Amazing talent, dazzling personalities, and a flair for fashion! The Yorkton Arts Council brings it all to you in one delightful package with the next exciting concert in he “Stars For Saskatchewan” concert series: Guy and Nadina, Monday, April 14 at 8:00 PM in the Anne Portnuff Theatre, Yorkton Regional High School!
The duo has performed throughout North America, has numerous recordings, and has graced international stages. Their musical careers began in their childhoods. Guy explains, “I started piano studies at 4, trumpet at 8 and always sang. My parents played musical instruments when they were younger and both of my sisters played as well (Laurie - piano, Nora - violin).” Nadina’s musical journey began a little later. “When I got to junior high, we had the option of two electives, either music or art. My mother pointed out that I was already a confident artist and that this was a chance to learn about music. I started on the flute, then one day heard a bassoon and fell in love. But it took another year before our school district had the funds to buy a bassoon. My family lived 30 miles outside of the nearest town (Prince George, B.C.) and the closest bassoon teacher was 500 miles to the south in Vancouver. I would fly once per month for a lesson, sleeping in the airport because there was only one flight per day between PG and Vancouver! I was awakened once by a kindly RCMP policewoman who wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a runaway with a bassoon. My parents loved music and my mother listened faithfully to the Metropolitan Opera even when we were hundreds of miles from the nearest town. My quiet Dad sang and played the guitar sometimes. The first concert I heard was when I was four years old… at that time we lived on a ranch 90 miles from Smithers. I remember this concert to this day… a small touring group from the Canadian Opera Company, singers with piano and I loved it! 30 years later I became the principal bassoon of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, making my mother very happy! I stayed for 2 years before I left to dedicate myself to being a soloist.” Nadina comments.
Both Guy and Nadina are gifted musicians, but also teachers. Besides making music, teaching, and globe-trotting on tour, where do they find the time? Nadina teaches at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory. “I practise late at night if I have to. I answer emails in the wee hours of the morning, and on the phone wherever I am traveling. ...some how it all works out.” Guy agrees. “It’s all about scheduling. During this time of touring I return to ON three times to teach at Wilfrid Laurier University.”
How did they begin performing together? “I saw Guy on a plane during a layover in Calgary (I was flying back to Toronto from Vancouver). I was immediately struck by his animation, his looks, his leather, his trumpet. I gawked and grinned (his seat was just in front of mine to the side) and he cautiously smiled at me. A few months later, I was invited to sub in a group in Montreal and he was the trumpeter! I was so excited to meet him and we loved playing together… We have gone on to make three major orchestral recording and one recital album and have played hundreds of concerts since our first one eight years ago.” explains Nadina.
The pair are stunning on stage, with an edgy sense of fashion. Where did that come from? Guy commented “We like to wear creations by Canadian Artists. Edgy fashion is part of the celebration that is each concert.” Nadina agrees. “I have developed into my current style by being around someone (Guy) who has the strength of character to match whatever I develop! I actually have no idea why I have developed my style... It has been a steady process of discovery… We have had the fun of working with three main Canadian designers… Kathy McDayter of Magpie Designs, Jessica Biffi, and my most recent gown is by the costume and set designer, Christina Poddobiuk.” Even their album covers are striking, and beautiful works of art. “Some are pix from photo sessions. The cover of CCP volume 1 was chosen by Nadina. I think it’s super cool too. Nice to have this CD as our JUNO nominated CD. It represents Canada with the art and the music.” says Guy.
What do they hope the audience takes away from the concert? “We hope that the audience feels as if they have attended a concert in their own living room. A friendly evening filled with incredible music, stories and interaction. We like to visit with everyone during the intermission. Signing CDs and chatting about our lives and theirs. So the entire concert event is an opportunity to get to know each other.” commented Guy. Nadina expands on the question: “We hope they discover the beautiful voices of our instruments and the deep, lasting joy and intrigue of classical music.”
This concert is a Prairie Debut concert, and both Guy and Nadina stressed their gratitude for the efforts of the Prairie Debut program. “I wanted to add that we are so lucky to be touring with Prairie Debut (www.prairiedebut), the organization that is sending us around the Prairies on a 14-concert tour to play our music and meet local music-lovers. You probably know about them already, but both Guy and I want to point out that it is a miracle that they continue to send classical (and world) musicians out into the smaller communities across the Prairies and are the only touring organization to do so. These tours give both the artists and the audiences an experience that would not be possible without the continued dedication of this team. Prairie Debut has been operating since 1997, presenting over 485 concerts by 104 artists during 41 tours to 62 communities, performing to more than 50,000 people, and this is the very first time that they have ever sent out a duo that plays bassoon, trumpet, corno da caccia and bassoon!!” Nadina commented.
Tickets for this wonderful concert are available at the Yorkton Arts Council, Welcome Home Floral and Gift Shop, at the door, or on-line at www.yorktonarts.ca