© Emil Agopian 2020

Programme

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Suite for Strings, op. 1, arranged by Lev Nesterov for string quintet (1888)
I. Präludium
II. Intermezzo
III. Finale

Michael Conway BAKER* (b.1937)
Rhapsody for Rachmaninoff for piano and strings (2017)*

Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
L’heure de Berger (French Café Music) for string quintet and piano (1947)
I. Les vieux beaux (The Old Dandies)
II. Pin-Up Girls
III. Les petits nerveux (Nervous Children)

Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918)
Beau Soir, arranged by Orfeo Mandozzi/Jack Olszewski for string quintet and piano (1880)

Libby LARSEN (b. 1950)
Four on the Floor for violin, cello, bass and piano (1983)

*denotes Canadian composer

Live Streamed on Monday, June 29 - 6 P.M. MST

Jack Olszewski | piano, project curator and coordinator

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Jack Olszewski is a pianist who has performed throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Music from McGill University where he studied with Marina Mdivani, and graduated in 2017 with an Artist Diploma in Collaborative Piano under Michael McMahon. Mr. Olszewski is an alumnus of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Franz-Schubert-Institut, Orford Music, Opera NUOVA, Toronto Summer Music, and the St. Andrews Opera Workshop. He has been the recipient of funding from Edmonton Community Foundation, the Anne Burrows Music Foundation, the Williamson Foundation for Music, and the Art Song Foundation of Canada. Mr. Olszewski has worked as a coach and pianist at Calgary Opera, McGill University, Opera on the Avalon, and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute. During the 2019-2020 season, he worked as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Mountain View Festival announces
CONVERGENCE: A THREE-PART VIRTUAL CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
FEATURING WORKS FOR PIANO AND STRINGS

Six musicians, one filmmaker, and a new arts streaming platform.

A collaboration between Mountain View International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society, Polaris Centre for the Performing Arts, Emil Agopian Film, Stagestream Live and Steinway Piano Gallery of Calgary.

Welcome to set one: Convergence: A Medley of Classical Miniatures


Lev Nesterov | violin, project curator and coordinator

Born into a family of musicians, Russian-Canadian violinist Lev Nesterov is in his final year of his Master of Music degree in performance at the University of Ottawa, studying with Yehonatan Berick, Yosuke Kawasaki, Michael van der Sloot and Jean-Hee Lee. An alumnus of the Academy of Music for the Gifted Youth at the Mount Royal Conservatory, Lev is also a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he completed his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance under Joan Barrett and Edmond Agopian. There from the 2013 to 2015 seasons, he also performed alongside music faculty in the UCalgary String Quartet, the university's Ensemble-in-Residence.

Over the years, Lev has performed and has taken part in masterclasses at music festivals at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Young Artists Program in Ottawa, Morningside Music Bridge in Shanghai, China and the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax. Lev has also been a two-time member of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, as part of the Brott Music Festival - Canada’s largest summer orchestral music festival. In a concertmaster role, he has led the Calgary Youth, University of Calgary, and University of Ottawa orchestras. As a violin soloist, Lev has performed with the Edmonton Symphony and the University of Calgary Orchestras, and most recently with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as the winner of the 2013 RBC Concerto Competition. Chamber music festival appearances in Western Canada include the Contrasts, Mountain View Connection and the Banff Summer Arts Festival, as well as performances in various Alberta-based ensembles including the Timepoint Ensemble, Rocky Mountain Chamber Ensemble, plus a variety of shows for Theatre Calgary, the National Music Centre, Calgary Opera Emerging Artists, Mercury Opera, and Alberta Ballet. In the spring of 2019, Lev also made his solo and chamber recital debuts at the National Art Centre’s Fourth Stage in Ottawa.

As a passionate chamber musician, Lev is the founder and first violinist of the Volante String Quartet, where since 2009 he has performed a multitude of concerts in towns and cities all across Alberta and British Columbia, as well as at various local community outreach programs. In 2019, as Artistic Director, Lev founded and performed at the inaugural Ottawa Winter Music Festival, a biannual celebration of classical chamber music, jazz and vocal art song. Professional orchestra appearances include the Calgary Philharmonic and the Ottawa, Edmonton, Red Deer and Drummondville Symphony Orchestras.

Lev plays on a 2013 violin made by American maker Ryan L. Soltis.

Sara Far | violin

Sara Far is a classical musician local to the Calgary area. She began playing the violin at the age of three with Keiko Takahashi, later studying with University of Calgary professor Edmond Agopian. She has achieved success in many festivals and competitions, including a first-place finish at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival in 2017, and has been a featured soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as a finalist in the 2019 CPO Concerto Competition. An enthusiastic ensemble musician, Sara currently performs with the UCalgary String Quartet, and has also been involved with the Mosaic String Quartet. As a long-standing member of the Calgary Youth Orchestra, Sara has toured Europe to share her music with the world. Sara holds an ARCT Performer’s diploma with First Class Honours with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Sara attributes her love of ensemble playing and growth through classical music to the Amici String Program in which she participated for 9 years. Outside of music, Sara is an accomplished academic as a recent Honours Plant Biology graduate, and hopes to pursue a career in plant biotechnology.

Susana Heystek | viola

Hailing from the small town of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Susanna Heystek began her post-secondary studies on violin at the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Michael van der Sloot. In 2017, after trying the viola for a week, she made the switch from violin to viola and has never looked back. That same year, she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to perform chamber music and collaborate with Canadian Composer David Braid at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy. In 2018 and 2019 she took part in the NAC Orchestra’s Institute for Orchestral Studies in Ottawa, and performed in the orchestra for three of their concerts, under the direction of guest conductors Pinchas Zuckerman and Bramwell Tovey. She is the winner of the University of Ottawa Concerto Competition, and will be performing the Walton viola concerto with the university orchestra in the fall of 2020. Susanna graduated this year with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa, where she studied with Michael van der Sloot. Throughout her studies, she volunteered and worked for OrKidstra, an El Sistema inspired program that offers free music lessons to children from under-served communities. When Susanna is not performing or teaching music, she works as an interpreter and fiddler at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, and enjoys hiking in the beautiful mountains near her hometown.

David Morrissey | cello

David Morrissey is a California native, born and raised in Los Angeles. In 2008, he won the International Audition for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He began playing the cello at the age of 8, and while in high school, started taking lessons with Ronald Leonard at the University of Southern California. Enrolled in two high schools, Long Beach Polytechnic and The Orange County High School for the Arts, his artistic development included Piano, Cello, and Vocal Jazz, and in 1995, his High School Jazz Ensemble won the prestigious Downbeat Magazine High School Jazz CD of the Year, and later, a Grammy Award for Musical excellence. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he studied with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Janos Starker, and his Master’s Degree in Cello from Manhattan School of Music as a student of former Associate Principal Cellist of the NY Philharmonic, Alan Stepansky.

He continued his Orchestral studies in Miami Beach, Florida, with the New World Symphony, an Orchestral Academy, under the musical direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2001, the Leipziger Volkszeitung called him ‘a cellist with a bright future’, and his performance of the David Ott Double Cello Concerto with the Evansville Philharmonic in 2003 was praised by the Evansville Courier Press as ‘exemplifying the purest sound and musical taste’. His performances have taken him all over the US, as well as Rome, Montepulciano, Leipzig, Berlin, and Tokyo just to name a few, and he is one of the founding members of the Young Janacek String Quartet.

In his spare time he enjoys swimming and yoga-ing and he is an avid outdoor enthusiast with a passion for exploration. He now spends his summers performing with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado, and climbing 14ers (mountains that exceed the 14,000 ft mark). He has also been known to spend his summers teaching not only music, but also swimming and science to K-6 graders in the Los Angeles area.

Matthew Heller | bass

A native of Tacoma, Washington, double bassist Matthew Heller joined the Calgary Philharmonic in 2007. He has appeared frequently as a recitalist and chamber musician, including performances with the Mountain View Chamber Music Festival, Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, Kensington Sinfonia, and Instrumental Society of Calgary. He was awarded the Instrumental Society’s inaugural Janice Waite Scholarship in recognition of his contributions to Calgary’s performing arts community.

Mr. Heller also performs as Principal Bass with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, a summer orchestra in Boulder, Colorado. He was previously a member of the New World Symphony (Miami, Florida), Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has been an orchestral fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and performed chamber music with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina.

Matthew completed studies at the New England Conservatory and at Northwestern University. He has studied with some of today’s most accomplished bassists, including Donald Palma, Harold Robinson, Michael Hovnanian, Matthew McDonald, and Joel Quarrington. Mr. Heller performs on an Italian double bass attributed to Antonio Gilbertini, dated 1862.

Who do you think are or were the masters of your instrument?

Jonathan Gresl | host

After being goaded into trying the bassoon by a persistent public school music teacher, JONATHAN GRESL first caught attention after performing a concerto with the Vermont Youth Orchestra and being named to the US National High School Honors Orchestra, before heading off to advanced training at institutions including the New England Conservatory and the Banff Centre.

He performs often around Calgary with groups like the Calgary Opera and Red Deer Symphony and is noted for his interest in communicating the love of music to audiences, through his program notes for the Symphony of the Kootenays and his friendly speaking style, honed through performances with his wind quintet, PERFECT CADENCE.

Emil Agopian | filmmaker

Director, documentary filmmaker, interviewer and cinematographer, Emil has made and directed documentaries in China, Europe, the USA, and across Canada. His latest one-man feature, The True North Project, has garnered multiple awards for Directing and Animation/Editing, was a finalist for the European Cinematography Awards, and won Best Documentary at the Monaco International Film Festival. Creating impacting and successful documentaries for highly regarded organizations like Morningside Music Bridge International, The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Luminous Voices, The Calgary Folk Music Festival, The University of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnic, Emil also frequently works with theatre companies like Theatre Encounter and La Caravan Dance Theatre. A trained cellist, Emil has a strong connection to the arts and music, making it the subject of many of his films. Emil has created several one-man and multi-crew music videos, including "Journey of Remembrance" for the Three Sisters Trio which went viral on YouTube and received national TV and newspaper coverage. His music videos have been screened at museums, album launches, film festivals, and theatres. Emil frequently takes up projects involving all mediums of visual art. An animator, Emil frequently animates and directs groundbreaking and innovative live event projection, and frequently invents new combinations of digital and physical animation for his films.

Emil has produced and directed multiple short films, garnering awards and critical review for his student and professional films. His 2015 directorial debut screened at YofiFest in New York and premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival. The film received a stellar review by Yair Raveh, one of Israel's leading film critics.

Emil has worked as a Director of Photography on music videos, documentaries, and short films, specializing in 35mm and 16mm motion picture film, and is an experienced steadicam operator.