By Belle Hatfield
For The Vanguard
Before there were French settlers, or English settlers, before ancestors of the Mi’kmaq roamed the waters at the mouth of the Tusket River, before successive waves of immigration enriched this region with a mosaic of cultural diversity; before all that, there was the unifying presence of music.
In celebration of the enduring power of music as a universal language, Hear! Here! in Yarmouth presents a 250th concert featuring Steinway Artist Ron Tomarelli. The afternoon piano concert will be held at the Yarmouth County Museum at 3 p.m.on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Tomarelli, who is a professor of piano performance at Acadia University, has just returned from a summer of performance and teaching in London and Paris.
Après Paris will showcase the result of those labours. The concert includes works from some of the greats of the classical era, as well as works of American jazz and ragtime.
Tomarelli has been performing in public since the age of 12, when he was first featured on CBC television. He has a degree in piano performance from the University of Toronto, where he did post-graduate work from 1989 to 1992. He has studied with Marietta Orlov, Greta Kraus, Stuart Hamilton, Pierre Souvairan and Earle Moss – all acclaimed Canadian musicians and teachers. Extensive study and association with Jeaneane Dowis in New York City led to his professional affiliation with the Steinway Foundation. He became a Steinway Artist in 1980 and still continues to maintain a close association with the company. Tomarelli is also a graduate of the Toronto school of the Alexander technique and a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association.
While busy with teaching, adjudicating and examining, he still finds time to perform each year, including a concerto engagement of the “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninoff with the North York Symphony in Toronto, performances in the Thomas Regan Memorial Concert series and most recently three performances of the “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin with the Acadia Concert Wind Ensemble within Nova Scotia.
Sunday’s programme features major works by Beethoven, Chopin and Bartok (including Chopin’s op. 22, Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise ), all of which will serve as a counterpoint to several exuberant rags and jazz-influenced works from 20th century American masters. And there may be an, as yet undisclosed, surprise guest performer.
Tickets for the afternoon concert are $20 and available by calling 881-2538 or 742-8765.