JUNO Winners Will Light Up Cobourg Stage

In Upcoming Events

Les AMIS Concerts will present a concert with two JUNO Award winners on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. at Trinity United Church in Cobourg.

Pianist Angela Park and cellist Rachel Mercer are both virtuoso musicians who have delighted Cobourg audiences over the years and are back by popular demand.

Now, in its 41st year, Les AMIS’s founder and Artistic Director Michael Pepa brought the series from Toronto to Cobourg in 2016. The objective of Les AMIS is to nurture talented young musicians at the earliest stages of their professional careers and to present new compositions to audiences.

Pepa’s artistic relationship with Mercer and Park began when they were students, and has continued as they have both are regarded as distinguished Canadian musicians.

“Both Rachel and I are grateful for the support Michael Pepa has given us from the time we were students and just starting our careers,” said Park.

Mercer and Park have both toured extensively, performing on the international stage as soloists and in ensembles, receiving many accolades and awards along the way. In 2021, Mercer and Park shared a Juno Award with the quartet Ensemble Made In Canada, winning Best Classical Album of the Year.

The Duo is preparing an eclectic mix of music for their upcoming concert, from classical to contemporary, including the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Nadia Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke, Jocelyn Morlock and Marcel Bergmann.

“I love Jocelyn Morlock’s musical aesthetic and have been lucky to play quite a few of her works now, both chamber and orchestral,” commented Mercer.

Morlock’s work Halcyon derives its name from the legend of the goddess Alcyone, who calms the seas in the weeks around Winter Solstice so that the kingfisher bird may nest. These are known as “Halcyon Days.”

“Coleridge-Taylor’s music is now played regularly, and it is a lovely set of variations with just enough flair and virtuosity, but also keeping its charm,” commented Mercer.

“We will also play three beautiful character pieces in the French romantic style by Nadia Boulanger,” added Mercer.

“We think of her as the queen of composition, as so many of the greats went to Paris to study with her – Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Astor Piazzolla, Quincy Jones and George Gershwin.”

“Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata begins with an outburst of that youthful energy,” said Mercer. And “Blue Autumn” by German-Canadian composer and pianist Marcel Bergmann is a “groovy fun piece” that will round out the program.

Tickets for the Jan. 28 concert at Trinity United Church are $35, and can be purchased online by e-transfer to lesamis.concerts@icloud.com or through the Victoria Hall Concert Hall box office 905-372-2210. For e-transfers, patrons are asked to include their e-mail addresses.

“Living in Ottawa but having family and work ties to the Toronto area, I drive by Cobourg at least twice a month. But the times I’ve been able to spend a moment there, thanks to concerts, I’m always won over by the town, the nature, but especially the people. That warmth and interest I’ve felt is what sharing music is all about,” Mercer remarked.

– Submitted by Marianne Marusic

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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