This Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society (WCMS) will be holding their annual mini concert festival that they call Mozart and More. Consisting of music of Mozart, these performances will also feature music of Kodaly, Shostakovich, Brahms and Canadian composer Michael Oesterle.

The two concerts will feature some of Winnipeg’s finest string players. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra musicians; Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig, Associate Concertmaster Karl Stobbe, Principal violist Elise Lavallee, Principal cellist Yuri Hooker, and Principal double bassist Meredith Johnson.

The concerts are extra special because the WCMS is very much keeping it in the family. Gwen Hoebig and her husband David Moroz who is the pianist for the WCMS are going to be joined by their two children, Cellist Juliana Moroz and Violist Alexander Moroz who are now young successful professional musicians in their own right. Moroz is very much looking forward to perform alongside his kids. As Moroz states, “They are definitely young professionals, and they belong up here…they are very easy to play with because they are accomplished.”

Aside from the music of Mozart, the WCMS will also be performing music of a little suite of music from Shostakovich’s film score for 1955 film score “The Gadfly.” As Moroz explains, “When you listen to the music you think that the movie might be a comedy…it’s actually a Soviet propaganda movie, and it’s actually quite serious. I’m not exactly certain how this funny music appeared in the film but the excerpts are wonderful and hilarious…it’s a great way to close the concert!”

One of the other highlights of the program is that the WSO’s Principal Cellist Yuri Hooker and Principal Double Bass Player Meredith Johnson will be performing selections from Canadian composer Michael Oesterle’s work called “Parlour Games.” As Moroz states, “This is music that the two of them premiered several months ago, and the concert was so successful that they needed to repeat the concert two more times. “They [Hooker and Johnson] were scheduled to play them at 1:00pm on a Sunday afternoon. They had such an interest that they had to repeat it at 2:00pm and again at 3:00pm. They are wonderful pieces, and I asked them if they play a few of them on one of our concerts this summer.”

Tying Wednesday and Fridays concerts together is the music of Mozart. Tomorrow night’s concert features Mozart fabulous 6th Piano trio in G K544, and Friday night’s concerts showcases Mozart terrific 2nd Piano quartet in E flat K493.  The piano writing for both works is quite different. As Moroz explains, "The music is different, but the approach Mozart took to the music is different. The E flat Piano quartet is very spacious whereas the G major Piano Trio is actually quite concentrated…it’s very focused. With this last piano trio it is almost as if Mozart has said ‘I have done my experimenting, now I’m just give you the essentials of my style in this piano trio”  

Rounding out the concerts are Kodaly’s Serenade for two violins and cello on Wednesday and Brahms’s magnificent and lush 2nd String Sextet in G major.

The Winnipeg Chamber Music Society’s Mozart and More, 2023 edition is going to be a real treat. These are two concerts that should not be missed. The concerts take place tomorrow, May 24th and Friday, May 26th. Both concerts start at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by going to the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society’s Website

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