For more than 100 years the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA) has been providing Manitobans with the best in private music education.

This Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 at the Desautels Faculty of Music, the MRMTA will be holding a fundraising concert that will feature two much esteemed pianists Claudette Carron and Darryl Friesen.

Darryl Friesen is currently on Faculty at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music where he teaches piano and Musicianship Skills. He holds a DMA from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Chaimpaign, and has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society, amongst others.

Claudette Caron Holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba and a Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College London. She has been a fixture on the Manitoba Performance scene for decades both here in Winnipeg and in Brandon, where she performed with the Ford/ Caron Flute and Piano duo. Highly in demand as both a pianist and adjudicator, Caron has lectured at Brandon University and is currently a Senior Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners.

The concert this Saturday has been a long time coming. The program was selected pre-COVID. As Darryl Friesen explains, “We had a concert planned for Mother’s Day before COVID. We had our whole program determined, we had ordered all the scores; we were learning our own parts and getting ready to start rehearsing together about a month after everything shut down.” One month turned into years, and once everything opened back up Friesen approached Claudette Caron about the possibility of reviving this concert. Caron jumped at the opportunity. “The scores stayed right on the piano [through COVID], and I was ready to open those up and get going again,” says Caron. Once the concert was reborn, the two approached the MRMTA about the possibility of doing a fundraising concert.

Both Caron and Friesen are passionate about playing piano duo music. As Caron states, “The piano becomes and orchestra. We are always saying when we’re playing ‘let you go and have the composer’s music life.’ When you have two people at one piano you don’t have any choice. The orchestra needs to come to live, and it’s both intimate as can be or as bombastic as you want it because you have twenty fingers on keyboard.”

For Friesen the chance to play four-hand piano music is thrilling. “It’s kind of the best of all worlds. It’s the collective sound, the piano becomes an orchestra. Youi use all the same skills for listening to the overall sonority that you do as a soloist, but you have to trust your partner implicitly…it’s way beyond only yourself, it’s wonderfully enjoyable. It’s true chamber music.”

The program on Saturday’s concert will consists of music of Beethoven, Schubert, Cécile Chaminade, and Nikolai Kapustin.

The concert takes place this Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 at the Desautels Faculty of Music. Entrance is by donation, with a suggested fee of $25.00, with all proceeds going toward the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association.

This is going to be a terrific concert that really runs the spectrum of the possibilities of what sounds piano duo music can produce. For more details go to the MRMTA’s website