On Sunday, April 7th at 2:30 at St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church, Virtuosi Concerts will be welcoming to the concert stage the Borealis Piano trio. Consisting of Oleg Pokhanovski on violin, Minna Rose Chung on cello, and Judy Kehler Siebert on piano, this fabulous trio are made up of three faculty members at The University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music.

The concert on April 7th is called Café Music and will consist of concert music reminiscent of dance halls and the cafés of 1930’s Paris or perhaps Buenos Aries.

The concert will consist of music from composers such as Paul Schoenfield, Alexander Rosenblatt, Georgry Sviridov and Florence Price as well as Canadian composers Christos Hatzis, and Sid Robinovitch. All of the music being centered around the concept of music you might here on a night out at a cabaret or European café.

The idea of creating a concert featuring light music was pitched to the trio by the Artistic Director of Virtuosi Jennifer Thiessen, as pianist Judy Kehler-Siebert explains, “She [Thiessen] wanted something light…something that would be very audience friendly, and we said ‘oh we’ve got café music,' and that became the title of the concert. We had other tangos and dances that we had played….and so that is how the concert came about.”

There are two large scale works on the program that the trio will be performing. The American composer Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music and Winnipeg composer Sid Robinovitch’s piece Distant Places that was in written for the Borealis Trio.

Schoenfield’s Café Music is a kaleidoscope of different genres; jazz, Dixieland, Hollywood films scores, and even some rock are mixed in to create a piece that is very fun and exciting to listen to. As Kehler-Siebert says of the piece, “there are so many different kinds and snippets of styles…Oleg our very classical violinist who knows everything about all the classical rep…he’s the one that finds all the Queen quotes for example…I got the Gershwin quotes [in the piece]…there are definitely so many different elements of styles that come together in this!”

The Robinovitch piece that the trio will be performing called Distant Places consists of three musical postcards:

1. Balanese Dream

2. A Stroll through the market in Old Marrakesh

3. Over the Lapland Snows.

Cellist Minna Rose Chung had an opportunity to speak with Robinovitch about the piece, as she explains “I asked him if it took a long time to write the piece and he said ‘once you have the impulse, the feeling and the groove…everything just flows from there.”

Around these two major works the trio has chosen shorter pieces that further add to the feel and sound of a Parisian Cafe. There are two beautiful pieces that were introduced to the trio by their violinist Oleg Pokhanovski. The trio will be performing Georgy Sviridov’s Romance from the film score from the Russian movie The Snowstorm and Alexander Rosenblatt’s Tango for piano trio.

Originally from Russia, Pokhanovski knew of these composers from his studies there. As he explains, “Sviridov was sort of an underrated Russian composer when I was studying there….he was called by people who really understood how beautiful his music was... the Tchaikovsky of the 20th century, because his music was so beautiful and so profound.” When discussing Rosenblatt’s music Pokhanovski says, “He [Rosenblatt] is a leading Russian composer…he’s very creative, and a wonderful musician who loves jazz…so you can find a lot of jazz elements his tango.”

Adding to the mix of wonderful programming the Borealis Trio will be performing the tango inspired piece Old Photographs by Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, and a short song by the American composer Florence Price called Night. Joining the trio for the Price piece will be the very talented singer Sophie Caron who is a voice student of renowned singer Valdine Anderson, she is also a cello student of Minna Rose Chung.

Tango, jazz, film music, world music with a little taste of pop music mixed in…this concert has something for everyone. It is sure to make for an extremely entertaining early spring afternoon courtesy of The Borealis Trio and the Virtuosi Concert Series!

For more details on this fun and engaging concert visit Virtuosi’s website.