Ensemble Made in Canada has a long history together. Members Angela Park, Elissa Lee, Sharon Lei, and Rachel Mercer met as teenagers, with their love of chamber music bringing them together as adults. Along with violinist Scott St. John, these distinguished musicians bring their rich sound to the historic Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts Recital Hall on Sunday, October 15 at 2pm. Playing both Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81, this a performance not to be missed. In anticipation of their upcoming concert, we talked to cellist Rachel Mercer about the nature of musical collaboration, EMIC’s future plans, and advice for young musicians.
Each of you maintain separate solo careers in addition to being part of EMIC. How do your solo careers enrich your performances within the group, and what are the most rewarding aspects of playing music together?
Playing chamber music is similar to having interesting conversations without using words. It’s a chance to share ideas to find a collective way of expressing a composer’s intentions. Solo music is actually very similar in terms of trying to figure out what a composer is trying to say with their music, and so having experience in other musical mediums gives us more experience to bring to the table of ideas in chamber music.
Can you tell us a little bit about what audience members should expect from your upcoming concert?
A party on stage! These two quintets are probably the most beloved out of all the piano quintet repertoire.
This isn’t your first time playing at Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. What makes it a place to which EMIC returns?
We enjoyed the warm audience at HCA and are very excited to play in this space again.
You’ve teamed up with Scott St. John on this concert. Can you tell us a little about your collaboration with him?
Our violist, Sharon Wei, is married to Scott and we have played with him a few times over the years of being a piano quartet together. Scott is a great lover of Dvorak’s music in particular, so it is always great fun to work on the Dvorak Piano Quintet with him!
We have many young young aspiring musicians at HCA. Do you have any advice for those who aim to pursue music professionally one day?
Time management! It is important in any field but especially important for students who are aspiring to pursue music. Musicians have to be able to work on multiple projects that have both short and long timelines and to be able to stay on top of it all.
What’s next for EMIC and its members?
We have another tour period in February where we will continue our residence at Western University, working with students in all capacities, including this time with the opera department! And we are currently working on a large-scale project involving a 14-composer commission and a cross-Canada tour beginning in Summer 2018. Watch our website for details!
Anything else that you’d like to tell our readers and Concert Series supporters?
We are so grateful to all of our audiences and the behind-the-scenes arts workers that make concerts possible. Yes, we are actually playing on stage, but we wouldn’t be there without them.
|Tickets can be purchased online
or by calling 905-528-4020.
HCA would like to gratefully acknowledge Mr. Robert Summers-Gill for his ongoing support of the 2017/18 HCA Concert Series season.