Not your typical Saturday at Fifth Avenue Court…

For local shoppers, thirsty cyclists, and music lovers alike, the brick walls of the atrium at Fifth Avenue Court in the Glebe were filled with an assortment of high-end musical pickings. Following the Capital BrassWorks’ finger snapping rendition of the Pink Panther and the Can-Can, I had the opportunity to give a repeat performance of Dvořák’s Terzetto for string trio with concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki and associate-concertmaster Jessica Linnebach. The reverberant acoustics of the hall lent themselves to a lively and spontaneous performance, with a few giggles shared over some trio inside jokes. Yosuke’s personality was exemplified in his tender, sensitive, and passionate cadenza in the fourth movement, while Jessica’s fierce yet velvety low register truly captivated the audience throughout.

You may be wondering how I came to play with these amazing musicians. It’s all thanks to last year’s National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition, in which I was honoured to take home the blue ribbon, the Harold Crabtree Foundation Award. The bursary competition was the beginning of a fruitful year with the Orchestra: in November, I toured the Maritimes (performing in Charlottetown in my now infamous orange slacks when the Orchestra’s luggage was delayed), and played a solo with the Orchestra at the annual Christmas FanFair concert in December and in a Bursary Competition fundraising concert in March. Again today, I shared the stage with some of the Orchestra’s top players. Though I still had one or two butterflies in my stomach before the concert, it wasn’t long before they flitted away, and I was able to enjoy the performance. In my opinion, it was a pretty good way to spend my Saturday afternoon!

By Paul Casey

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