer limits of contemplation. One of Canada’s busiest contemporary composers, Juno nominated Togni has toured internationally and his music is regularly broadcast worldwide. Togni’s works have been released on XXI Records, CBC Records, Hänssler Classics, Warner Classics UK and ECM. He is also a well-known Canadian broadcaster. Recent recordings include Lamentatio Jeremiah Prophetae, (bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and the Elmer Iseler Singers – 2010), Spatium (Togni Trio – 2012), Piano Alone (solo piano – 2013) and Estuary (Sanctuary Trio – 2015, ECMA nomination 2016). Responsio (premiered 2013) won the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, was released on ATMA classique (2015) and was nominated for a Juno Award (2016). Warrior Songs, for percussionist Jerry Granelli and choir, premiered in Boulder Colorado (2014), with its Canadian premiere in Toronto (2015).
Peter-Anthony played at the 53rd Magadino International Organ Festival (Switzerland – 2015), co-founded by his father the late Victor Togni. Isis and Osiris, Gods of Egypt, a new Canadian opera, premiered during Opera in Concert’s 2016 season. Sea Dreams, for choir and two flutes, premiered in Calgary in 2018, and Living Flame of Love will premiere in Edmonton in 2019. Originally from Pembroke, Ontario, he currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where he composes and teaches at Acadia University.
Musique Royale gratefully acknowledges the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage, the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Arts Nova Scotia, the Lunenburg School of the Arts, Peggy Corkum - major season benefactor, the Lloyd Carr Harris Foundation, the Craig Foundation, anonymous contributors, corporate and individual sponsors, committed volunteers and all patrons for their kind and generous support of Musique Royale.