Harpsichordist Jonathan Addleman, left, and baroque violinist Sari Tsuji will kick off the 2013 season of the Sackville Festival of Early Music with a concert at the Mount Allison University Chapel at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The talented performers are also this year’s featured artists in the festival’s popular program of free workshops for area schools. PHOTO SUBMITTED
What was it that inspired the first music ever written? While the answer to that question may be never be known, there’s a strong possibility that the songs of birds provided creative models for imitation by the earliest human musicians. What is known for certain is that many composers over the generations that followed did not hesitate to draw on birdsong for musical ideas.
The opening concert in the 2013 Sackville Festival of Early Music, taking place in the Mount Allison University Chapel at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, will feature examples of this collaboration between artists and birds in a program of charming works for violin and harpsichord by Biber, Rameau, Daquin, Frescobaldi and others.
The performers are the aptly name duo, RedOwl, whose members Sari Tsuji on baroque violin and Jonathan Addleman on harpsichord will, in addition to their public concert, present the same delightful music at student workshops in area schools, as a key part of the festival’s program of outreach and education.
Both Sari and Jonathan are active musicians in the North American early music scene. They began performing together while they were students at McGill University. Since then, they have established themselves as musicians to watch, with regular recital series in Fredericton and Montreal and guest appearances with many of leading North American orchestras and ensembles specializing in period music.
RedOwl’s concerts are always engaging and entertaining, whether performing light-hearted music that depicts cuckoos, quails and nightingales in Music for the Birds or more serious works such as Bach’s complete Sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Following and expanding upon a specific theme, they present baroque music in ways that connect the works with their historical context, showcasing works not only by both famous composers but also by their lesser-known contemporaries.
While studying saxophone at McGill, Addleman, a Fredericton native, quickly discovered his affinity for the harpsichord, and completed undergraduate degrees in both instruments as well as a masters in harpsichord. Since then, he has been in demand as an accompanist and soloist, performing with ensembles such as the Laval Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Da Capo, Atlantic Sinfonia, and Toronto’s Arcadia Ensemble and I Furiosi.
Tsuji began studying the violin in her hometown of Winnipeg at the age of four. She holds degrees in violin and early music performance from McGill University and currently performs with some of Canada’s leading period music orchestras, including Arion Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Caprice, Aradia Ensemble, and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra.
For additional information on this year’s Sackville Festival of Early Music, which runs from Sept. 25 to 29, visit the festival website at http://sackvilleearlymusic.ca/en.