Virya Duo makes inaugural appearance at St. Albert Chamber Music Series
Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 06:00 am
With special guest Anthony Lee
Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Don’s Piano Place
Tickets: Reserve at Don’s. Call 780-459-5525
Borrowed from Buddhist philosophy, virya encapsulates energy, excellence, diligence and vigour – all qualities Virya Duo brings to every recital.
It implies that the performers are two equal and dynamic voices, yet able to function as one vibrant mind.
Founded in 2012 by violinist Alissa Cheung and pianist Ruby Jin, two individual packages of musical dynamite, the duo has performed at recitals across Canada and in Europe.
This coming Saturday, the collaborators present a special performance of standard French repertoire at Don’s Piano Place.
“We wanted to do a French program. Previously we had played German repertoire. We wanted a change stylistically,” said Jin.
Currently based in Ottawa, Jin began studies in China at the age of five and completed advanced training at the University of Ottawa and McGill University.
The French program is a warm, intimate combination of Claude Debussy’s Sonata pour violon et piano, Eugene Ysaye’s Poem élégiaque, Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane and César Franck’s Sonata for violin and piano. The only non-French composition is Cheung’s “…colours leapt at me…” for violin and piano.
Based loosely on a dark poem she wrote at 16, the music appears quite the opposite.
“It’s got sensitive colours in terms of the harmonies. But it requires precision in how violin sustains itself and the piano strikes the chords,” Cheung said.
A native of Edmonton, Cheung is a tenured member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and former musician with Alberta Baroque Ensemble. Now a Montreal resident, Cheung moved east after receiving an opportunity to perform with Bozzini Quartet.
Jin describes the collaborations as good down to the tiniest detail.
“We both have a passion for music and a sense of organization. We work well together, and we have both studied with some of the same teachers and we have similar ideas in approaching interpretations. She’s (Alissa) very good at understanding what goes on between her and my instruments,” said Jin.
Cheung chimes in with equally positive praise.
“Ruby is awesome. She has an amazing work ethic and openness to conversations. We respect each other’s musical ideas.”
Opening the program is 13-year-old Anthony Lee, a student at Vincent J. Maloney Junior High. He plays Reinbold Gliere’s Prelude and Friedrich Kuhlau’s Sonatina Op. 59 No. 1, 2nd movement.